Castle History

The history of the mansion

The beginning of the history of the mansion is unclear, but long and tenacious research leads to success. The first written record that proves the existence of a mansion in Bakta is from 1515. According to this record the Nyíri family gives István Ibrányi, a canon of Eger, an uninhabited mansion in Bogda manor as a dowry. There is little information about the connection between the Ibrányi family and Bakta. The following record informs us that about 70 years later, in 1593, Bakta belonged to the Báthori family. Judge royal István Báthory gave it to the Tatay family. In 1630 Ferdinand II gave it to a new owner, László Barkóczy. It is said that the ancestor of today’s Dégenfeld mansion was built by László Barkóczy around 1630, but there are no written evidences to support this theory. Moreover, the emperor’s deed of gift of 21 April 1630 proved that at that time there had already been a mansion: “…possessionibus Bakta curiaque nobilitari ibidem fundata et exstructa…” meaning: “…with the mansion founded and built in Bakta…” A part of the Barkóczy manors, including Bakta and Lórántháza, became the property of István Bethlen, a magnate in Transylvania, for a couple of months in 1633, but the previous owners soon regained them. Interestingly, in the record of 1633 Bakta mansion is mentioned as “castellum” i.e. castle, furthermore, László Baktai dated his last will form Bakta castle in1659. After examining the records it seems more likely that Barkóczy might extend his small mansion to be a castle between 1633 and 1659. In any case, László Barkóczy’s manor was inherited by his son, then his grandchild. From the 1670s the mansion had multiple owners; for example the Kölcsey and Perényi families had a part of the land and the mansion as well. In 1687 the mansion had a new part-owner, namely the Károlyi family. Sándor Károlyi and Krisztina Barkóczy were married for almost 40 years. During their marriage a lot of things happened in and with the mansion. The Rákóczi War of Independence and the Mongol invasion had a serious effect in the area. That is why the Károlyi couple initiated a thorough restoration of the mansion. At that time the owners of the mansion were their daughter Klára, and her husband, Gábor Haller. Their correspondence reveals that there was a large-scale construction between 1720 and 1724. As a result a floor was added. Bakta, for a short time, became the property of the Bárczay family after 1791. Miklós Bárczay’s daughter, Paulina got married to Pál Beck of Bököny. Bakta was a dowry. Presumably the last restoration was carried out around 1840, but unfortunately this construction remained undocumented for posterity. Until the end of World War II the Dégenfelds lived in it. During the wars of the 20th century the mansion was devastated several times, after 1945 it was nationalized, just like other castles. The good features of Bakta forest was taken advantage of, a sanatorium for pulmonary diseases was installed in the building, and various reconstructions, extensions were made.