Summer Residence Samuel von Brukenthal

The Site

The summer residence Samuel von Brukenthal in Avrig, Romania entails a barqoue palais which is surrounded by a late baroque garden including elements of the English landscape garden. In former times the garden did not only serve for personal enjoyment, but also comprised a manor farm. The formal baroque garden symbolizes hierarchy and despotism whereas the naturally styled English landscape garden can be seen as a metaphor for the age of the Enlightenment. At that time the English landscape garden also became a symbol for the new political and philosophical stream. 

The summer residence, a cultural and historical treasure with a size of 16 ha, is currently the only baroque park of Romania and is a protected landmark. The famous gardens of Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna served as a model for the Brukenthal estate and 200 years ago the summer residence was famous for its rich horticultural aspect even beyond the borders of Transylvania. At that time the estate was known as "Gesundbrunnen", meaning “source for health”, and the "Transylvanian Eden". Due to its uniqueness and thanks to Brukenthal’s European awareness raising the residence is also today of national and international importance.

Project Outcome

The summer residence should be conserved as a site and its importance should be emphasized in a European wide context. On the basis of a comprehensive tourism development concept the summer residence will furthermore be developed into a cultural event centre and into an attractive tourism destination. For this purpose also feasibility studies for the palace and the park will be done.

The Region

The summer residence of Samuel von Brukenthal is situated in Avrig, in the region of Transylvania which has an eventful story to tell. After the Hungarians took over the region in the 11th century, Hungarian kings started to colonialize the sparsely populated land with German settlers, the so called “Siebenbürger Sachsen”. The settlers obtained special rights which enabled them to almost full autonomy, which was seldom at that time. 1541 Transylvania became a principality of Turkey. Yet 120 years later, with the victory of the Habsburg monarchy over Turkey, Transylvania became part of the Austrian Monarchy. 

Again, Tansylvania could remain a principality with the main seat of the governorate being in Sibiu. One of the first governors of this governorate was Samuel von Brukenthal (1721-1803) who can be seen as one of the most important personalities of the Siebenbürgen Sachsen. He studied history, philosophy and theology in Halle and Jena in Germany and was furthermore a passionate art, book, coin and mineral collector. He left his legacy to the population of the Siebenbürgen Sachsen and ordered that his palace in Sibiu as well as his numerous collections are accessible for everyone. This fact led to the development of the first and oldest museum in South East Europe, which is today of international importance.

Besides his city palace in Sibiu, he owned further estates, such as the summer residence in Avrig.



Summer Residence