Szántay Palace Info
|Attraction Name(s)||Location||Attraction Type||Visitation Info|
|1911 / 3-5 Horia Street, Arad, Romania||Historical Monument|
Hours Vary per Establishment
The Szántay Palace (Palatul Szántay in Romanian) is a three-story (counting the ground floor), early 20th century Secession style architectural palace located in the city of Arad, Romania. The architect of the building was the tremendously gifted and world renowned Arad native Ludovic Szántay (1872 – 1961) from whom the palace also derives its name from. Szántay was one of Arad’s chief architects of the late 19th early 20th century eras. He is credited for designing over 100 different buildings in Arad and its surrounding areas. He is recognized for developing the plans for some of Arad’s most famous and influential buildings, such as The Kohn Palace, The Red Church, The Railway Station, The Cultural Palace, The Bohuș Palace, and of course The Szántay Palace. Szántay designed The Szántay palace specifically to be the place of his dwelling. It is one of the few buildings whose development he oversaw until its completion. Construction of the palace lasted 6 years, from 1905 to 1911. Inspiration for the palace came from the architecture and designs of British museums of that time.
The palace is situated in one of Arad’s finest locations, off of Horia and Episcopiei Street, close to the city center and in the midst of many shops, hotels, and restaurants. The building has a backwards L shaped design, the vertical section of the ˩ runs along Horia Street. The horizontal part contains the building’s courtyard behind it, and runs along Episcopiei Street. The building’s daunting tower is situated on the corner where the two streets meet. The tower has a hexagon pyramid design. It was constructed with the combination of stone and sheet metal and contains a stone globe situated at the very top. The tower gives the building a truly unique and striking presence. The second story balconies that beset the tower are magnificently adorned by caryatids that are artfully sculpted to hold the foundation of the balconies above their heads with their hands. The wrought iron balcony railings are highly ornate and provide the building an added touch of elegance.
The walls around the building contain metallic and plaster sculpted, geometrical patterns, masks, flowers, volutes, and vegetable ornaments. The palace contains beautiful floral stained glass windows, as well as a wrought iron spiral staircase that extends from the ground to the top floor. The bow windows along the roof greatly define and outline the Secession style of the building. The building contains gates at different locations that provide access to its inside and to its courtyard. Some of the building’s entrances contain exquisite red marble steps.
The Szántay Palace used to house the Musical Conservatory of Arad at the initiative of Szántay. From its inception the building contained very luxurious apartments that are still occupied in present day. None of them being more significant than the one that Szántay himself lived and passed away in. After falling to a life of poverty during Romania’s communist era, Szántay was found deceased on March 8, 1961 in his attic. He is said to have died by freezing to death. Evidence was found that he burned many of his works, including, blueprints, drawings, and various other plans of his, in order to provide himself heat. It was truly a tragic death for such a prominent and influential figure. Today, along with its residences, the palace contains offices, shops, and various other commercial buildings.