The L'Huillier-Coburg Palace in Edelény is the seventh largest palace in Hungary. This prominent example of early-baroque architecture was built between 1716 and 1730 by Jean-Francois L'Huillier who originated from France, Alsace-Lorraine. In 1727 L'Huillier became full owner of the palace with the king's consent.
The construction of the palace needed a well-organized logistics as the woods were carried from more than 20 km. Stones were from the local quarry which were used to the walls and the foundation. There were also limestone and sand hereabout. Sometimes eighteen bricklayers worked with their servants at one time. Works which didn't need skills were done by day-laborers and serfs.
After L'Huillier died, his wife Marie-Madeleine de Saint-Croix had finished the construction by 1730. The researchers have not been able to ascertain yet who was the designer of this unique palace.
The most significant changes on the palace, which still exist, were made by the granddaughter of Jean-Francois L'Huillier, Ludmilla and her second husband István Eszterházy. The couple entrusted Ferenc Lieb with the painting of six rooms. The largest rococo frescos in Hungary were completed in 1770.
After Ludmilla's death the palace was inherited by his son Ferenc Dessewffy who didn't place any changes on the palace. As he had no heir, the palace became the property of the Royal Chamber in 1820.
The next owner of the palace was Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, lieutenant-general in Austro-Hungarian armed forces, who bought the complex and made an entail from it. The Coburgs acquired the palace because of economic reasons which resulted in the recovery of the area. Before 1845 one of the first sugar factories was established in Edelény, and they also maintained high-level agricultural activities on their lands.
However, as the palace had not been used for baronial residency since 1820, the building started to decay. Renovation became necessary, which was performed by the plans of Rezső Vilmos Ray between 1910 and 1913. In the course of the recovery, several parts of the building were reconstructed, neo-baroque supplements were put onto the palace and a manzard roof was also built on the middle of the building.
In 1912 the Coburg family rented some parts of the building to the Bódvavalley Mining Company, then the palace was finally come to the possession of the state since the Ministry of Justice bought it in 1928.
After 1928 further reconstructions were accomplished. Downstairs prison was created and lodgings for the jailers. The district court also located in the palace as well as the gendarme barrack, the flat of the Member of Parliament in Edelény and other lodgings.
The World War II. brought a new situation again in the life of the palace as in 1945 the soviets moved into the building. Since that time the ruination of the palace started as the building was not used properly. For instance a room decorated with substantial frescos was used as a henhouse. By the middle of the 1980s the decline of the palace speeded up. The regular and serious flooding damaged or totally destroyed most of the frescos.
The maintenance of the palace was taken over by The National Trust of Monuments for Hungary in 2001 and this date means the beginning of the recovery of the palace. The development plans is being fulfilled in two phases. According to the plans the external appearance of the palace and most of its inner places have been renovated.References:
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.
Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.
In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.
The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.
In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.
After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.
In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.
Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.
In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.
In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.