Wesselenyi Residence at Jibou (Salaj county)

Located on the grounds of the modern "Vasile Fati" Botanical Garden in Jibou, the history of the Wesselenyi residence can be traced to the early 18th century, when Hungarian noble Istvan Wesselenyi acquired the property and initiated a major rebuilding and expansion of a pre-existing building. The residence was significantly modified or restored on three occasions between the mid 18th and early 19th century by members of the same family. The primary phase of building the structure visible today occurred between 1779 and 1796 in the content of the marriage between Miklos Wesselenyi and Helena Cserei. By this time, the gardens surrounding the residence were already well-established. Many of the artistic refinements of the grounds and building were accomplished by the Hungarian sculptor, Franz Wrabetz.

The manor house was approached from the south, into a large courtyard with the residential building ahead. The architectural style is central European Baroque. Certain elements are neo-classical, such as the symmetry, the rhythm of the windows, and faux pillars with Corinthian capitals. The building has a somewhat heavy central European Baroque appearance with steep roofs that are mostly tiled with tin-paneling at the ends at at the center. on the left and right sides of the courtyard are identical structures with facades in the style of a greco-roman temple and a large block in the same style as the residential unit behind. Along the right side of the courtyard is a series of adjacent buildings that served primarily utilitarian functions. These were added in the 19th century.

The central block of the residence has a heavy, low vault at the center with a simple door to the left and window to the right. Three doors within the vault lead left and right through the ground floor and up a set of stairs to the main residential floor. There is a balcony above the arch, which extends from a grand reception room on the main floor, and five windows. The windows are arched and are separated by Corinthian pillars; there is a simple wave pattern above each of the windows and a keystone at the center. The balcony is supported by two Corintian columns and three stone brackets with scrolled ends. The living quarters, studios, and smaller reception chambers are in the wings to the left and right of the reception room. The main floor windows on the wings to the left and right of the central block are rectangular with a simple box motif below. The lower level windows are rectangular with a low arch at the top. Behind the residential building, to the north, were the gardens (now Botanical gardens of Jibou). A loggia permitted a magnificent view.

 

Wesselenyi residence - detail of annex buildingWesselenyi residence - rear of residential building from gardensWesselenyi residence - rear of residential building from gardensWesselenyi residence - east wing of residential building, from north