October 2017

Miklós Bánffy, in any age or place other than his own, would have been acclaimed as an international statesman, artist, writer, publisher and enlightened landowner. He was, however, a Transylvanian Hungarian and an aristocrat, therefore a double enemy of the State in post-war, Communist, Hungary and Romania.

He wrote his great trilogy, The Writing on the Wall, in the 1930s, and it tells of life in Transylvania in the crucial years from 1904-1914. This has been described as worthy of comparison with Tolstoy and Lampedusa. His memoirs, The Phoenix Land, are a ‘must read’ for anyone interested in European history. The Hungary he believed in was dismembered in 1919 and Transylvania passed to the new Kingdom of Romania. He is, today, virtually unknown in Romania and was only translated into English by his daughter in 1990.

This 6-day tour sets the scene - beginning in Budapest, visiting places where Bánffy’s influence was important in pre-communist times; the Houses of Parliament, The Opera where he designed stage sets, the Coronation church where he set the scene for the crowning of the last Habsburg Emperor in 1916. We will also have a curated tour of the fine art gallery and make several private visits. We then fly to Cluj Napoca in Transylvania and enjoy the mix of peoples who informed his writing. From Gothic Protestant churches, art deco buildings, an exquisite library, fortified churches and large country houses, we will try and understand the landscape which changed so much with the arrival of communism.

Cost per person TBC, single room supplement TBC

The price includes best available hotels in Budapest and Cluj, transport during the tour by private coach and transfer flights, entries to museums, etc, all meals, tips, taxes and local guides. Not included are airfares to join the tour, personal expenses and drinks.

Email Lucy to register your interest.