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About the mansion-house

About the mansion-house

The last owner Count István Géza Majláth ordered the mansion-house to be built. Those who arrive from Csitár drive past a long, old stable standing on the left at first. On the right in the huge park you can see the neo- Renaissance style storied mansion-house. Géza Majláth ordered it to be built and architect József Hubert designed it. After the Second World War the nationalized mansion-house was utilised as a pioneer resort and from 1960 it was a Sanatorium for Consumptives.

Most buildings belonging to the one-time manorial centre can be seen today too: opposite the mansion-house there is the bailiff (chief-steward’s house) and near the bend of the main road stands the house of the steward.

There stand the servants’ quarters, the stables and the machine-shops too. The school built in 1900 (nowadays it is the store house of the Palóc Museum) is situated between two blocks of servants’ quarters.
The Count used to travel a lot in the world, he was an experienced traveller, he collected many things and he was predisposed to the beauty.

Beside his demanding mansion-house he established modern farm-buildings among the then circumstances. He converted the surroundings of the mansion-house into a park with having great pretensions, and he chose the species of trees to be settled with competence. He brought from his journeys not only artefacts but plants, young plantations and shrubs as well. He tried to realise his experiences acquired in the world. He used plans when worked on the plantations of the trees or established the walking paths of the park. The stock of plants is rich nowadays too, though during the past few decades species of trees not fitting there were planted unfortunately. The inexperienced good-hearted park landscaping was rather harmful to the environment. The existing trees in the park like Pterocarya fraxinifolia, Picea orientalis, Corylus colurna, maple, oak, Australian pine, Sophora japonica and Robinia pseudoacacia.

Among the lately planted species of trees the more important ones are mountain ash, magnolia and tulip-tree, which can be seen at the entrance.

It was operated until September in 2006 by the Nógrád County Authority as a TB Sanatorium with 60 active and 40 chronic beds.
During the establishment of the new health stucture in the county the institution was functionally consolidated with the Albert Kenessey Hospital in Balassagyarmat and the County Authority decided to sale the building.

The new owner is one of the ventures of FŐNIX-MED Close Corporation, Gárdony Projekt Ltd., which has the intention of keeping it in operation as a public health institution.

About Majláth family

Count György Majláth (III.)

He was the Main Royal Treasurer then later the Hungarian Court Chancellor, Judge of the Royal Court, Lord of the Supreme Court and the Upper House and he got the Grand Cross of St. Stephen’s order. He was the parliamentary delegate of Baranya County and after the witenagemote in 1839-1840 he was elected the first deputy-lieutenant in Baranya County. After this witenagemote he was appointed the administrator of Baranya County, which job was very unpopular at that time and he only accepted it for the sake of his political comrade, Count György Apponyi Court Chancellor. He tried to stay away from that work and during that period he went on a study-tour in the western countries of Europe. In 1847 he appeared at the witenagemote as the appointed Lord Lieutenant in Baranya County but he struggled without success together with Széchenyi against Kossuth.
He retired from the storms of the 1848-49 war for independence to his private life and during the absolutism he dealt with his own economic business, he studied and he was for the public assosiations. But he belonged to those who resisted all temptations of the then absolute government and they didn’t exercise a function.

In 1861, after some reluctance he accepted the invitation to the confirmed imperial council in Vienna but merely in order to take firm steps to protect the rights of his country together with his brave and independent conservative partners (Count Emil Dessewffy, Baron Pál Sennyey, Count János Barkóczy) and to form opposition against the Vienna tendencies.

In 1865 he became the head of the Government as The Lord High Chancellor and he was efficient in the matter of solving the Hungarian questions before the coronation and the complete restitution of the Constitution. The Compromise of 1867 conducted to establishing a new Government as a consequence of which Majláth substituted the role of the leading statesman for the judge of the royal court and the chair of the Lord of the Upper House.

Because of his high education and devotion to science he felt attracted to the enjoyment of science and literature. He often attended the sessions of Academy and Kisfaludy-society. He was proud of being not only the director but an honorary member entitled to vote as well.

In 1893 he became the victim of murderers. He was attacked at night at his own place, in the Batthyány-type house in Buda Castle by rovers. He wanted to defend himself, but in vain. He was choked. His own hussar let his attackers in the house.

Count István Géza Majláth

He was born on the 14th of January in 1860 in Pécs. He was the third son of György Majláth, the judge of the royal court. He had continued his studies until he was 14 in Buda and in 1874 he joined the Naval Academy in Fiume. After graduating from the Academy in 1878 he truly entered into service as a cadet. He belonged to the naval forces for 16 years and during that period he travelled nearly all over the world by different battleships.

In 1882 he took part in Krivosce (Dalmatia) military expedition serving on the Albrecht armoured casemate ship. In 1889 he was on service on the Saida corvette and so he travelled round Africa. From 1890 to 1891, after leaving the naval forces, he went on a private study-tour around the world, he made a tour in India and in the lower parts of South-East India, he went to Java Island, China and Japan, Sandwich Islands, North America and later he travelled home through England, Holland and France. He delivered lectures in Hungarian geographical societies about the voyage, mainly about his adventures acquired in Japan.

He served on Duna monitors for some years and in 1893 he became the commander of the newly armed Szamos monitor.
In 1894 he married Countess Marietta Zichy, Count Nándor Zichy’s daughter. He substituted his naval career for farming and ever since then he managed his estates in Nógrád County on his own.
He was a catholic autonomic representative in Nógrád district of Esztergom Archdiocese. From 1894 he was the member of the Upper House. He was elected a representative by an independent programme in Szécsény district on the occasion of general elections in 1905. In the September of this very same year he joined people’s party.

On the occasion of general elections in 1906 he was elected again by the majority of 945 votes in Szécsény district with people’ party programmes.
In addition he was the member of the armed forces and Queen Elisabeth’s sculpture comittee.

He assumed the lord-lieutenancy in Nógrád County in 1917 and he only finished his public works because of the outbreak of revolution whenceforth he retired from politics and until his death in 1933 he didn’t come back to public life.

About Nógrádgárdony

In the Middle Ages Gárdony puszta appeared as an independent community in the conscriptions. According to the resources it had a church too. It lost its population and became a puszta during the Turkish occupation of Hungary. The consecutive landowners started cultivating the huge fields of the puszta between the end of the 18th century and in the first half of the 19th century. Count István Géza Mailáth made it a well-equipped domanial centre, who got round to Gárdony puszta by marriage in 1894. The name of the puszta was Gárdony (Gárdon in the Middle Ages) until 1912, between 1912 and 1956 it was Mailáthgárdony, and from 1956 Nógrádgárdony. There were not more than 20-25 families living in Gárdony according to the yearly birth rates in the 18th century.

In 1880 Nándor Zichy (his wife is Lívia Zichy) purchased the estate fitted with all means of production at that time. Just in one and a half decade Gárdony puszta got a new owner. István Géza Mailáth Count Székhelyi married Nándor Zichy’s daughter, Marietta in 1894. Géza Mailáth had the one-storied castle – designed by Miklós Ybl for the Torkos family - partly destroyed and reconstructed and then had a two-storied neo-Renaissance style house built in its place designed by József Hubert.
He extended the estate with new sevants’ quarters, purchased more modern farm utensils and supplied the houses in the puszta with generator current.
It is possible on the information available to say that Géza Mailáth did not take a developed farm from his ancestors. In 1853 in Gárdony puszta Mihály Torkos employed a young bailiff who was born in Eger. He directed the everyday work. According to the registers preserved at the parish in Marcali they didn’t have the lack of labour either.
Between 1870 and 1880 there were more than fifty breadwinners working in Gárdony estate. Among them there were 30 farm hands, 15 coachmen and 4 haywards. Because of the fragmentation of the ancient demesne there were people from Csitár in the list of servants. Most people became domestic servants from Csikány, Sebők and Pénzes families. Most of the employees moved to the puszta from Rimóc, Varsány, Sipek and Kelecsény. There were people who named Csalomia, Csesztve, Herencsény, Bercel and Alsósztregova as their previous residences.

After the Second World War some parts of the lost estates were distributed among the poorer families in the puszta and then later the farmers’ cooperative - established in 1950 - became the owner of the puszta.

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