Benedek Elek Memorial House


Bățanii Mici 527017, Romania


Bățanii Mici is situated in the northeastern part of Erdővidék, between Bățanii Mari and Herculian. The name of this village is intertwined with the name of the great Hungarian writer and educator, Elek Benedek. His house was built in 1896, in Classicistic style. On the tympanum of the manor house’s veranda with columns you can read the MARI name, which is dedicated to Mária Fischer, the wife of Elek Benedek.

The idea of creating an Elek Benedek Memorial House was first suggested by the writer Edgár Balogh and Lajos Sylvester, president of the cultural committee of the county. This idea was also supported by Károly Király, party secretary of the county, and the descendants in Bățanii Mici, Mrs. Flóra (daughter of Elek Benedek), Júlia Bardócz and Dezső Bardócz.

The Memorial House was inaugurated on 25 May 1969, which was also the 110th anniversary of the writer’s birth and 40th anniversary of his death. 

The building has eight rooms and the exhibition is presented in two of these rooms. The exhibition placed in the large dining room and in the lateral room opening from the dining room was set up by employees of the Szekler National Museum, mainly presenting the materials collected by Mrs. Flóra. The old family pictures, letters and manuscripts are exhibited in the dining room. This is where the one hundred years old tale books and the children magazine collections, like Cimbora (“Friend”), Az Én Újságom (“My Magazine”), Jó Pajtás (“Good Fellow”) are found. The ceiling of the large room is decorated with the beautiful chandelier carved by the wood carver folk artist of Vargyas, Ferenc Máthé. Here we can see the old objects of everyday usage and furniture, beautiful embroideries, many memorial wreaths and memorial books, the woodcuts of László Imets and Bálint Kósa, paintings and tale books that were published in the recent years.

The books translated into different languages are exhibited in this room, as well as the theses and dissertations about the life and work of Elek Benedek.
In the smaller room on the right side, we find the work room of Elek Benedek, with his original desk, and with all the objects that were there in his time: pen, seal, silver sugar bowl and the last unfinished letter. On the wall behind the desk, we can see the painting of Mór Karvaly that depicts Elek Benedek, and to the right you can see the certificate of the Hungarian Heritage Award given in 2009.  
The maintainer of the Memorial House has been the Szekler National Museum since the foundation and for decades, the intellectual and physical legacy has always been taken care by the descendants of the writer.

In 1999 the relationship between the Szekler National Museum and the Memorial House terminated and it turned into a private museum.

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