Heltai House

Heltai House

Heltai House (also called Bocskai House) located inside the old city of Cluj, on no. 4 Matthias Corvinus Street, belonged to the author, publisher and printer Kaspar Helth (Hungarian: Gaspar Heltai) of Saxon origin. Heltai Gaspar was a scholar who contributed to the cultural development of the city. He studied at Wittenberg, Germany and founded the first printing press in the city, public bath, mill – paper mill and the first brewery in the city. He was at the same time a priest, translator, printer, editor, writer and businessman.

casa heltai prima tipografie

He is considered to be the first religious reformer in Cluj. From his name comes the beginning of the popularization of the figure of King Matthias Corvinus.

The first printing house in Cluj, in Casa Heltai

The building, called the Printing House, was built in the XV-th century by the Eppel family. In 1544, the young Gaspar Heltai became the owner of the property, aged 24 years. In 1550, inside the house, Gaspar Heltai arranged the first printing house in Cluj, who had taken over the most important printing press in Transylvania.

In this house, seeing the light of day, on January 1, 1557, Stephen (István) Bocskai, one of the greatest princes of Transylvania, and the only prince born in Cluj, was born in this house. Today, in one of the rooms of the house, one can admire Stephen Bocskai‘s coat of arms, made in 1606.

Over time, the building belonged to several patricians, then the Teleki and Bethlen families. Under building was discovered a passageway with a height of 1 meter and a length of 3-4 meters, which is said to have served as refuge.

Between 1870-1890, the town became the seat of the postal service. Since 2009, it became the headquarters of the Transylvanian Hungarian Sapientia University, the university founded in 2000.