Interview with Mr. Kurt Neuschitzer, CEO, Attorney of Law, Business Administrator Zamora Estate (Cantacuzino Castle).
When did you become the owner of Cantacuzino Palace and under what circumstances?
We bought the Castle and the approximately 1,000 ha of land on the 13th of August 2008 with the intention to develop here a world standard leading GOLF, SKI and HOLIDAY RESORT – the green village project. This will include a CENTER PARK, which is a kids playground paradise for short term Family Holidays in the Nature.
When was born the project of the Cantacuzino Palace Ensemble and what are the provided services?
We opened the Castle in 2010 to the public and the CANTA CUISINE RESTAURANT in December 2012. The terrace in front of the Castle was finalized 2013. Already after two years we received the certificate of excellence from Trip Advisor as best Restaurant in the whole region.
Cantacuzino Palace is hosting a far-reaching “Welcome into My Brain” exhibition signed by Salvador Dali. “Classic Nights” is following at the end of October. If you would like to give more details about these events and if there are other upcoming ones by the end of this year.
It is our intention to renovate the Castle with the help of European Funds and to preserve and develop it as the Cultural Centre of our GOLF, SKI and HOLIDAY RESORT – the green village project.
The Castle will host any kind of ART events, like exhibitions, music and film festivals, fashion activities together with the University of fine Arts etc. Currently we have launched the already successful PRAHOVA CLASSIC NIGHTS Opera Events in its second year, where my wife Margarita Mamsirova is inviting colleagues of her from the BOLSHOI THEATER in Moscow to perform here in Busteni together with well know Romanian Musicians. The program for the entire 2015/2016 Edition is completed, and on the last weekend we had e.g. the Ambassador of China H.E. Mr. Xu Feihong, the Ambassador of Germany H.E. Werner Hans Lauk and the Ambassador of Russia H.E. Mr. Oleg S. Malginov among our guests, as well as e.g. a the famous Romanian Actor and Author Ms. Laura Cosoi, our friend the composer, studio and label owner Mr. Ovidiu Baciu and Mr. Arnold Klingeis, the Mayor of Avrig who is also the owner of the Brukenthal Castle and his family runs the well know Ice Hotel at Balea Lac.
For the next year we are also planning Open Air Concerts with famous Romanian bands such as Holograf and Iris etc.
Our ART EXHIBITION program started this summer with the SALVADOR DALI Exhibition, and we had more than 52,000 visitors in the Castle within the 2,5 months, out of which more then 27,000 had visited the DALI Exhibition. The ART EXHIBITION program 2015/2016 will bring beside other the following:
- Romania Contemporary Arts, The Colours of Life (24th of October 2015 – 6th of December 2015)
- PABLO PICASSO Que Viva Picasso-The Genius of the 20th Century (from the 11th December 2015 – 06th of March 2016)
- The World of Fashion, in Cooperation University of fine Arts (from 14th of March 2016 – 17th of April 2016)
- MARC CHAGALL – from 24th of April 2016 – 26th of June 2016
- VINCENT VAN GOGH- shown first time in Romania (from 02th of July 2016 – 02th of October 2016)
- CONTEMPORARY ARTS FROM AUSTRIA (from 22th of October 2016 – 04nd of December 2016)
- TREASURES OF BYZANTINE ART – The Mosaics of Ravenna (from the 09 th of December 2016 – 05th of March 2017)
What would you say to a foreign tourist in order to convince him/her to come visit the Palace and enjoy the surroundings?
The PRAHOVA VALLEY with the Bucegi Mountains belongs to one of the nicest tourism areas in Romania and, besides other, offers to its visitors Mountain and Ice Climbing, Ski Slopes, Tracking and Mountain Bike routs etc., but it generally lacks the state of the art competitive attractions for tourist which could be found in Austria, Italy and e.g. France and Germany. Especially cluster Holiday resorts are missing, where the tourist can enjoy the mountain area on international top-level entertainment.
The reasons to visit the area and the Castle are of course the outstanding Nature and the aristocratic atmosphere of the Castle which was built 1911 in neo-Romanian style, and is surrounded by a park who’s alleys take you to the grotto, cascades and fountains. The Reception Hall shows a unique collection of heraldry in Romania. And of course the outstanding French style CANTA CUISINE Restaurant with its chef Romica Harabagiu who completed his gastronomic experience among other countries in Australia, Japan, China and worked more then seven years near Marseille, France.
Last, but not least, there also the high-class events we are offering in the castle for the tourists.
What is the ratio of foreign/ Romanian tourists visiting the castle in the past year?
We guess we have more than 30% foreign guests from all over the world.
As a German businessman in our country, what do you think the Romanian business environment would need to be more competitive and more profitable for your investment here and for foreign investors in general?
A long term reliable Investment Law including investment protection;
A clear, transparent and trustful tax law and policy;
Ministers and state employees sharing long-term visions;
Working groups, supporting Major Developments in the Country;
Cantacuzino Castle is situated on Zamora Street in Busteni mountain resort, Prahova Valley. The building, whose construction was completed in 1911, was conducted by the architect Gregory Cerchez at the request of Prince George Grigore Cantacuzino. The total surface of the estate is over 3,000 square meters. The castle belonged to the Cantacuzino famil until the forced nationalization of 1948, when it became a sanatorium for the Ministry of Internal Affair. During the communist period, the original furniture was removed and a part of the interior walls were painted over. After 1989, the castle was returned to Cantacuzino descendants who sold it to some other private investors.