August 1st, Switzerland’s National Day. With this in mind, let us tell you some peculiarities of Zabola’s connection to Switzerland.
Geographically there are thousands of kilometers between the two locations nevertheless this distance was not enough to keep Sophie Moser (1839-1921) the daughter of swiss industrial pioneer Heinrich Moser (1805-1874) from count Benedek Mikes apart.
Heinrich Moser was a very open-minded man quickly identifying the business opportunity Russia meant for the family trade of watch making at the beginning of the 19th century. Thus, in 1828 he founded a pocket watch factory in St. Petersburg. Later his electricity developments helped to establish many companies in the Schaffhausen region still existing today.
The daughter of Heinrich Moser, Sophie had quite a role in the development of Zabola Estate. Together with count Benedek Mikes they decided to enlarge the old manor with a mansard level. The coat of arms of both families (Mikes and Moser) placed there in 1867 can still be found on façade of the refurbished building. By pure luck the stone engravings survived Communism covered with a red star which was removed in the early 1990s and the old family crest reappeared.
The H. Moser & Cie luxury watch maker company, reestablished in 2002, revived the family legacy and it has its manufacturing plant in Schaffhausen the cradle of the Moser family. The old manor serves as a family museum with a few hunting trophies from Zabola.
Another Swiss connection is one of the buildings of Zabola Estate. We don’t know if it was a homage to the mother-in-law or not ?, that made the wife of count Ármin Mikes, countess Klementina Bethlen or simply the interest for alpine architecture. She was the one who bought the Swiss Villa from the Prater, Vienna (originally part of the Swiss pavilion on the Exposition Universelle of 1900). The building is still part of the Estate and serves as a family home.
Zabola and its Swiss memories wish all the best to Switzerland on its National Day!