Volunteer professionals preserve Transylvanian cultural heritage

In Movile and Hosman this August and September, young professionals from different fields restored outbuildings of the fortified churches. The work stays were coordinated through the organization European Heritage Volunteers.


Young experts from the fields of architecture, art history, monument preservation, restoration and craftsmanship from all over the world participated in a work assignment at the fortified church of Hosman from September 12 to 25, 2021. As part of this action, the farm building located between the rectory and the fortified church (called the “laundry”), which is located directly on the fortification wall, was renovated from the ground up. The work on the masonry and the roof was led by the expert trainer team Christian Rummel and Sebastian Bethge (wood) and Pia Prade (stone).

After a biological survey of the selected building by the expert Ileana Chirtea, it was decided which original components had to be replaced and to what extent it was possible to continue using the historic building material. Architect Tudor Pavelescu took care of obtaining the necessary permits from the monument authority. The participants from Australia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Canada, Lithuania, Malta, Mexico and Austria had to pay for their own travel. The CEPIT association from Hosman financed the material costs. Thanks to the support of the Department for Interethnic Relations at the General Secretariat of the Romanian Government, the Democratic Forum of Germans in Transylvania was able to pay for the local transportation as well as the stay. The Fortified Churches Foundation took care of logistics, organization and placement of the team of expert trainers.


Hard-working team of European Heritage Volunteers also in Movile

In Movile, the association Churchfortress e.V. – Friends of Movile also organized a work assignment. Twelve volunteers repaired parts of the ring wall and a staircase there under the guidance of two expert trainers Ștefan Vaida and Ionuț Dobra. The Fortified Churches Foundation has taken care of the permits.

The European Heritage Volunteers organization has been involved in heritage volunteering for over twenty years. Its aim is to build links between the heritage and volunteering sectors by continuously working to promote a deeper understanding of heritage and volunteering among those working in both fields, and by linking the two through practical projects and educational activities. Volunteers come not only from Europe, but from all over the world. The headquarters of the association is in Germany, in Weimar.

Ruth István, expert tourism officer of the Fortified Churches Foundation is enthusiastic about the two work assignments: “It was our first cooperation with European Heritage Volunteers, although we have been closely following the activities of this association in other places for quite some time. The decision to invite these young professionals to Hosman and Movile turned out to be absolutely right. I am already looking forward to further joint projects!”

Photos: Maria Teresa Tenaglia, Peter Cersowsky, churchfortress e.V., Stefan Bichler