Two eventful and successful workshop weeks ended on Friday – happy participants and trainers, as well as some vivid results and a lot of learned handicraft techniques were the result of the project HANDS ON CONSERVATION.

Group Picture - Module I

The workshop, consisting of two modules (1st module: carpentry / 2nd module: masonry) was held in Daia. The aim was to restore parts of the fortified church complex with traditional techniques and in accordance with historical monuments, thus ensuring long-term preservation. The traditional method of working with local and true-to-nature building materials and the use of sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions, which has been tried and tested over centuries, is regarded as a guideline for the repair concept.

The first module of the carpenters’ work aimed at repairing a shed on the northern ring wall of the fortified church. Due to the weather, the shed collapsed unexpectedly a few days before the workshop began, so that reconstruction became the main task. The following areas of carpentry were dealt with in theoretical and practical units:

  •     Inventory, determination of causes and damage
  •     Understanding the individual wood elements
  •     Partial dismantling and debris removal
  •     Setting up a construction site, safety rules
  •     Learning repair techniques on wood joints of different types of wood (spruce, oak), e.g. dovetail joint, leafing, etc.
  •     Understanding the relationship of forces in historical wooden constructions
  •     Learning roofing techniques and battens


For the participants of the masonry module, a section of the northern circular wall as well as small selective work on the fruit house were on the program as practical objects:

  •     Inventory, understanding of the individual elements
  •     Determination of the need for repair
  •     material science, handicraft techniques
  •     Setting up a construction site, safety rules
  •     Joint cleaning, lime mortar jointing, natural stone supplements
  •     Repair and completion of a brick wall
  •     Repair of an old and construction of a new natural stone wall


Trainers of both modules were Christian Rummel, carpenter and joiner from Richiș, operator of his company Siebenbürgen Restaurierungen and Sebastian Bethge, carpenter from Apold, representative for monument preservation of the Fortified Churches Foundation.

Thanks to the generous support of various partners

the Fortified Churches Foundation was able to provide the participants with accommodation, transport and work equipment (material and tools) and keep the participation fee low.

A highlight of the workshop weeks on the penultimate day was the visit of the US Ambassador in Bucharest, Hans Klemm, who visited Daia for the second time and was visibly impressed by the work of the course group. An interview can be seen here.

Despite the many diligent and inquisitive students, the collapsed barn could not be put back up by the last day of the course. Without hesitation, however, the group decided to meet again at the end of August to conclude the work started together. A great team with a desire for more – and surely many of them will be back next year.

Group Picture - Module II

The team of the Fortified Churches Foundation thanks all supporters, involved helpers and of course the course participants for their good work and the great workshop!