Church of Hetiur near Sighișoara to be rescued

The dean of the district of Sighișoara, Dr. Bruno Fröhlich, the building and monument preservation experts of the Fortified Churches Foundation, Ecaterina Gál and Sebastian Bethge, as well as Mr. Alfred Back from the district consistory and Mr. Géza Jakabffy from the contracted construction company Novus Star from Cristuru Secuiesc (Szeklerkreuz / Székelykeresztúr), who are also responsible for the work on the monastery church of Sighișoara, met on 14 July 2021 in almost tropical heat for the formal opening of the construction site at the Protestant church of Hetiur.

Visitors travelling through the fortified church landscape from the north – for example coming from Târgu Mureș – are familiar with the small church in Hetiur due to its prominent location next to the national road. It is the first Transylvanian-Saxon church building on this route with a classical fortified tower. Today’s church dates back to a hall church from the 15th century. Services in the very small congregation, led by the titular parish priest Johannes Halmen, have become rare, and the ravages of time have visibly gnawed at the building. – Now, however, important safety measures are to save the architectural monument.

The particular challenge in Hetiur is a shifting of parts of the church roof that has occurred over time due to structural problems. The whole complex is in a general state of degradation due to lack of maintenance and rainwater infiltration. The church was tilted due to the subsidence of the earth, being inclined to the north-west.

Marienburg / Hetiur

As the organ in Hetiur – a late baroque Samuel Binder organ from 1850 – is placed above the altar, the bellows are located at the roof truss, which also requires special consideration during the roof works.

The approximately 15,000 euros that are to be used for the roof repair work come from funds from the BKM budget of the Fortified Churches Foundation. The work, which will take about two to three months, should be completed by autumn 2021.