Fortified Churches in Romania

“Fortified Churches in Romania – a photo exhibition‟ has its opening on Friday, November 10, 2023, from 16:00 hrs., at the Romanian Cultural Institute in Stockholm headquarters, in the presence of H.E. Mr. Daniel Ioniță, Ambassador of Romania to the Kingdom of Sweden. The event will be attended by Philipp Harfmann, curator of the exhibition and executive director of the Fortified Churches Foundation, Luitgard Löw, director of Västergötland’s Museum, Robin Gullbrandsson, archivist at Västergötland’s Museum in Skara (Sweden). The exhibition, available in English and French, is organized by the RCI Stockholm in partnership with the Fortified Churches Foundation, Västergötland’s museum and the Embassy of Romania in the Kingdom of Sweden.

“Fortified Churches in Romania – a photo exhibition” will feature, at the RCI gallery, more than 25 two-meter-high roll-up banners, with colorful panels. They will illustrate the mythical landscape of Transylvania, region of Romania, the land where numerous ethnic groups have coexisted over time, as well as the land with the highest concentration of medieval churches in Europe. In the present, there are about 150 fortified churches in rural areas of Transylvania, seven of which were designated as world heritage sites by UNESCO in 1993.

“Fortified Churches” includes a Scandinavian section, set up in collaboration with Västergötland’s Museum. In order to highlight this parallel to the Scandinavian space, RCI Stockholm will host on November 20, 2023, from 18:00 hrs, a public lecture that will be delivered by researcher Robin Gullbrandsson, entitled “Fortress of Faith – Fortified churches in Transylvania and Scandinavia”. Robin Gullbrandsson, archivist at Västergötland’s Museum in Skara, will speak about the common cultural heritage of fortified churches in the two geographical spaces, as well as about their testimony which highlights, in the European history, the long multi-ethnic tradition in these lands. The researcher, who had numerous collaborations with initiatives for the conservation of fortified churches in Transylvania, published many articles on their cultural heritage and organized photo exhibitions on this theme at Västergötland’s Museum. Robin Gullbrandsson also organized the Studium Transylvanicum summer school, a research initiative of the Siebenbürgen Institut associated with the University of Heidelberg University focused on Transylvanian art and history.

A series of panels with photos of some fortified churches in Romania will be displayed outdoor on the fence of the Embassy of Romania in the Kingdom of Sweden.

“Fortified Churches in Romania – a photo exhibition” will be available to the public until 8 December 2023 inside the gallery of RCI Stockholm and outdoor the Embassy of Romania in the Kingdom of Sweden.

Text: Simona Chitan