A new year has begun, also for the Fortified Churches Foundation. New perspectives and an optimistic zest for action join the old challenges, which the team will meet with its usual passion. Unfortunately, the development of the Corona pandemic remains a factor of uncertainty.
The Christmas market in Hosman traditionally marks the end of the old year for the Fortified Churches Foundation. Never before have so many guests come to the event as in 2021. Together with the sponsors and partners, organizer Ruth István takes stock with satisfaction: “After the Corona break in 2020, we decided this time to hold the market under the 3-G rules, so that everyone has the opportunity to participate. The enormous popularity among the visitors is the most beautiful reward.”
The review is also positive for the Foundation’s construction team: Repair work in Laslea, Zlagna and Șmig as part of the roof program was successfully completed. Emergency interventions in Bruiu, Măgheruș and Toarcla were equally positive. New ways of preservation of monuments were taken with the volunteers of the association “European Heritage Volunteers” in Hosman and Movile. Based on this good experience, an annual cooperation with this partner organization will be sought in the future.
Projects in all Church Districts
Activities in communities in all five church districts are on the agenda for 2022: In Bruiu, the historic fruit house in the southeast of the church castle will undergo a complete roof repair starting in the spring. The storehouse building had already been inspected in preparation for these interventions in November 2019. Roof renovation is also on the agenda at the Ormeniș church building. There, an additional water drainage system is to prevent future damage to the building fabric. In Șoarș, the renovated supporting pillars are being covered. Concrete planning has already begun for the roof work in Metiș. Further measures in the roof program of the Fortified Churches Foundation are also planned in 2022 in Boz, in Hetiur and in Vingard.
The work on the Valea Lungă fortified church promises to be particularly interesting: In order to better protect the valuable coffered ceiling in the future, an attic will be built into the roof truss, which will provide additional protection against any water penetration. “In addition,” says Sebastian Bethge, representative for monument preservation at the Foundation, “this construction will be used for regular maintenance of the roof in the future. For example, it will be much easier to replace damaged or fallen tiles after a strong storm.”
Vacation in a fortified church
The foundation would like to open up a new terrain in the area of adaptive reuse. In Brădeni, Movile and Curciu, the necessary steps will be taken in 2022 to finalize an accommodation project of a special kind: Already since 2019, the Fortified Churches Foundation has been preparing to create exclusive accommodation spaces for visitors in annex buildings of the ring walls in the three communities mentioned.
In order to make the stay in the fortified churches exciting also for the youngest guests, this year the quiz booklets in Romanian language will be launched. The presentation of these informative and entertaining booklets for selected churches, which experience has shown to be frequented by a particularly large number of visitors, will take place in the fortified church of Cristian (SB).
How much the number of travelers and specialized tourists will increase this year depends, of course, primarily on the further course of the Corona pandemic. In any case, the fortified church landscape will once again show itself from its most hospitable side in 2022.
Text und Photos: Stefan Bichler