Highlighting the cultural and natural heritage

This field includes projects for the restoration of civil heritage, household annexes and religious heritage, environmental projects (planting trees on degraded land, ecological awareness, greening actions) and projects for the reconversion of civil heritage.

Civil heritage

When we stop breathing, the human body perishes.

It’s the same with a house. When the walls of a building cannot breathe, they begin to capture in moisture and the plaster falls. The house cracks, gets mouldy, smells unpleasant, becomes cold, unwelcome, lifeless.

Therefore, the most suitable materials for repairing or restoring an old house are the traditional ones, used extremely intelligently for hundreds of years by the people living in the Transylvanian area: stone, handmade bricks, yellow clay, sand, slaked lime prepared for at least 6 Months beforehand, pine and oak wood.

Traditional houses and households have a remarkable historical and cultural worth and give architectural value to the whole village and its cultural landscape. Their facades bestow harmony to the streets and are a source of pride for the locals. The character of a historic building is given, largely by the finishes and decorative elements of the facade, the main components visible from the street. The facades must be plastered with lime mortar, the ornaments must be preserved, as well as the sizes of the buildings. For the restoration of the facades, it is necessary to use colours appropriate to the traditional architectural style. It is best to use materials similar to the ones which were utilized for the construction of the original building even if it was erected 100 or 200 years ago. A traditionally rehabilitated facade means a breathable building, a protected masonry with a longer life, a higher value of the house and, of course, a harmonious landscape of the village. The people of Viscri remark: “Properly repaired houses look like a string of beautiful beads.”

Religious heritage

Even since its establishment in Romania, the MET Foundation has been involved in the conservation and protection of fortified churches in the villages of Transylvania. The actions in this field started in 2000 with emergency intervention works at the fortress in the village of Cloașterf, without receiving a suggestion in this regard from the community. Through the restoration works carried out by the local craftsmen who participated in the training courses, the village community got closer to this religious heritage for which, before, they did not feel that it belonged to them. Restoration projects of the Orthodox religious heritage began in 2002 and are always at the suggestion of the priest and with the consent of the community, because the Orthodox priest and the teacher in the traditional village are the most respected people in the community.

The first projects in this field that were proposed by the community of a village were in Viscri in 2002, and then in Mălâncrav in 2004.

In addition to the evangelical and orthodox religious heritage, MET facilitated interventions for various buildings belonging to other denominations: we mention here the Catholic, Greek-Catholic, Roman-Catholic or Jewish heritage. Several such buildings had been abandoned, were about to collapse, and would have disappeared without such intervention. One of the challenges that communities face in trying to protect their heritage is that its members come from a different cultural background and their financial possibilities are limited.

Among the most important projects for the restoration of religious heritage are:

1. The fortified church of Viscri

2. The Orthodox Church of Viscri

3. The Evangelical parish house of Viscri

4. The Orthodox parish house of Viscri

5. The complete reconstruction of a tower from the fortified church Bunești

6. Repairs of the walls and towers of the fortification

7. Restoration of two towers at the fortified church in Meșendorf

8. Repairs to the Evangelical parish house Meșendorf

9. Repairs to the Orthodox parish house Meșendorf

10. Repairs to the Criț Orthodox Parish House

11. Repairs to all the towers of the fortified church in Cloașterf

12. Repairs to the Orthodox church in Cloașterf

13. Repairs to the fortified church in Mălâncrav

14. Repairs to the evangelical parish house in Mălâncrav

15. Repairs to the Catholic church in Mălâncrav

16. Repairs to the Catholic parish house in Mălâncrav

17. Repairs to the fortified church in Roadeș

18. Repairs to the synagogue in Sighișoara and Mediaș

19. Repairs to the Rabbi’s house in Mediaș

20. Repairs to the churches in Richiș and Beia In the period 2000-2019, the Mihai Eminescu Trust Foundation carried out 99 restoration projects of the religious heritage in 16 different villages and cities, the total cost of these projects amounting to over 450,000 euros.

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