“Șura” was never a simple definition

Annex building in a (rural) household, usually with several rooms, used for the storage of fodder, cereals, agricultural tools, etc. or sheltering cattle and horses

“Șura” was never a simple definition.

These structures specific to Transylvanian villages were very common in the seventeenth-century Europe. In our villages, almost all of them were made only of wood and covered with traditional tiles. Archita, however, is the exception to the rule. Archita was a rich village, whose inhabitants owned many animals and huts built of river stone and brick. Then times changed. People went to the city, the animals were sold, and, unfortunately, some sheds were abandoned or dismantled and sold as construction materials for a ridiculous small amount, a painful and unfortunate fact. In order to support the preservation of the huts in Archita, these emblems of the village, local craftsmen were trained, who, in addition to other restoration projects, made interventions in the case of several huts.

“Șura” has a lot of character, today rediscovered, loved more and cared for. In addition to the huts that have been around for centuries and had their own known purpose, today there is another barn culture. Entrepreneurs with initiative turn them into boutique-restaurants, or unconventional places for tourist accommodation and event organization. The older it is, the more valuable it is. Just like wine. The conversion of the sheds into community kitchens, accommodation spaces or traditional restaurants is the new chance that the sheds have, which is why the Mihai Eminescu Trust motivates the owners to keep and repair these sheds that are part of the traditional ensemble of a Transylvanian village.

MET took notice of the state of the sheds in 2007-2008. The following years we taught the locals, through many hours of training together with local and international specialists, in an informal environment, how to repair the gutters, how to reposition the oak poles once every 5-10 years.

Our barn restoration projects are considered sustainable projects.

Why?

Well, because the barn is one of the most important elements of a traditional household in Transylvania. A household which doesn’t have a shed is much less valuable for the traditional structure of the village as a whole. The barn was and is important for a rural household because hay and animals are stored there and it makes the villages in Transylvania special showcasing a unique character.

Today, the locals who manage the guest houses use the huts and annexes as welcoming, warm places, where they serve the tourists, quiet places to relax, surrounded by rich and shady vines.

Through these projects, MET raises awareness among locals about the importance of preserving the existing heritage of the huts and, in some cases, the conversion of the huts. The restoration process of the sheds includes specific restoration techniques such as specific joints of oak or spruce beams, which the locals learn. They are encouraged to use traditional techniques and natural materials when repairing sheds and not to use modern materials that can destroy their authenticity.

Between 2000-2019, MET successfully completed 54 projects for the restoration and conversion of the sheds, their costs amounting to 131,851 euros.

Maintenance guide for barns and stables: http://www.mihaieminescutrust.ro/…/Suri-si-grajduri-Ghid-de

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