The spirit of the transilvanian fortified churches…The people have left, their buildings remain
Paper give at the 16th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Finding the spirit of place – between the tangible and the intangible’, 29 sept – 4 oct 2008, Quebec, Canada
The fortified churches of the ́Transilvanian Saxons ́ in Romania are unique due to their typological variety, their number and due to their historical importance. After centuries of a changeful history, almost all of the saxons left Romania to Germany after the fall of Ceaucescu ́s regime to find a new home in the land were they came from 850 years ago. 16 years after this exodus the fortified churches, beeing not maintained are decaying more and more. The new inhabitants of the former saxon villages have their own churches and do not care for the churches of other confessions. But not only the churches are threatened, as also the facades of the peasants houses are beeing changed following the ideals of their new owners.