The project entitled UNESCO fortified churches in Transylvania – a network for “defending” cultural heritage with open “gates” in order to facilitate the access to itaims to create a network of collaboration between the seven fortified churches in Romania, included in the World Heritage List: Câlnic, Prejmer, Viscri, Dârjiu, Saschiz, Biertan, Valea Viilor. This network aims to create conditions for the “defence” of the cultural heritage values of the ethnic Hungarian and Saxon, applying the strategy of the “open gates” promote this heritage and facilitate the access to it.
Protection strategy materializes in the conservation and restoration work of the frescos inside the church of Dârjiu, which illustrates the legend of king St. László, painted in 1419 and in the creation of an object collection related to folk art, traditional crafts gathered behind the walls of the fortified church in Dârjiu. “Open gates” are materialized in the creation of a museum exhibition of this collection in the church of Dârjiu. This best practice of Dârjiu will be an example for administrators of other churches, participants of the network. The role of the network is to achieve effective collaboration in restoration, preservation and enhancement of these valuable monuments. In this respect it was signed a protocol of cooperation between the Evangelical Church of Romania and the Unitarian Church of Transylvania.
The overall objective of this project is to safeguard and conserve the cultural heritage for future generations and to facilitate public access to heritage by establishing a network of cooperation between the seven fortified churches in Transylvania, which are part of the World Heritage UNESCO.
The project has the following specific objectives:
- Restoration and conservation of murals inside and outside of the fortified church Dârjiu.
- Development of the local community by improving Dârjiu’s tourist attractiveness by facilitating access through the museum exhibition of cultural heritage to the public.
- Creating conditions for public access and promotion of tangible and intangible heritage and tourism development through the establishment of a network of cooperation and promotion of the seven fortified churches in Transylvania, which are part of the World Heritage UNESCO.
- Strengthening cultural identity of the Hungarian minority through the creation and development of an intercultural museum exhibitions inside the church Dârjiu.
Target groups of the project are:
- Sekler and Saxon communities from Transylvania, especially those communities where are the seven fortified churches, inscribed the World Heritage List,
- Local and foreign tourists, who visit the fortified churches,
- Applicant: Unitarian Church of Dârjiu, Project partner: Civitas Foundation for Civil Society, cult units: Evangelical Church of Romania and the Unitarian Church of Transylvania, signatories of the cooperation protocol.
Creating the museum exhibition in the church of Dârjiu, network activities such as the production of a booklet which proposes cultural and tourist itineraries and detailed information about the regions and the seven fortified churches, making maps showing tourist itineraries, developing a common promotion site and the production of promotion documentary film contributes to community development through the increase of tourism, to the revitalization of cultural heritage, to the promotion of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue and protection of minorities.
Museum exhibition consists of four parts: Intercultural exhibition in the context of Fortified Churches Network; Folk art exhibition; Photo exhibition; Ethnographic and folk art outdoor exhibition.