International Day of Monuments /«Revitalized castles and mansions»
Build Heritage Conservation throught he Eye of the Owners
In recent years, interest in old noble residences in Romania has grown. Whether it is the growing number of curious people who go to the villages in search of old mansions, or entrepreneurs who are embarking on the adventure of restoring such buildings to the beauty of yesteryear, one can clearly see a current of in the ever-expanding rediscovery of extra-urban noble residences.
..."100 images from Romanian archives to invite you to a #castlebreakfromhome around the country"
Through the Forgotten Monuments project, we found around 70 nationwide success stories that resulted in the revitalization of noble residences. The context in which they were born differs from case to case, but they have a common denominator, namely the forgotten mansions that come back to life under the care of the current owners. The profile of those who invest in such buildings is being defined. We can talk about local authorities or private investors who have managed to see the economic potential of these buildings, the descendants of the nobility who want to restore the buildings as exponents of family histories, members of local communities who believe in their cultural value, or profile associations that want to redefine the concept of historical monument in Romanian society.
Chiroiu Mansion from Condeești, Ialomița County photo: Forgotten Monuments, 2014
The process of revitalizing a historic building is often a long one, which takes place over several years. It starts with a detailed study of the building and its context, the choice of the right architectural program and continues with the actual restoration intervention, which often involves new periods of research. In this process, the relationship with the local authorities is essential, but if in some cases they are involved and support the efforts of the owners there are also less happy cases in which the competent institutions not only look impassive, but even prevent the completion of these projects.
Neamțu Mansion from Olari, Olt County photo: Alternative for monuments, 2014
In order to show some of the most common problems that historic building owners face and to make transparent the initiatives behind historic gates, we set out to present, initially through a traveling exhibition, some such stories seen through the prism of those who they are committed to bringing these historic buildings back to life. I spoke with members of the old noble families, with the teams of museums or NGOs, and with the entrepreneurs involved to show, in the end, that YES, IT IS POSSIBLE.
Károlyi Castle in Carei, Satu Mare County photo via Carei Municipal Museum
Thus, starting from a series of interviews conducted between May and June 2015, we created the exhibition Forgotten Monuments: Revitalized Castles and Mansions, dedicated to these initiatives. It discusses a wide range of approaches, interesting revitalization ideas, ongoing or recent rehabilitation projects and successful restorations carried out before 1989. The information presented refers to the process of restitution of property, relationship with state authorities, construction projects. revitalization or rehabilitation or, as the case may be, the maintenance process of the buildings, the necessary financing for the implementation of such projects and the development perspectives. Due to the fact that the interviews proved to be very interesting and the exhibition managed to present only the big issues, we decided to publish them in full on the blog in the coming months. The first one, dedicated to Teleki Castle in Gorneşti, you can read here.
Teleki Castle, Mureș County. Photo: Mirela Savulescu / savuleasca.ro
*** The exhibition Forgotten Monuments - Revitalized Castles and Mansions is realized with the financial support of the Union of Architects of Romania and of the Order of Architects of Romania, from the Stamp of Architecture. Partners: National Heritage Institute, Art History Association, Romanian Order of Architects - Mureş Branch. She travels the country and her schedule can be found below.
*** The exhibition Forgotten Monuments - Revitalized Castles and Mansions is realized with the financial support of the Union of Architects of Romania and of the Order of Architects of Romania, from the Stamp of Architecture.
Partners: National Heritage Institute, Art History Association, Romanian Order of Architects - Mureş Branch.