Newsletter XIV

Dear Lords and Ladies of Movile Castle, project partners, helpful supporters, reliable friends, audible and silent fans,
it has been some time since you heard from us, but  we  haven’t been idle. Just recently  the third traditional Wintermeeting of our association took place. Nearly twenty of us (which are, in fact, impressively nearly all our active members) managed to get a hole weekend off and meet in Freising to recap the last year, deal with our bureaucratic duties and plan new and exciting projects for 2018.
As we did it in our “small” round, we of course would like to share with you what happened so far in 2017 and give you a short glimpse of what will be in 2018:

Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation

In end of 2016 we got the exciting news that the Stiftung Kirchenburgen applied successfully for funding by the U.S. American embassy. The approved proposal included not only emergency measurements for the fortified churches of Agârbiciu, Daia and Movile,  but also, an probably even more important, its aim was to prepare the basis of all future conservation work. Subsequent surveys regarding statics, geology, measurement taking and monument conservation were done by multiple experts. This was the point were we as professional landscape architects and landscape planners could contribute. In an extensive report we analyzed the connection between the fortified churches and their immediate surroundings, the villages and the landscape. The report is in the final throes and we will gladly share it with you as soon as it is done. Apart from the emergency measurements and the expertise the third column of the project was to form a local community that takes care of the fortified church in a long term.  This is still a task awaiting us in 2018. We plan to organize a small village festive to get together and foster the respect and bond between all the cultures in Movile. We have it on our priority list for 2018, as we did not manage to fit it in our time planing this year. We will let you know as soon as preparations are done and a date is fixed.  

Study project and excursion by University Stuttgart, ILPÖ

We supported and hosted a student group of TU München in 2016, and we wanted to continue such successful collaborations with different universities and institutions. In May 2016 a group of eight architecture students of University Stuttgart, Institute for Landscape Planning and Ecology, came to Transylvania. Supported by our friends and members of Linescapes they analyzed thoroughly many different aspects of Movile and its surrounding. As we experience it every time we come to Movile with new guests they were of course welcomed warmly by he locals. Back in Germany they built up on the analysis and developed, very interesting proposals for the future development of Movile.  

Teachers House

Lots of news also about our first active renovation site. We were happy to sign the contract with the Evangelic Church at the start of the year. This gives us the formal basis to fully work on the house and put it to back live in Movile. Although we did not have a construction site this year, we did manage to commission new traditional windows (which will be build in in 2018), installed gib seals in the cracks of the walls to monitor the movement (hopefully its none) of the walls, made an inventory of our belongings, and took care of getting an electricity connection.  

Sommercamp of an Evanglic Youth Group from Berlin

Possibly liveliest time this year was when thirty-five excited and motivated youngsters with their tutors form Berlin came to visit Movile for two weeks in August. In an immensely vivid two weeks they integrated fully in the village live and Transylvanian culture. They visited Sibiu & Sighisoara, the cultural heritage landscape “Breite” with its mighty oaks and a century old traditional grazing landscape, met Romanies in Brateiu who introduced them to smithing copper and their way of life, and last but not least went with six horse-carriages to the wonderful hills of Movile. In etween the short trips, they managed to engage in multiple smaller and bigger projects around the village. Among other things they cleared out the former baking house next to the preachers house, refurbished the way to the church and build two open air showers. Even their bus driver got infected by the spirit and bricked up the existing fireplace. A welcome change to the busy days were the intercultural evenings in the community hall, where they danced, played and even set up a theatre (which was a great success) together with the kids from the village. We were altogether very happy to host such an amazing and cheerful group and thank them for their visit.  


Apart form our main activities a lot of other things happened in the village, where we as an association were involved to a certain degree, as for example:
  • Emergency renovation of the ham tower (funding by AFCP, organized by Stiftung Kirchenburgen)
  • Repairing of storm damage on the roof of the church
  • Introduction of (formerly very common) two water buffalos which are now under the care of the local bee-keeper
  • Supporting an application for an EU-Life-Project with the aim of the preservation of grasslands in Rumania

Outlook 2018

As mentioned at the start we did on not only look back on the activities of 2017 on our Winter-meeting, but also planed our next projects: They include the final works on the roof of our teachers house, the village party, a workshop with locals about their landscape and open space and the publishing of our landscape report as part of the AFCP-Project, a new student group (not fixed yet which university) and many more small and big activities.
Last but not least I would like to thank everybody who worked with us in 2017, especially of course our Romanian and Saxon friends from Movile and the HOG Hundertbücheln, the Stiftung Kirchenburgen for their immense and always open-hearted help, the evangelic youth group form Berlin for their famous visit, and last but not least everybody that is active in and around the Hârtibaciului.
Of course we also thank everybody who supported us with their donation and would like to use the opportunity to let you know as it is an ongoing and growing project, we are always very thankful for anyone willing to support us with any amount. You are a great help for us and make it possible for us to keep our project in Movile going. Thank you!
So far for now about the news and progress of our extraordinary castle project. The Churchfortress project group members thank you for your motivating support and wish you a lot of energy and health for the cold wintertime!