In Szeklerand’s Kovászna (Covasna) County, there are 15 historic buildings in a very deteriorated condition and in need of urgent renovation, warns the Kovászna County Culture Directorate. According to a report published on the website of the Kovászna County Prefecture, most (80 percent) of the buildings listed as historical monuments in the region of Háromszék (to which Kovászna County belongs) are private property. Those that are in the most degraded state are uninhabited or do not have any clear owner, the Székelyhon.ro news portal cited the directorate’s report.
As the term implies, a listed building is one that was added to the National Heritage List due to its historical and/or architectural value. The Culture Directorates, as territorial representatives of the Ministry of Culture, are responsible for providing policy, direction and advice on arts and cultural heritage.
As the Kovászna County Culture Directorate indicated, urgent renovation work needs to be carried out on the so-called Domokos Mansion in Árapatak (Araci/Arndorf), the wooden houses in the village of Kökös (Chichiş/Blauendorf), the Lázár-Beczásy (late 19th century) manor house in Dálnok (Dalnic), and the Hollaky Mansion (built in the 17–18th centuries) in Aldoboly (Dobolii de Jos). Furthermore, the building of the former Sepsiszentgyörgy slaughterhouse, the Saint Nicholas Church (built in 1810 in the classical style) in the village of Bereck (Breţcu, Bretz), and the funicular line between the city of Kovászna (Covasna) and the village of Kommandó (Comandău) are also in need of restoration.
The report cites some positive examples of proper architectural heritage management: the 17th century Daniel Castle in Olasztelek (Tălişoara), the Kálnoky Castle (built in the 16th–17th centuries) in Miklósvár (Micloşoara), the Gaál Mansion in Dálnok (19th century), the 18th century Ferenczy-Boda Mansion in Erdőfüle (Filia), and also several manor houses in the village of Csernáton (Cernat), which were adequately renovated by the owners. Among other things, the renovations have been delayed because there is a shortage of architects and builders specialized in the restoration of historical monuments, the Culture Directorate mentioned.
In the past decade, the restoration of 10 listed buildings has commenced in the Háromszék region: for instance, the Castle Church of Sepsiszentgyörgy (built in the 14th–19th centuries) and the building of the Franciscan monastery in Esztelnek (Estelnic). Complex restoration work has begun on the historical center of the city of Kézdivásárhely (Târgu Secuiesc) and the Kézdivásárhely building of the Order of Friars Minor as well. Also last year, the directorate issued permits for the planned renovation of the Székely National Museum in Sepsiszentgyörgy, the Székely Mikó College in Sepsiszentgyörgy, and the Mikó Castle located in the village of Oltszem.
Title image: The funicular between Kovászna and Kommandó is considered to be a vestige of industrial history. The archive photo shows it as it was in 1928.