The 60 wooden churches in the counties of Hunedoara, Sibiu, Gorj, Vâlcea and other counties, all classified as historical monuments (categories A and B) are in an advanced state of decay, some of them in danger of collapse (according to research during 2007-2009). Field research has shown that about 80% of these churches are no longer functional, only 20% are still used for worship.
The restoration of these churches is vital for heritage conservation and for local community sustainable development, by raising interest in places of national heritage, using local craftsmen and attracting tourists.
The churches are small buildings but with some remarkable construction techniques and decorative painting, common in rural areas. Each monument has its own history, and the general deterioration is part of the wider phenomenon of contemporary rural landscape degradation.
The conservation work is made in partnership between Pro Patrimonio, the Romanian National Trust, and the Chamber of Romanian Architects.
Working with a coalition of advocates can greatly increase the chance of getting a preservation policy adopted or passed by a governmental body. This is a chapter from the National Trust for Historic Preservation‘s Advocacy Training Manual.
See also, the National Trust’s Advocacy Center Website.