Castle in Transylvania
PONT Group has started an overall strategic process based on recent experience relating to the Castle in Transylvania programme as well as strategies and development models, supported by funds from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway trough the Ministry of Culture – Project Management Unit in the cadre of “Conservation and Revitalization of the Cultural and Natural Patrimony” – financed trough SEE 2009–2014 Financial Mechanism.
The word “castle” captures public attention, raises interest, and instills nostalgic feelings, but also sadness because of its uncertain future.
All these raise the question ‘is there anything that can be done about castles being rendered derelict?’
The castles and citadels of Transylvania form the most significant part of the province’s cultural heritage, despite failures in utilizing their potential value.
The communist period and the difficult economic situation that followed has made the rehabilitation of these buildings difficult until the present day. Renovating Transylvania’s castles could add an increased socio-cultural value and a significant economical impact to the region. According to some estimations, there are more than 600 castles and citadels in Transylvania. When we talk about Transylvania, we refer to the region that consists of 16 counties forming the historical region, and the areas Maramures, Crisana and Banat.
The Castle in Transylvania project has set a goal of creating a network of experts within relevant fields, who can exchange and share information to help increase the sustainability of Romania’s cultural heritage. The project aims to develop strategic thinking by examining the economic and social value of the Transylvanian castles. Our organization will develop a local and regional plan to attract alternative resources necessary for the restoration of these buildings.
The project addresses directly the owners and the managers of these castles, experts, NGOs, institutions and local governments; all of which have a key role in the restoration and the sustainable development of this region. The project also aims to present a model to European organizations to be implemented in other regions.
The castles of Transylvania could contribute the:
– touristic attractiveness of the region and its capacity to host tourists
– cultural, local and regional development
– development of small and medium sized businesses which use them in the present without emphasizing their cultural value.
Castle in Transylvania Coalition
The Castle in Transylvania Coalition was founded on 1 September 2016, as part of the Castle in Transylvania program. The coalition, made of castle owners and administrators, aims at undertaking the necessary preventive interventions to maintain the status quo and the revitalization of castles and manors which are part of the coalition.
Until April 2017, 30 members joined the coalition. All members agree upon the following principles as leading principles for the coalition: integrated communication, continuous exchange of experiences, common projects and continuous collaboration with experts.
Castle in Transylvania Shop
Unique products inspired by Transylvanian castles and manufactured by young local artists – this is our webshop’s offer, and this how we support the Castle in Transylvania movement.
The Castle in Transylvania Fund was established by PONT Group within the Castle in Transylvania program in 2016 . Through various campaigns, the Fund aims at providing funds to support the future activities of the program. The first campaign of the Castle in Transylvania Fund started in the spring of 2017 through the launch of the Castle in Transylvania Shop, where unique artworks and gift items of Transylvanian designers are available for purchase.
When creating the special collections for this webshop, the participating artists and desigers were asked to make associations with the concept of the ‘castle’ – including nostalgia, elegance, leisure, proximity to nature, historical eras, architectural styles, castle gardens, fairy tales, etc. – and use these associations as sources of inspiration for their new creations. In addition, we insisted that these products would be designed by Transylvanian artists, and if possible, made of local, natural materials as our goal is to promote local artists as well as local, sustainable solutions.
Castle in Transylvania Strategy
PONT Group has launched a strategic process in March 2015 through the “Castle in Transylvania – Strategy and Development Models” project. As a result of this approach, in June 2016 PONT Group together with experts elaborated the Castle in Transylvania Strategy, a document providing sustainable development models and solutions for the revitalization of castles and manors in Transylvania.
History is Our Story
The multi-annual strategic project called History is Our Story aims to develop new communication forms about the cultural, social, historic and economic values of Transylvanian castles and the local communities around them. The built heritage will be presented in an original artistic manner in this project: an interactive webdocumentary about three Transylvanian castles: the Bethlen Castle in Bahnea, the Apaffy Castle in Dumbrăveni and the Rhédey Castle in Sangeorgiu de Padure.
Twelve toys and games, all connected to the castles of Transylvania were designed, in the project entitled EduCastle, for younger and older children to try them, have fun with them, and in the meantime, to learn about these buildings, but also about the eras, architectural styles and social contexts that are part of their history.