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Rovina Village’s ‘Wooden Church of the Exaltation of the Cross’, built in 1780

Supporting Local Heritage

When travelling through Transylvania to the Euro Sun Mining project, the traveller bears witness to the special cultural sights and sounds that make the Hunedoara County (and Romania) so unique. Whether it is the unusual Romanian haystacks, the livestock in backyards, or various medieval fortifications, a richness of tradition prevails, expressed by people who have laboured and toiled with their land over centuries.

One astonishing feature scattered around northern Transylvania is the almost 100 Orthodox churches made only from timber. These religious landmarks are characterised by their slim bell towers at the western sections of their structures. Centuries old, some of these churches date back to the 1700s and were built in response to the prohibition against the erection of stone Orthodox churches by the Catholic Austro-Hungarian authorities of the time. Inside these churches are painted and carved biblical scenes created by artists once dedicated to this sacred art, allowing us the modern visitor a view into ancient history and culture.

In the tiny village of Rovina is one such wooden church. Built in 1780, Rovina’s ‘Wooden Church of the Exaltation of the Cross’ is central to the village and the custodian of the regions heritage. The church is now however in need of urgent restoration to preserve the time-honoured traditions of the Bucureșci Community. Since mining ceased in the post-communist era, very little money has been made available regionally for the preservation of cultural sites. With time passing, the restoration process also becomes more challenging. The wooden tiles for example on the church roof that need replacing are all individually hand-made. This process of restoration is expensive and all work has to be done in accordance specific material guidelines and with the approval of the Romanian Ministry of Culture.

For many years now, Euro Sun Mining has been assisting Father Virgil Oprișa, the village priest, with the general maintenance of the church and surrounding areas. This has included the purchase and installation of a sound system in the main church of Bucureșci Village, maintaining the cemetery gardens, clearing all access roads and paths around the village, and undertaking much of the administrative work in getting approvals for future restoration. Whilst greatly appreciated, there is now a call to conduct major refurbishment on the church itself to preserve this centuries old landmark before further degradation takes place.

As part of our community outreach programme, restoration of the Rovina church remains a high priority for Euro Sun Mining which will be fully realised when mining operations begin. Until that time, we continue to work closely with the church and surrounding community to service basic needs. We also encourage all visitors to our Euro Sun Mining Criscior offices to include a visit to this special church and important heritage site.

Euro Sun Mining is represented by SAMAX Romanian Limited in Crișcior.

Top view of the church, looking over the Rovina Village

To be restored, each wooden tile on the roof is individually handmade

The ornate interior of this unique piece church

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