Transylvania Trust

Partnership for the valorisation of the industrial architectural heritage of Romania, 2009-2010

Romania has a particularly valuable industrial architectural heritage that is neither recognized nor exploited according to its real potential. Furthermore, the general perception is that the historical monuments are just consuming funds without visible benefits from the investment. The notion of built heritage, an element of local and regional development, a catalyst of social and cultural life recognized and applied extensively in the western European countries, unfortunately, is not widely known in our country, especially in rural areas.

The project goal: increasing the quality of life through the valorisation of the industrial architectural heritage as a developmental factor in educational, cultural, social and economic community – pilot project: The Bánffy Castle’s Mill, Bontida.


  1. Valorisation of industrial architectural heritage as a lever of regional economic and cultural development, based on local values
  2. Developing the civic conscience, the sense of pride and of active citizenship, that is willing to contribute to the protection of cultural and industrial values
  3. Creating a model of good practice by partially restoring the Bánffy Castle’s Mill from Bontida.


  1. Creating a regional database on industrial architectural heritage
  2. Increasing the region’s tourism potential by valorising and promoting the industrial architectural heritage
  3. Developing non-formal education in Romania
  4. Creating a group of specialists and acquiring an international network in the field of industrial architectural heritage protection
  5. Rising awareness of local institutions and authorities on the value of industrial architectural heritage
  6. Restoring partially the Bánffy Castle’s Mill from Bontida, industrial architectural monument listed under Category A and opening a touristic information point.

Implementation Strategy:

The basic idea is to create a project covering the whole spectrum of the problem, from the inventory of industrial architectural heritage to restoring part of an industrial architecture monument included on the list of national monuments. But this process has no meaning unless it is implemented in parallel with an extensive process of raising awareness of the region’s inhabitants (which will be accomplished through workshops for children, forums and exhibitions), and also of local authorities (there will be not only inventoried heritage presentation, but also methods of valorisation, funding opportunities both from Romania and through international partnerships, and the impact of such projects for sustainable regional development based on local values and resources).

  1. Theoretical training and awareness measures: the strategy is based on research, inventory, and the awareness of the local population, the local decision makers and society at large about issues of industrial architectural heritage
  2. Creating a model of good practice: The strategy is linked to the presentation of a case study, important to demonstrate that there is a future for industrial architectural heritage, it can be integrated into the sustainable development of society. The historical monument that will be partially restored is located in Bonţida village, Cluj County and it is a historical mill of category A, protected by law.
  3. Strategy to promote the importance of industrial architectural heritage will have the following lines of action: Creating a website, a tourist route and brochures to promote the architectural heritage industry

Key Activities:

  1. Inventory of the industrial heritage in the following Counties: Cluj, Sibiu, Maramures and Bucharest
  2. Survey of the industrial heritage in the following Counties: Cluj, Sibiu, Maramures and Bucharest
  3. “The industrial heritage for the community” – training the local mayors and decision-makers on the importance of protection and valorisation of industrial built heritage
  4. Organization of extracurricular programs for children
  5. Partial revitalization of the Mill in Bonţida
  6. Creating a tourist route based on the survey, assembling information panels and creating a website dedicated to the valorisation of the industrial architectural heritage
  7. Organizing an international conference on the valorisation of the industrial architectural heritage in Romania


Association for Industrial Archeology, Bucharest; Democratic Association of Young Hungarians from Baia-Sprie – MADISZ; Folkeuniversitetet I Fjellregionen, Norway; The Armenian Foundation, Dumbrăveni

Sponsor: EEA Grants