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Activities of the Foundation

Implementation of an Outdoor Village Museum at Gyergyószentmiklóson

Our town once had a commited citizen, Márton Tarisznyás ethnographer, who conceived and founded our museum of the town. Károly Kós wrote about him, that he helped in showing more of Gyergyó than just a display of scenery among snow-topped mountains, for tourists now can learn about its long distance raft, coach and cattle trading, lively fairs and vendors and its connection role among regions and people along the past centuries.

Márton Tarisznyás died in 1980 and did not have the time to conclude his great dream he described in August 1973 in the paper called "Hét": "An outdoor museum of folk architecture should be establisehd in Gyergyószentmiklós, where - besides the residece buildings - the auxiliary farm buildings, forest and pasture lodgings, folk industry structures, bridges, belfries and other structures are also displayed."

The "Renaissance" Foundation was established in the autumn of 1997 to fulfil this dream, to save what yet remained to save. A sorry fact is that in the past 18 years between the passing of Márton Tarisznyás and the starting of this Foundation almost nothing has developed in the town nor in the surrounding villages in terms of ethnography.

There are villages (Újfalu, Csomafalva, Kilyénfalva, Orotva), where one travelling through might think that their foundation was to be around the beginning of this century. With their 4-5 ancient buildings and a dozen of farm structures Remete, Ditró, Alfalu, Tekerõpatak and Szárhegy still hold out. Gyergyószentmiklós is among the luckier ones with 14 deteriorated "old" houses, but all of them are to be demolished in accordance with the various reasons in the planes of spring and autumn of 1998 (constructions, firewood supply, site management).

In this situation was the Foundation established and purchased the houses with the aid of its own scarce and external sources. This step was also necessary, because the antique dealers, having skinned all the area of its etnographic values, started to by hte old houses to use the wood for manufacturing antique like furniture.

In accordance with our plan, after the aid of a commencing capital, the 13 houses already purchased will be rebuilt in teh area granted by the Catholic Church for establishing a nucleus for the outdoor museum.

Since the site lays by the Gyergyószentmiklós - Killer Lake - Békás Gorge roadway five km from town, we expect that all tourists visiting Transylvania's most famous sights: the Killer Lake and the Békás Gorge will pass the outdoor museum and most likely will stop to pay a visit.

In order to ensure the future development, operation and independency of the museum we plan to provide accomodation and food in the complex which also would serve as a live display of ancient Szekely architecture, folk furniture, food, customs and crafts. One other important reason is that the Rumanian law would provide tax exemption for ten years in our case. The income generated would enable us to buy new houses and farm structures and to provide their furnishing.
Together with the helping architect community of Budapest we will desing a Community Hall fitting into the environment suitable for organising conferences and other events. Thereby in the frameworks of the Foundation it will be possible to organise such lectures, concerts and symposiums where domestic and foreign guests can be accomodated in hope that with their help the maintenance and development of the outdoor museum will be ensured..