The German heritage has many aspects and the most visible is the cultural one. In the following interview the former Director of the Administration of National Cultural Fund, Leonard Horvath, speaks about what have Germans of Transylvania left to future generations.
What are the most important elements in the cultural heritage created by the Germans in Transylvania?
Leonard Horvath: There are many elements that have been left by the Germans in Transylvania, by the Saxons and Swabs altogether. I would mention the Saxon fortifications, namely the fortified churches that have served as harbours and had been build after the Mongol invasion in the 13th century. These churches are unique in this part of Europe. Then, I would talk about the immaterial heritage like the traditions and customs of the Saxons and Swabs in Transylvania. The well-known strudel is worth mentioning as part of the culinary culture, but also the Christmas and Easter customs that were inherited from the Saxon and Swabs. For example the week before Easter was also known as the „Dark week” for the Saxons in Transylvania, a week of more drastic fasting when no church rings its bells.
What should be done to protect this cultural heritage ?
There are many things that need to be done for this. The Ministry of Culture should have a stronger involvement in order to protect these fortified churches that are part of UNESCO heritage, such as the one from Viscri or the one from Saschiz. Us also, the Administration of National Cultural Fund, we have financed the conservation and maintenance of different traditions of the Saxons and Swabs from Transylvania but also for the cultural objects that came from this heritage.
Read this interview in German HERE.