Urban Planning in the Area of Alba Iulia Fortress in the Years 1965-1988: Completed Projects and Abandoned Proposals

15 October 2020


Authors
IOANA RUS-CACOVEAN
Pages
175-203
Abstract

In the first decade after the establishment of the Communist regime in Romania, the fortress of Alba Iulia was in a lamentable state of conservation, as revealed by the correspondence of the Directorate of Historical Monuments (DHM) and the National Institute of Heritage (NHI) photo library. The fortress was used by a military unit, the Wine-Alcohol Enterprise, GOSTAT, together with the regional museum and the two bishoprics, Catholic and Orthodox, but none of them possessed any legal documents in this regard. As the only ones concerned about the ensemble, the museum’s representatives sent numerous notifications to the DHM, who eventually initiated a long process that sought to clarify first and foremost the legal situation of the fortress, before assuming the research and restoration of its gates.

The festivities that took place in 1968 on the occasion of the Great Union’s semicentenary gave the preservationists an opportunity to take important steps towards establishing the fortress as a protected area and suggesting new deployments of its improperly used monuments, in the framework of the 1967 Urban Planning Sketch. Unfortunately, the DHM’s lack of authority in questions of urban redevelopment, along with the growing involvement of the local bodies, who only complied with the Party’s recommendations, led to constant disrespect towards the legal provisions and the further destruction of the fortress.

Keywords

Alba Iulia fortress, urban planning, historic monuments, Directorate of Historical Monuments, 1960-1980

References

[1] In Romanian: Direcţia Monumentelor Istorice (DMI). It is the generic name of the main institution in Romania that was responsible for the research and design of monument conservation, approval of projects, inventorying and restoration of monuments; it also ran its own monument restoration sites. Between 1952 and 1989, the directorate frequently changed its official name: it was the General Directorate of Historical Monuments (1952-1959) in the framework of the State Committee for Architecture and Construction (SCAC); the Directorate of Historical Monuments and The Directorate of Historical and Artistic Monuments (1959-1974) in the framework of the State Committee for Constructions, Architecture and Systematization (SCCAS); and the Directorate of National Cultural Heritage (1974-1977) in the framework of the Council of Culture and Socialist Education (CCSE). After the dissolution of this directorate in 1977, the Directorate of Economy and National Cultural Heritage was created (1978-1989). See “Istoricul INP” [The History of NIH], Institutul Naţional al Patrimoniului [National Institute of Heritage], accessed on September 3, 2020, https://patrimoniu.gov.ro/ro/utile/ item/27-istoricul-inp.

[2] I would like to thank Assoc. Prof. Daniel Dumitran for kindly sharing with me the materials referring to Alba Iulia which he found in the NIH’s photo library.

[3] Letter sent by the museum in Alba Iulia to the DHM (November 24, 1954), DHM Fund, file no. 240, referring to the fortress in Alba Iulia, Proiect reparaţii zid, porţi. Piese scrise, piese desenate [Project for Walls and Gates Repairs. Written and Drawn Files] (1954-66), I, Archives of the NIH, Bucharest.

[4] Letters sent by the People’s Council (PC) of Alba Iulia to the DHM (May 31, 1967) and by the museum to the DHM (June 5, 1967); DHM Report (June 15, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241, Cetate. Ansamblul [Fortress. The Ensemble] (1967-68), II.

[5] Letters sent by the DHM to the PC of Hunedoara and Alba Iulia (May 3, 1956 and June 22, 1961), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[6] Romanian acronym for Gospodăria Agricolă de Stat [The State Agricultural Farm].

[7] Report by Eugenia Greceanu (April 24, 1960), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[8] Letter sent by the DHM to the PC of Hunedoara (May 11, 1960), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[9] In Romanian, Ministerul Forţelor Armate.

[10] “In 1963, during military exercises, the only preserved fragment of the Roman precinct was destroyed”, Referat asupra şedinţei din Alba Iulia din 17 mai 1966 [DHM Report on the Meeting Held in Alba Iulia on May 17, 1966] (March 19, 1966), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[11] Letters sent by the PC to the DHM (February 15, 1961) and by the museum to the DHM (April 25, 1966), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[12] Report by A. I. Gheorghiu, DHM delegate, Concluziuni şi propuneri asupra monumentelor de arhitectură din Alba Iulia [Conclusions and Proposals on Architectural Monuments in Alba Iulia] (December 1960), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[13] Letter sent by the DHM to the PC of Hunedoara (June 22, 1961), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[14] Letter sent by the Catholic Bishopric to the DHM (June 30, 1960), DHM Fund, file no. 208, referring to the Catholic Cathedral in Alba Iulia, Corespondenţă şi proiect reparaţii – restaurare [Correspondence and Repair – Restoration Project].

[15] Report by E. Greceanu (April 24, 1960), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[16] “Although the People’s Council demanded that vehicle and animal traffic should be directed through the western exit of the fortress, as, due to the degradation of the statues above the portals barely resist and may collapse at any time, the military units do not understand [that they must] comply with these provisions”, Report by A. I. Gheorghiu (December 1960), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[17] Letter sent by the DHM Transylvanian Construction Site to the DHM (December 16, 1964), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[18] Letter sent by the Scientific Commission of Museums and Historical and Artistic Monuments (SCMHAM) to the DHM (June 18, 1955), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[19] Report by E. Greceanu (April 24, 1960), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[20] Letter sent by the DHM to the People’s Councils of Hunedoara and Alba Iulia (February 12, 1963), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[21] Letter sent by the SCMHAM to the DHM (June 18, 1955), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[22] Report by E. Greceanu (April 24, 1960), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[23] Letter sent by the SCMHAM to the DHM (June 18, 1955), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[24] Report by E. Greceanu (April 24, 1960), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[25] Referat asupra şedinţei din Alba Iulia din 17 mai 1966 (March 19, 1966), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[26] Information received from Prof. Nicolae Sabău who, after visiting the fortress together with Prof. Kovács András, lost all the photographs made for documentation, when the military personnel asked for and opened their camera in order to expose and destroy the film.

[27] Referat asupra şedinţei din Alba Iulia din 17 mai 1966.

[28] In this period, in which the DHM lacked any regional personnel, its few members having no possibility to find out what was happening outside Bucharest, the museums played an essential role, together with specialists, professors and researchers who sent letters to the DHM, indicating the monuments’ state of conservation.

[29] Consiliul Popular was the official Romanian name of the local organs of state power in Communist Romania that managed the local economy, cultural affairs, social security, local utilities, education and public health within every organization and institution placed in its territory.

[30] Letter sent by DHM to the People’s Councils of Alba Iulia and Hunedoara (May 3, 1956), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[31] Letter sent by the PC of Alba Iulia to DHM (May 29, 1956), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[32] Letter sent by the Wine-Alcohol Enterprise to the PC of Hunedoara (December 6, 1958), asking for approval to draw the legal documents and stating that since 1949 they were using three groups of rooms: two in the wall of the fortress and one under school no. 1, for storing old wine. Later, the museum announced to the DHM that the Wine-Alcohol Enterprise administered five galleries in the right moat with 32 rooms and eight galleries in the left moat with 42 rooms near Gate IV (February 9, 1961), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[33] In 1957, this was taken over by the museum but remained in an advanced state of decay for another decade. Some of the side chambers were used as guest rooms for the army and apartments for museum employees. See Valer Moga, “Drumul prin istorie al unui monument. Sala Unirii din Alba Iulia” [A Monument’s Route Through History. The Union Hall in Alba Iulia], AUA hist. 22, II (2018): 303-304.

[34] Letters sent by the PC of Hunedoara to the DHM (October 27, 1960 and February 15, 1961), announcing that they had transferred the galleries into the administration of the Wine-Alcohol Enterprise, at their request, and that they wanted to repair their interior. Only three years later did they receive the relevant legal documents (such as the Obligaţiunea de folosinţă [Obligation of Use] and Condiţiunile de folosinţă [Conditions of Use], an inventory of the monument and a minute recording their conservation state and protection area) (May 19, 1963), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[35] According to Article 7 of the DMC 661/April 22, 1955 for the Preservation and Use of Cultural Monuments from Popular Republic of Romania, “the safeguarding, protection, conservation and restoration of cultural monuments, their appropriate scenery and area of protection is a permanent task of the People’s Councils on whose territories these monuments are to be found, except for those cultural monuments belonging to other individuals, for which this task rests with those persons”.

[36] Daniel Dumitran, “Identitate pierdută? Proiecte de sistematizare urbană a oraşului Alba Iulia după anul 1918 (I)” [Lost Identity? Urban Planning Projects for Alba Iulia after 1918], AUA hist. 22, II (1918): 213-219.

[37] Letter sent by the Regional Museum to the DHM (April 15, 1956), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[38] There are several examples in this regard. In a letter sent to the PC of Alba Iulia, referring to a text published in Scânteia on March 18, 1958, the DHM claimed to be “deeply impressed by the careful initiatives taken in your region for the protection of historic monuments. The DMC 661/1955 states that any such action must be acknowledged by the DHM. Therefore, we ask you to send for approval the design projects you have or will draw up regarding the monuments in your region” (March 19, 1958). Also, the DHM asked the Wine-Alcohol Enterprise to send for approval any design projects they had drawn up, about which the directorate had found out through its delegates (January 28, 1961). The garrison also ignored any obligation to request approval for works carried out on monuments without the DHM’s knowledge, DHM Report (May 17, 1966), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[39] Letter sent by the Regional Museum to the DHM (February 9, 1961), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[40] Letter sent by the SCMHAM to the DHM (June 18, 1955), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[41] On April 7, 1965, Alba Iulia Prison requested the DHM’s approval for the establishment of a mushroom farm in the galleries of the fortress. After acquiring additional data from the Ministry of Agriculture regarding the degree of atmospheric humidity necessary for the development of mushroom crops (humidity of 75-100% and temperatures between 35-600 C) and their maintenance requirements (periodic watering, thickness of the vegetal layer etc.), and visiting a mushroom farm in Jilava, the DHM rejected the project (April 28, 1965; May 19, 1965; June 1, 1965; June 8, 1965), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[42] The PC of Alba Iulia announced to the DHM that in October 1960 the Regional Council had transferred the MAF barracks no. 304 out of the Princely Palace, for the purpose of “covering their local needs”. Noting that the main entrance gate remained the property of the MAF, they requested the DHM’s approval for opening a new gate behind the Catholic cathedral. After analysing the situation on site, a DHM delegate discovered that they intended to transform the Princely Palace into a food warehouse and, in addition, that there was already another gate on the west side, but which was not used, as it was “closed with wooden planks”. Consequently, the DHM rejected the proposal, emphasizing that the wooden floors of the palace did not support heavy loads and that heavy vehicle traffic could not be allowed into the protection area around the cathedral, whose preservation and enhancement had to be ensured. Also, they did not give permission to open a new gate, since one already existed on the western side. In addition, given the size and architectural value of the monument, it recommended that a new socio-cultural destination for the palace (museum, culture hall, school) was needed much more than storage (January 3, 1961 and March 30, 1961), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[43] The theme of the volume and of the present article being urban planning, I will not focus too much on the restoration of the monuments, which is the subject of other studies and lectures, such as Ioana Rus-Cacovean, “The Conservation of the Alba Iulia Fortress in the 20th Century. An Image Problem for the Romanian Communist Party”, Transylvania Nostra 4 (2014): 13-18; Eadem, “Semicentenarul Marii Uniri la Alba Iulia: intervenţii asupra câtorva monumente în anii 1965-1968” [Semicentenary of the Great Union in Alba Iulia: Interventions on Some Monuments in 1965-1968], Şcoala de Vară şi Festivalul Internaţional pentru Dialog Intercultural „Diva Deva”, Deva, July 2018.

[44] A group of soldiers from the Alba Iulia garrison destroyed the sculptural ensemble of the equestrian statue of Emperor Charles VI, dislocating the statue of a prisoner and throwing it into the moat, and beheading one of the atlases supporting the cornice. Also, a piece of copper sheet, approx. 0.250 sqm in size, was intentionally cut and alienated one month after the reception of the works at Gate III. Letter sent by the museum to the DHM (May 13, 1963), and internal notes of the DHM (June 3, 1963; December 16, 1964), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[45] Diana Mihnea, “Oraşele Transilvaniei în perioada interbelică. Implicaţii urbanistice ale legislaţiei de împroprietărire” [Transylvanian Cities in the Interwar Period. Urbanistic Implications of the Allotment Law] (PhD thesis, Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest, 2015).

[46] Dumitran, “Identitate pierdută,” 213.

[47] Ibidem, 214.

[48] In Romanian, Direcţia de Sistematizare, Arhitectură şi Proiectarea Construcţiilor.

[49] Informare privind stadiul lucrărilor Alba Iulia [DHM Report on the Status of Works in Alba Iulia] (September 16, 1966), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[50] On this occasion, certain areas were also established where new constructions could not be erected without the DHM’s approval, such as the area inside the fortress. Still, there was no specific legal framework allowing the DHM to intervene in the elaboration and implementation of urban planning designs, except for the 1955 law that generally stipulated the directorate’s compulsory approval as a requirement for any design that included listed historic monuments. Since central areas typically contained a significant number of monuments, this provision represented in practice the preservationists’ only means to protect the historic centres as ensembles and to expand the limits of their institutional power. See Liliana Iuga, “Reshaping the Historic City under Socialism: State Preservation, Urban Planning and the Politics of Scarcity in Romania (1945-1977)” (PhD Thesis, Central European University, Budapest, 2016), 189, 217, 251.

[51] Letter sent by the DHM to the PC of Hunedoara (November 7, 1962), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[52] Nill Paul was the chief architect of the project.

[53] The only existing hotel at that time was the “Apulum”, formerly the “Hungaria”, a valuable building, but modest in scale, built in the lower city at the end of the nineteenth century. In the end, the hotel was demolished in the 1980s, after the erection of Hotel Cetate on the Romans’ Plateau.

[54] This was probably one of the suggestions that came out of the Urban Planning Workshop.

[55] Letter sent by the DHM to DSACD (December 14, 1962), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[56] Letter sent by the PC of Hunedoara to the DHM (November 16, 1965), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[57] Project no. 1603/1965, Modernizarea străzilor din cetate [Modernization of the Streets of the Alba Iulia Fortress], DSACD Hunedoara, sent on October 26, 1965 and approved on December 8, 1965, DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[58] Name given to the housing micro-district built on the large open area to the west of the fortress.

[59] Project no. 1603-1/1965, referring to the modernization of A and B streets, DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[60] DHM Approval (December 8, 1965), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[61] On December 17, 1965, the museum addressed a letter of thanks to the DHM for imposing the condition that every sewerage and street modernisation project must include 100,000 lei for archaeological research and the obligation to allow the museum to take the necessary measures, DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[62] DHM Approval (December 8, 1965), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[63] On April 5, 1966, the DHM delegate A. I. Gheorghiu wrote to the directorate that he had been informed of the existence of this document, but did not specify its author. However, he mentioned that the “particularly well documented” memorandum referred to Alba Iulia as the seat of the first Romanian Transylvanian Bishopric, founded by Mihai Viteazul, discussed the fact that the Orthodox cathedral was widely disregarded by foreign tourists (many of whom were scientific researchers) in comparison to the Catholic one, and declared the need to establish “a tourist and guide centre, which should put in a proper light the Romanian institutions first”, as well as create “the long-designed museum of religious art” for which “the objects in the custody of the local regional museum [could] constitute the nucleus of the future settlement of old national culture”. The content of the memorandum justifies our certainty that it was drafted by the representatives of the museum, who, as we have shown above, had signed a large number of previous complaints, and who sought to take advantage of the semicentenary to obtain more support from administrative bodies to achieve their own objectives, namely that of establishing a new headquarters. Report by A. I. Gheorghiu (December 1960), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[64] The members of the commission were Blajonici, first Vice-President of the Council of Ministers, N. Bădescu, the President of SCCAS, Dejeu, the President of the PC of Hunedoara and many others.

[65] The Orthodox cathedral had not been included on the 1955 List of Historic Monuments, as it was considered “too new”; in fact, its erection on that particular site was considered a mistake, as it partially overlapped and demolished a fragment of the fortress. It is only in the context of the semicentenary that this church began to gain considerably more attention.

[66] Informare privind stadiul lucrărilor Alba Iulia.

[67] Report by A. I. Gheorghiu (April 5, 1966), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[68] In Romanian, Comitetul de Stat pentru Construcţii, Arhitectură şi Sistematizare.

[69] Letter sent by the PC of Hunedoara to the SCCAS (March 3, 1966), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[70] Grigore Ionescu, Referat referitor la măsurile necesare a fi luate pentru valorificarea Cetății Alba Iulia [Report on the Necessary Measures for the Enhancement of the Alba Iulia Fortress] (March 18, 1966) and President N. Bădescu’s apostil on the above report (March 19, 1966), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[71] Referat asupra şedinţei din Alba Iulia din 17 mai 1966 (March 19, 1966), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[72] In Romanian, Institutul Central de Studii pentru Construcţii, Arhitectură şi Sistematizare.

[73] Informare privind stadiul lucrărilor Alba Iulia.

[74] Letter sent by the PC of Hunedoara to the DHM (October 26, 1966), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[75] Letter sent by the DHM to the president of SCCAS (April 1968), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[76] Letter sent by the DHM to CISCAS (November 1, 1966), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[77] The payment would, of course, be made by the DHM. Letter sent by the DHM to DSACD Ploieşti (November 14, 1966), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[78] Letter sent by the DHM to DSACD Ploieşti (December 3, 1966), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[79] Letter sent by CISCAS to the DHM (November 19, 1966) and DHM Report to N. Bădescu (November 28, 1966), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[80] Letter sent by the DHM to CISCAS (November 1, 1966), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[81] DHM Report to the Science and Culture Section of the CC of RCP (November 12, 1966), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[82] Ibidem.

[83] Letters sent by the DHM to the MAF (February 2, 1967) and by the General State to the DHM (February 27, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[84] Letter sent by the DHM to CISCAS (March 3, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[85] Letter sent by the DHM to the General State (April 12, 1967) and their answer (April 24, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[86] Letter sent by CISCAS to the DHM (April 29, 1967) and their answer (May 3, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[87] Report by N. Puşcaşu, on the on-site visit with the purpose of identifying the location, nature, type and age of the masonry that emerged during the sewerage excavations (March 20, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[88] Modernizarea reţelelor electrice pe străzile cetăţii Alba Iulia [Modernization of Electric Network on the Streets of the Alba Iulia Fortress]. Following the Report of the Regional Technical Service (October 30, 1967) that suggested the replacement of mercury vapor lamps with vintage lanterns for the narrow streets, the project was approved by the DHM (May 7, 1968) and an agreement was issued on the chosen type of lantern (May 29, 1968), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[89] It had been initially set for the second trimester of 1967, then for December 1967.

[90] Minutes for acknowledging the delivery of the preliminary draft of Schiţa de sistematizare [Urban Planning Sketch] (July 4, 1967); Minutes for acknowledging the delivery of Studiu de asanare a zonei Cetăţii Alba Iulia. Etapa I - Relevee şi studii de teren [Sanitation Study for the Alba Iulia Fortress Area. Stage I - Surveys and Field Studies] (September 23, 1967); Minutes for acknowledging the delivery of Etapa II.a - Schiţa de plan ansamblu cu propuneri pentru folosinţa construcţiilor [Stage II.a - Ensemble Sketch with Proposals for the Use of Constructions] (20 December 1967); Minutes for acknowledging the delivery of Etapa II.b. - Reamenajarea principalelor clădiri şi costul estimativ al lucrărilor [Stage II.b - Design of the Main Buildings and Their Estimated Costs] (January 15, 1968); DHM Approval (July 20, 1968), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[91] During the DHM approval meetings, after several discussions, it was suggested that the inclusion of masonry dating from the eighteenth century in the façade of the new building, together with the preserved fragments of the Roman wall, must be preceded by careful archaeological research. Minutes of the DHM meetings (December 8, 1967 and July 20, 1968), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[92] In the 1960s, even though urban planning designs always made provision for some demolitions in response to the needs of the newly industrialized cities for more housing stock, in practice this became problematic. The never-ending scarcity of resources compelled the local authorities to carefully compare the percentage of the existing available apartments and the number of people who occupied them, to what could obtained through demolition and reconstruction. And since, in the central areas of cities, the new blocks had to meet the DHM’s conditions on appearance and height, together with the need to relocate large numbers of residents, it was almost always concluded that demolitions were not worth the trouble. It is precisely to this “preservationist” attitude that we owe the conservation of the houses on the narrow streets in Alba Iulia fortress. Report of the Regional Technical Service (October 30, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241 and Iuga, “Reshaping the Historic City,” 93.

[93] Knowing that the local authorities intended to build a new administrative centre outside the fortress, architects Virgil Bilciurescu and Horia Teodoru insisted that the historic ensemble should not remain a lifeless relic, disconnected from contemporary life, but should become a civic centre animated by several administrative and cultural institutions. Minutes of the DHM meeting (December 8, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[94] Due to the difficulty of finding a suitable use for the Princely Palace, and since the museum had already received the Babylon building, it was decided that until at least 1975, the palace would be presented as an architectural monument, in order to avoid its further fragmentation. Ibidem.

[95] The proposal was eventually rejected due to the lack of interest from the People’s Council, which stated that the existing and future investments in the city in this regard would be sufficient. Report of the Regional Technical Service (October 30, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[96] Initially rejected by the regional authorities, the proposal was resurrected in the 1970s and received temporary approval, but only until such time as the plan to transform the moats into a green area included in the touristic visiting routes was enacted. The People’s Council of Hunedoara, Acord prealabil asupra documentației de sistematizare [Preliminary Agreement on the Urban Planning Design] (June 28, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241 and Aviz favorabil pentru amenajarea unei baze sportive în șanțul cetății [Approval for the Arrangement of a Sports Facility in the Moats of the Fortress] (June 8, 1974), DHM Fund, file no. 250.

[97] The People’s Council Technical Service, however, suggested that the two monuments should switch places, as the entrance to the fortress from the Romans’ Plateau should be marked by a vertical element (the obelisk), while the statue of Mihai Viteazu could be placed inside the fortress. Report by the People’s Council Technical Service (October 30, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[98] It mentioned that the buildings did not have installations and were being heated by means of wood or coal stoves.

[99] At that time, the wires crossed the buildings’ façades.

[100] Project 3315/1967, Detaliu sistematizare cetate Alba Iulia [Alba Iulia Urban Planning Project], CISCAS, Chief Architect M. Miu, DHM Fund, file no. 243.

[101] This was a recurrent problem for the DHM, which designed conservation and reconversion projects in vain, while the ministers always stated they had no intention of assuming the works, the buildings being of no use to them.

[102] Report by the People’s Council Technical Service (October 30, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[103] Request sent by the DHM to the National Office for Tourism (December 2, 1967), left without answer, DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[104] Letter sent by the DHM to the Ministry of Education (December 2, 1967) and its answer (January 24, 1968), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[105] Letter sent by the Minister of Internal Trade to the People’s Council of Hunedoara (July 8, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[106] Report by the People’s Council Technical Service (October 30, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[107] Letter sent by DHM to the President of SCCAS (April 1968), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[108] Iuga, “Reshaping the Historic City,” 214-215.

[109] Letters sent by Iustin Sava, DHM delegate and Nuică [? illegible] Irimie and Maria from Alba Iulia to DHM (January 30 and 31, 1968), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[110] Letters sent by DHM to DSACD Deva and the PC of Alba Iulia (February 13, 1968), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[111] Letter sent by DHM to the PC of Alba Iulia (April 16, 1968), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[112] Letter sent by CISCAS to DHM (April 24, 1968), and their answers (May 7 and 31, 1968), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[113] Especially during the “Ceauşescu era”, this would become one of the main arguments used by the preservationists when trying to move the decision-makers.

[114] Letters sent by HREE to the DHM (August 25 and September 26, 1968), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[115] Letter sent by the DHM to HREE (October 8, 1968), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[116] Letter sent by the HRCT to the DHM (February 23, 1966), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[117] Letter sent by the museum to the DHM (February 9, 1966), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[118] Letter sent by the DHM to the PC of Hunedoara (April 15, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[119] Letter sent by the museum to the DHM (April 25, 1966), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[120] Letter sent by the DHM to the PC of Hunedoara (February 2, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[121] Letter sent by the PC of Hunedoara to the DHM (March 15, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[122] Letter sent by the DHM to the PC of Hunedoara (April 14, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[123] Informare privind stadiul lucrărilor Alba Iulia.

[124] Letter sent by the PC of Alba Iulia to the DHM (May 31, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[125] DHM Report (June 15, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[126] Letter sent by the DHM to the PC of Alba Iulia (June 20, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[127] Letter sent by the museum to the DHM (September 13, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[128] Report by A. I. Gheorghiu (April 5, 1966), DHM Fund, file no. 240.

[129] Letter sent by the PC of Hunedoara to the DHM (January 6, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[130] Letter sent by the PC of Alba Iulia to the DHM (January 9, 1967), DHM Fund, file no. 241.

[131] Informare privind stadiul lucrărilor Alba Iulia.

[132] In 1977, the DHM was reorganised and transferred to the Economic Department of the Ministry of Culture, under the direct supervision of Tamara Dobrin, Vice-President of the CCSE. An analysis of the minutes of meetings of the new directorate shows a significant shift in both tone and subject, as attendance was no longer limited to specialists in preservation, but now also included politicians, who lacked a basic understanding of heritage problems. See Iuga, “Reshaping the Historic City,” 246-247.

[133] The directorate continued its activity throughout the 1980s, although almost all funding for restoration projects was cut and the previous conservation sites shut down.

[134] On May 23, 1975, Ceauşescu visited Alba Iulia once again, to celebrate the 375th anniversary of the “Union made in 1600 by Mihai Viteazul”.

[135] In Romanian, Consiliul Culturii şi Educaţiei Socialiste.

[136] Plan de măsuri [Plan of Measures] based on the note sent by the CC of RCP, DHM Fund, file no. 251, Alba Iulia, cetate. Piese scrise şi desenate [Alba Iulia, Fortress. Written and Drawn Files] (1976), V.

[137] Note sent by DHM to Vice-President Tamara Dobrin, on the above plan of measures (October 3, 1977), DHM Fund, file no. 251.

[138] DHM to MND (October 3, 1977), DHM Fund, file no. 251.

[139] Letter sent by the museum to the DHM (February 13, 1970), DHM Fund, file no. 247, Alba Iulia, cetate. Piese scrise şi desenate [Alba Iulia, Fortress. Written and Drawn Files] (1969-1972), III.

[140] Organizarea zonei cuprinse între cetate şi noul ansamblu de locuinţe Platoul Romanilor [Plan for Organising the Area Between the Fortress and the New Ensemble on the Romans’ Plateau], DHM Fund, file no. 247.

[141] Unfortunately, the scarcity of resources once again played an important role in choosing the cheapest and least recommended version, failing to provide a representative ensemble and the much-needed integration of the Romans’ Plateau into the urban ensemble. See Dumitran, “Identitate pierdută,” 228-230.

[142] Between 1974 and 1977, the DHM resumed discussions regarding the conservation of the gates, conducting detailed research and designing projects; but in the end the plans were pushed back to “after 1980”. In reality, these plans were never implemented. Letter sent by the PC of Alba to the DHM (April 4, 1974), Sarcinile DMI [Workload of DHM] (April 5, 1974), letter sent by the DHM to the PC of Alba (August 14, 1974), letter sent by the DHM to Combinatul Fondului Plastic [Plastic Fund Enterprise] (January 26, 1977), DHM Approval for Project no. 147/1976, Porţile I, II, III, IV [Gates I, II, III, IV] (April 15, 1977), Report by the Design workshop of the Department of Monumental Art and Conservation of the Art Institute in Bucharest (November 5, 1981), letter sent by Alba county’s Design Workshop to DHM (March 12, 1982), DHM Fund, file no. 250, Cetatea. Piese scrise şi desenate [The Fortress. Written and Drawn Plans] (1973-1975) IV; files no. 251 and 254.

[143] Nota informativă privind implicațiile nefavorabile ale amplasării unor blocuri de locuințe în șanțurile cetății [DHM Note on the Unfavourable Implications of the Blocks’ Location in the Moats of the Fortress], DHM Fund, file no. 251.

[144] Extract from the indications given by the superior leadership to the Alba County Communist Party Committee.

[145] The chief architect was Ion Lado.

[146] Letter sent by the PC of Alba to the DHM (November 18, 1975), DHM Fund, file no. 251.

[147] There is no mention of the precise location, but we assume they intended to implement the project at several points around the fortress.

[148] Minutes of the DHM meeting (January 21, 1976) and their rejection (February 10, 1976), DHM Fund, file no. 251.

[149] Iuga, “Reshaping the Historic Cities,” 144.

[150] Minutes of the DHM meeting (April 20, 1976), DHM Fund, file no. 251.

[151] DHM’s approval with conditions (April 23, 1976), DHM Fund, file no. 251.

[152] Namely, the 1962 recommendation on safeguarding the beauty and character of sites; the 1966 recommendation on the protection of cultural property endangered by public works; the 1972 recommendation on the national protection of cultural and natural heritage; and the 1972 Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

[153] The new law for national cultural heritage passed in 1974 marked an important turning point, as it favoured movable goods to the detriment of historic monuments, whose management became the responsibility of the “reliable” People’s Councils and their subordinated units, the local Offices for National Cultural Heritage.

[154] Nota informativă privind implicațiile nefavorabile ale amplasării unor blocuri de locuințe în șanțurile cetății.

[155] Letter sent by CCSE to the PC of Alba (April 23, 1976), DHM Fund, file no. 251.

[156] In Romanian, Comitetul de Stat pentru Arhitectură şi Construcţii (CSAC).

[157] Letter sent by SCAC to the PC of Alba (July 12, 1976), DHM Fund, file no. 251.

[158] Report by Valerian Bărbuţă, topographer, archaeologist, and delegate of the Oficiul Judeţean pentru Patrimoniu Cultural Naţional Alba [Alba County Office for National Cultural Heritage] (3 May 1982), DHM Fund, file no. 254, Alba Iulia, cetate. Corespondenţa [Alba Iulia, Fortress. Correspondence] (1981-1982).

[159] Report by the museum sent to the DHM (May 10, 1982), DHM Fund, file no. 254.

[160] Report by Ioan şerban and Toma Goronea (May 3, 1982), DHM Fund, file no. 254.

[161] Report by Valerian Bărbuţă (3 May 1982), DHM Fund, file no. 254.

[162] Letter sent by SCAC to the People’s Council of Alba (July 12, 1976), DHM Fund, file no. 251.

[163] Report by the museum sent to DHM (May 10, 1982), DHM Fund, file no. 254.

List of illustrations

Fig. 1. The Catholic cathedral in 1955, NIH photo library.

Fig. 2. The Princely Palace in 1965, NIH photo library.

Fig. 3. Gate III in 1960, NIH photo library.

Fig. 4. Gate III. Fallen fragment of sculpture, NIH photo library.

Fig. 5. GOSTAT’s bottles and crates near the walls, NIH photo library.

Fig. 6. Collapsed wall of the fortress in 1960, NIH photo library.

Fig. 7. Vintage lantern on Gate II in 1960, NIH photo library.

Fig. 8. Preserved masonry on the plot between the Storehouse and the Princely Palace in 1963, NIH photo library.

Fig. 9. The lapidarium and fresco fragments exhibited in the precinct of the Orthodox cathedral in 1968, NIH photo library.

Fig. 10. Ceauşescu visiting the new museum in the Babylon building in 1968, http://memoriaurbis.apulum. ro/ro/story/94, accessed on September 3, 2020.

Fig. 11-12. Blocks built in the protection area, seen from inside and outside the fortress in 2020, ©Ioana Rus-Cacovean.