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Previous Restorations of the Church

After the storm damaged the church in 1946, funds were collected for overall restoration. The damages also revealed various architectural and structural problems, thus a thorough rehabilitation process was required. The Sic parish hired Károly KÓS as designer.
They demolished the medieval leaning tower and erected one similar in volume and height at the Western end of the Southern aisle wall. They inserted the medieval windows of the aisle and those on the walls of the main nave, displaced because of the new tower, into the Northern façades. They dismantled the united gable roof and reconstructed separate roof structures for the nave and the aisles, which emphasizes the basilica-like system of the building and the original proportions of volumes. In place of the former tower at the Western end of the nave, a choir gallery was built. The side walls of the aisles were lowered to the same height. The intervention that had most changed the volume proportion of the church was the Northern transept, for which the Eastern pillar of the Northern arcades was demolished, along with the pair of adjacent arcades. The pulpit erected over this pillar was moved. Two levels were established within the high transept. An important detail of the history of this intervention is the fact that owing to increasing differences between designer and investor, KÓS had abandoned the project before the construction ended.
One of the important results of the intervention, from an art history viewpoint, was the discovery of rich medieval mural paintings on both flanks of the triumphal arch, on the South-East pillar and on the Southern aisle wall, within the Southern side space of the choir and inside the choir. The mural paintings were opened and preserved by painter and coat of arms master József KEÖPECZI SEBESTYÉN (within the limits of the time) and interpreted by art historian Géza ENTZ. Even if his timing, his iconographic identifications and the periods established by him are somewhat obsolete, his opinions, and the discovery and publishing of the mural paintings, were defining for the historiography of medieval mural paintings in Transylvania. We need to note that not all the mural paintings on display at present were discovered at that time, and that a Madonna mentioned in the published material has meanwhile disappeared: it must have been detached from the wall and was somehow lost. The discovery and restoration (even if partial) of the original choir windows contributed significantly to the reestablishment of the medieval image of the church.
Despite its being a thorough process, the rehabilitation directed by KÓS had failed to address the core of bearing structure problems. Owing to improper foundations and masonry, increasingly deep cracks appeared within the walls of the church, so that in 1959-63, another major intervention was needed, one supported and supervised by the Department for Historic Monuments. Pál BALLA, the engineer of the diocese elaborated the projects and Lajos BÁGYUJ, known for his experience, contributed to the implementation of the design, as well. The reasons behind the procedure are not convincing today, still we can imagine that these were quite radical interventions at the time. The works have mostly affected the nave, where except for the two pillars with painted ornaments, all others had been demolished and reconstructed along with almost the entire length of the principal nave walls. These “regulated” pillars are easy to recognize, as the medieval windows of the church walls were relocated. The “triumphal arch” of the transept built by KÓS had to be repaired, too. A massive reinforced concrete foundation was inserted under the walls of the Eastern area and the choir got a reinforced concrete ring beam as well. Several elements of the roof structure were changed. The original ceiling elaborated by the UMLING manufacture was screened with wooden panels and suffered several preservation sessions. This is when medieval frescoes representing The Birth of Jesus and The Annunciation were revealed.

 

 

.: © 2015 Szeki Reformatus Templom ::: Biserica Reformata din Sic ::: Sic Calvinist Church :.