Old Art Nouveau Saxon School in Transylvania turned into a charming guesthouse

A few years ago, Cincșor  was a simple village from Transylvania, just like many others. The Saxons departed from the village and all they left behind were a Fortified Church and a small community. But in this context, a powerful woman, with an extraordinary life story, showed up and proved everyone that a single person can change the destiny of an entire village.

Mrs. Carmen Schuster was born in Cincșor, spent her childhood in the village, and in the 80s was forced to move to Germany with her family. She made a name for herself in the bank system in Germany, but the 90s brought her back in Romania. She received a leadership position in an important bank. Once back, the severely damaged Saxon buildings from Cincșor made Carmen return to her birthplace and fight to save the cultural heritage. Together with her husband, a history professor from Germany, she started a wide process of restoration of the Fortified Church, Evangelical school, old Parish house and a peasant house. Another peasant house is being currently restored.

After a long period of oblivion, they managed to bring the Saxon spirit back to life. And not anyway! The houses have undergone complex restoration and refurbishment interventions, involving specialists from several fields.  It has been a pretty long and difficult process, but the buildings are now a true model of how to properly recover and protect the local heritage.

Old school

Saxon scool

The Saxon School from Cincşor dates back to 1910 and is the work of the Saxon architect Fritz Balthes. In the renovation process, Carmen was particularly interested in the architectural details and design, while her husband was preoccupied with the functionality of the building. Thus, after an amazing transformation and an efficient use of space, a charming guesthouse came to life.

The attic has been transformed into three spacious accommodation rooms. The interior design consists mainly of wood, traditional furniture, blankets and rugs of local provenance, crates and cabinets carefully crafted.

On the ground floor, there is one more room in the same architectural style, a common area, the restaurant and the kitchen. The restaurant was opened in an annex of the house that keeps the proportions and attention to traditional architecture.

The most beautiful space of the guest house remains the library, equipped with white sofas, a laitimotiv in Cincșor, carpets, traditional furniture, paintings signed by various artists from Romania and Germany, as well as several hundred or even thousands of collected books and received by the two over time.

Old Parish House and Peasant House

Across the street, they renovated a peasant house and the old Parish house, where they currently live. Both buildings correspond to contemporary comfort standards, but they maintain at the same time an overall rural image. The Parish House is the oldest private building in Cincșor. When they bought it, the Parish house was severely decayed. After major restoration work, they managed to transform it into an architectural jewel, by preserving as much as possible from of the old architecture and character of the place.

The family paid great attention to details and they combined in an elegant manner traditional furniture with modern art. They went along the same line: white sofas and armchairs, wooden tables and chairs with simple geometry, drawings and original paintings. During the renovation process, they discovered Renaissance frescoes that they saved and tried to highlight.

Behind the Parish house, there are several accommodation rooms overlooking the courtyard. The barn has also been transformed into an event venue – simple, good looking and not at all pretentious. Currently, a fourth house is undergoing a restoration process.

Fortified Church

The construction of the ensemble of the Fortified church in Cincşor began in the thirteenth century. The ensemble consists of a church, bell tower, defense towers, surrounded by defense walls. With the help of foundations, donations and a modest entry fee, Carmen and her husband have managed to restore parts of the whole, but the process is a lasting one.

The guest houses at Cincşor are a positive example of an impeccably executed restoration process as well as a proof that rural tourism can revitalize, revive the Romanian village and the multi-ethnic space.

Tips & Tricks:  If you want to book a room, call Mrs. Carmen. You can find her phone number here.

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