Arad County - Western Romania

Restoration of Maria Radna Basilica

By Herbert Habenicht

Translated by Rose Vetter, German PDF

Building History

Preceded by two buildings during the periods of 1520 to 1651 and 1756 to 1767, the present church was built in the late baroque style. In 1686 the miraculous image created by north Italian printers was donated to Radna. The monastery was constructed in three phases: the west wing as of 1727, the south wing as of 1743 and beginning in 1823, the east wing was joined to the main façade of the church.  In 1911 each of the steeples were heightened by 30 meters.  In 1923 a fire destroyed the roof trusses of the church and monastery. 

During the last restoration beginning in 1971 the exterior plaster was renewed and the interior, including the ceiling frescoes, was redecorated by the Millthaler brothers of Arad. 

Signs of Damage 

The foundation shows moisture damage and cracks.  The plaster which was applied during the 1970's is disintegrating or separating from the masonry, the exterior paint is peeling.  Many wooden slats are missing on the resonance louvers surrounding the bells. The church clocks are corroded and no longer functioning.  The concrete building sections dating from the year 1911 show extensive damage, such as holes caused by corrosion of the steel reinforcements.  The metal flashings protecting the façade ornaments are largely deformed or missing. 

The Restoration

First of all, a chart will be drawn up to determine the exact location, type and extent of damage to the façade. Then the plaster will be replenished with materials adapted to the base coat and construction period of the building.  Damaged stucco elements will have to be replicated with the aid of templates. The load-bearing capacity of the top addition to the steeple has to be restored with expert reconstruction techniques. The metal sheeting protecting the ledges and stucco elements will be partially renewed. The badly corroded dials, hands and movement of the steeple clock need to be restored. 

Appeal for Donations


To help us manage the project of the costly and ongoing restoration work of the Maria Radna Church, we depend on your contributions. 

Tax deductible donations in any currency are appreciated and will exclusively benefit the restoration of the church  Please send your donations to the following account:   

"Verein Kinder-, Alten- und Krankenhilfe für Rumänien e.V.

Sparkasse Fürstenfeldbruck

(Account No.) BLZ 70053070, Reference: "Maria Radna" 

IBAN: DE14 7005 3070 0002 20715



Submitted by Herbert Habenicht

Dipl.-Ing. Architekt
Tel./Fax: 089-359 82 31

[Published at June 12, 2008 by Jody McKim Pharr]