Arad County - Western Romania

Collection of Votive Pictures - Maria Radna

By Herbert Habenicht

Translated by Rose Vetter, German PDF

The Exhibit 

During the restoration work, the pictures will be accessible for visitors on the original 3 floors in order to keep them in touch with the history of this pilgrimage site.  First of all, the 82 votive pictures of Sanktanna will be located on the first upper floor, for which the H.O.G. Sanktanna has already promised the necessary funds.  The next step will be to move the pictures from storage to the second upper floor to protect them from any further deterioration.  The museum aims to depict the religiousness of the mid-European cultural legacy in Maria Radna. 


The Inventory 

The Votive Picture Corridor is annexed to the church on the ground level.  Since the beginning of pilgrimages in the early 18th century, the votive pictures displayed here have been brought to Maria Radna by the faithful in order to redeem a pledge.  The oldest preserved votive pictures stem from the year 1858;  in total, 16 pictures from the 19th century have been preserved.  Unfortunately the votive pictures from the 18th and 19th centuries were almost all destroyed in a fire.  However, the custom of donating pictures was revived soon afterward.  An inventory taken from 1996 to 1997 by the Szeged University Department of Ethnology recorded over 1,700 pictures. 


Work Plan 

In order to restore the Votive Picture Corridor as an exhibition area, the temporary partition walls have to be removed.  Then the window frames and doors will be repaired and painted. Finally, the historical cross vaulting which fortunately is mostly intact, is to be restored. The work on this project is scheduled to begin in the summer of this year. A picture rail will be installed to prevent unnecessary holes in the historic masonry. 




In order to make the second upper floor accessible for visitors as well, further donations are necessary. It would be appreciated if other H.O.G.'s or private individuals follow the example of the Sanktanna community and make a contribution toward the creation of a Votive Picture Museum.








Submitted by Herbert Habenicht

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

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