We aim to contribute to social innovation through culture, and our most important activity in this area is the strategic programme Castle in Transylvania, launched in 2015. We believe that castles occupy a very important place in the built cultural heritage of Transylvania, but that their potential isn’t exploited enough. We aim to reinstate these buildings on the mental map of the communities, occupying their worthy place in a vision in which they become an integral part of the social, economic and cultural circuits.
To address this complex theme and to bring to view these wonderful, valuable buildings, with their rich history and potential for the future, the program was launched with the creation of a trilingual website with important information about 300 castles and a mobile application. Over the years, a broad strategy and a lot of projects and events were added, all of which serve the same purpose: to contribute to the revitalization of the Transylvanian castles. History is Our Story, an interactive web documentary was launched in 2019, which presents, through 3 castles, the past and possible future of the Transylvanian castles. Three castles, which are geographically close to each other, but are very different in terms of past and future prospects, present an x-ray of the built heritage of castles in Transylvania.
We also aim to create a community movement and a large network around the Transylvanian castles. We want to connect people and organizations and, for this purpose, we constantly involve experts in our professional and community programmes. The Castle in Transylvania Coalition, made up of owners and operators of castles was established in 2016 and has been operating since with 30 members. 30 young lovers of castles, „ambassadors” who support the cause of Transylvanian castles, joined this community in 2019.
Speaking of young people: we believe that education about the built heritage cannot be started too early. That’s why, last year we added a new “item” in our EduCastle games: an activities and colouring book, a fun and useful way to get to know castles and the life around them better.
Culture is to be shared. 5 events took place in 2020 at 5 castles, where Picnic at the castle brought together families in an enchanting environment to enjoy together good music, educational activities for children and safe socializing.
Sustainability is an important challenge, both for the castles themselves and for the program. For this purpose, we set up the Castle in Transylvania Fund, which started with a webshop with objects created by young Transylvanian artists, inspired by the theme of castles. Thus, we connect heritage to contemporary art, the present past, and most importantly, the future.
PONT is also a member in Cluj Cultural Centre and board members in their heritage project called Remarcable Romania and we also facilitate yearly reunions in Culture Next project. We are also members of the Regional Committee of Representatives of the RFC project – Revitalization of Fortress Towns.