The role of industrial archaeology in conservation: The Reşiţa area of the Romanian Carpathians

Authors: Hillinger, N.1; Olaru, M.2; Turnock, D.3

Source: GeoJournal, Volume 55, Numbers 2-4, 2001 , pp. 607-630(24)

Publisher: Springer

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Industrial archaeology has developed as an important aspect of conservation during the second half of the twentieth century in the Western world and there have been great opportunities in transition countries since 1989 on account of economic restructuring and the importance given to 'niche' tourism. While the core interest lies with machines and industrial buildings, attention is also given to transport systems and the social context, with respect to relations between owners, managers and workers. Moreover, the desirability of maintaining old industrial installations within their traditional landscape settings enables industrial archaeology to make a contribution to sustainable development. This paper considers the prospects for Romania, with particular reference to the Reşiţa area of the Banat Carpathians. The mineral resources of this region gave rise to a metallurgical industry which was established under Habsburg administration in the eighteenth century and continues today. In addition to the principal factories in Anina and Reşiţa, the mining installations, transport systems and power stations contribute to a diverse industrial region in a distinctive physical and cultural setting. The development of the complex is summarised and the opportunities for conservation are evaluated. The tourist infrastructure of the area is also examined with regard to the range of accommodation available.

Keywords: engineering; hydropower; industrial archaeology; railways; steel; timber; transport

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: B-dul.Republicii B17 Sc1 Ap9, Cart.Lunca Bârzavei, 1700 Reşiţa, Romania 2: Geography Department, West University of Timişoara, Str. Pârvan 5, 1900 Timişoara, Romania 3: Geography Department, The University, Leicester LE1 7RH, U.K.

Publication date: January 1, 2001

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