We don't seem to have a means of commenting on specific sites and reviews without doing another "Review" - or else introducing "Site topics" on this Forum. So I am pasting these comments under the relevant country (Is it possible Els to link it to the site page for easier future reference?? Or might it be better to introduce a new "category" of topics for comments about specific (T)WHS which can be permanently linked to their relevant sites once the first post had been made??) L'ensemble rupestre de Basarabi
Philipp Peterer's review of his and Nan's "adventurous" but ultimately unsatisfactory (in so far as seeing its potential value is concerned) visit to this site led me to investigate it further (we haven't visited but may be returning soon to Romania so would like to know more about it) - in particular what exactly the site represents and how did it get into the state described by Philipp.
A few conclusions and references
a. The site is described in several articles of being of "importance" (e.g - "the cultural importance of this monument is exceptionally high, not only for Dobruja, but also for the pan-European archaeological heritage
") they may of course be "bigging it up" if that is where their interests lay but it seems to be so because of, inter alia
i. Its role in the Viking to Black Sea/Constantinople trade route
ii. The range of scripts/languages of its inscriptions - including Runic
iii. As an example of monastic sites from the 10thC in Bulgaria
See the Wiki
article and this
b. It has been carved from very porous/friable chalk rock and has been degrading badly since it was discovered during quarrying in the 1950s. Following initial attempts to protect the site with wooden structures the Ceaușescu Government tried with bigger concrete ones in the 1970s as described by Philipp - but run out of money and only a part was covered. That too seems to have been allowed to degrade - but the intention had been for a significant "Visitor Centre" as part of the structure. The Wiki article and this one
both contain photos of the protective structure.
c. The site is officially "closed". There is a post to this effect on Tripadvisor by a local from Constanta. Nowhere can I find reference to any plans to improve and open it - whether using monies from the Romanian government, EU or e.g World Monument Fund!!
d. A number of scientific articles describe studies/experimentation regarding how best to stabilise the rock - but with no great conclusion!!
e. An article
from 2015 states that a 3D model of the churches was to be shown in the Constanta Natural History Museum ("By the end of this year, somewhere in October, full-size 3D replica churches in the Cave Complex will be exhibited at the National History Museum in Constanta in a permanent exhibition
"). – but I can find no reference to it being available. This article
describes the Laser scanning process