Derived from Latin and meaning “beyond the forest”, the name „Transylvania“ was first mentioned in 1075. The name lasted over the years due to the vast forest areas that still exist here today. Until the middle of the 17th century, when stone started to be used for buildings, wood was the common material of construction. In all the Transylvanian villages we can find little farms with barns, sheds and gates made of wood, nevertheless the most distinctive constructions are the fortified churches whose bell-towers built on solid support oversee the area. An interesting characteristic of these constructions is the joinery technique using wooden nails or the “swallow-tail joint”, which proved very efficient over the years.
The diversity of tree species has contributed to the preservation of the carpentry skills, wood being used for making tools or household goods such as dowry chests, traditional furniture simple or with inlays, flour chests, solid window-frames and doors.
The Mălâncrav craftsmen, are very skilled in the traditional techniques and they are working mainly with oak and pine wood. The wood is usually cut in winter, in the southern part of the forest, where the humidity is lower, then left to dry for a period of time before being used. The carpenters are using the axe and chisel to make wooden beams, boards and lath used for construction and restoration of traditional houses, barns, roofs or household goods. Keeping alive the traditional carpentry skills is contributing very much to the preservation of the traditional and authentic character of the village.
Ernest Linzing, house 280