The Broken Tower from Tomeşti (2002 - 2003)   
Colleagues: Lóránt Darvas, Boglárka Tóth

In the 18th century the medieval church of Tomeni was pulled down, and only the church tower survived. During the excavation we opened the Southern part of the building and succeeded in clarifying the different building periods.

Dimensions of the early church: 12,8 meters long, 6,5 meters wide, from which the length and width of the apse were circa 5 meters. This is the first apse of the age of the Árpáds in the Ciuc – basin!  In the sanctuary there was a rounded arched tabernacle that we found in a secondary place, bricked up in a cellar from the village. It is the first known tabernacle of the age of the Árpáds from Ciuc. It is considered to be rareness in Szeklerland.

On the basis of the ground – plan, the sporadic ceramics, the shape of the tabernacle and the mentioning of the church in 1332 we can affirm that most probably the first church of Tomeni dates back to the 13th century. However, for a more precise establishment of the date of construction further research would be necessary.

In 2003 we identified the foundations of a late – Gothic sanctuary with buttress that was built instead of the apse, which was pulled down in the 15th century. The new sanctuary was added a Gothic tabernacle and a Gothic altar. The profiles of the arch’s ribs in the church from Tomeni and the one in the neighbouring Cârţani are the same, and the tabernacles of these two churches also show some similarities, which leads us to the conclusion that the two churches might have been built by the same builders. Very probably the bell – tower was added to the Western front in the last phase of the construction.

The church was surrounded with an almost eight meters high wall, which most probably was already finished in the middle of the 16th century. On the inner part of the wall we excavated a part of an ossuary, in which we think the remains of some graves that were stirred up with the Gothic constructions were “transferred”.

In the graves discovered during the excavation we can hardly find any objects; they give us almost absolutely no information about the beginnings of the cemetery and the church, as in the 15th century these graves were already stirred up by new and deeper ones.

You can find a more detailed review of the results of the excavation in the Yearbook of the Szekler Museum of Ciuc 2004 – 2005.

The Sekler Museum of Ciuc
Miercurea Ciuc, Cetatii Square no. 2
Harghita County, Romania

The Nagy Imre Art Gallery
Miercurea Ciuc, Zsögödi Nagy Imre Street no. 175.

The Kossuth Gallery
Miercurea Ciuc, Kossuth Lajos Street no. 12
Postal address:
Muzeul Secuiesc al Ciucului
530132 Miercurea Ciuc, Piaţa Cetăţii nr.2
Judeţul Harghita, Romania

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