Renovation of the church in Curraj i Epërm
The history of this church was turbulent. According to carvings in stones of the church’s walls, it was built in 1897. It is one of two remaining catholic churches in whole Albanian, that survived Enver Hoxha’s rough communist dictatorship – during communist times, it was transformed into a cinema. Although the comrades of Party of Labour of Albania would have been happy to tear it down without mercy (and attempted to do so in 1967), the local men and families prevented this from happening. The church also has a second floor, which was inhabited by a local communist overseer. The state of the church was not very good, but we took it as a challenge and got into it quickly.
During the summer of 2015, we have:
- cleaned the church from litter
- repaired the roof with a helping hand from our mountaineers
- torn out the rotten part of the church’s floor
- made a base layer for new parts of the floor
- replaced the rotten parts with new wood
- painted the interior anew
- impregnated the wooden ceiling against fungi
- put new plexiglass into 11 windows
- repaired all the window frames
- covered 35 square meters of walls with white fabric
- removed rust from the altar and painted it, repaired furniture
- repaired the door
- organized a new consecration of the church.
The renovation was completely organized and directed by Ing. arch Jan Stratílek. The budget was around 30 000 Kč. We have gained 10 000 Kč during our beneficial concert, the rest of the funds was provided by our volunteers and sponsors of the project. We did not make use of any public money, neither from Czech and Albanian state funds, nor from the funds or programmes of the European Union.
In order to make the repairs possible, we had to transport following material into the village: 15 m² of plexiglass, 50 kg of tools, 35 m² of fabric, 225 kg of cement, 1 ton of sand etc. The material was transported into the village by 7 mules and 3 horses. The local people also helped a great deal, without a blink of an eye.