On April 18th, on the International Day on Monuments and Sites, the built heritage of the village of Velika Hoča (Municipality of Rahovec) has been enriched with another restored building. The project of restoration and revitalization of the winery building of Saint Stephan Church was completed and the building was inaugurated in the presence of the U.S Ambassador in Prishtina, representatives of Serbian Orthodox Church, Municipality of Rahovec, Village development council, local community, Kosovo United States Alumni (KUSA), CHwB and other stakeholders.
The winery building of Saint Stephan Church in Velika Hoča was abandoned and left neglected. The walls were exposed to precipitation. During the restoration and conservation works, the perimeter walls were consolidated, while the stone joints were re-pointed with lime mortar.River stones and adobe bricks were used for the restoration of walls. Stones were collected from the setting and inside the winery building, additional stones were acquired locally. Constructing (bricklaying) was carried during summer and fall in 2014 since lime mortar and adobe bricks require optimal weather conditions for the process of drying and firming.Pine timber beams were used in reconstructing the new large hip roof. The original beams in good condition were restored and reused when possible, whereas new pine timber beams were inserted as per need. New openings in roof were inserted to allow more natural light and to adapt the building for the future use.
The key objectives of this US funded project were:
– Protecting the cultural values of the winery of Saint Stephan Church through restoration and adaptive reuse, and
– Creating conditions for socio-economic development.
The ultimate aim is to adapt the building into a centre for exploration, enjoyment and interaction not only for local community but also for visitors.