THE HECHT HOUSEPiata Mare nr. 8, Sibiu
One of the most important houses of this square has the name of Georg Hecht. If we take a walk in the Main Square it is very easy to notice that on two sides there are mostly houses of nobles and on the other sides there are two buildings of institutions. The buildings of the nobles have resisted because of their esthetic quality but also because they became symbols, representative buildings for the community.
In order to “keep up” with the architectural style of the various eras, these houses of the nobles suffered various transformations. This meant also demolition and construction on the same plot of another building or the renewed decoration and reorganization of the façade. The best example for this is the Hecht House. It was built in the Gothic style towards the Renaissance but in the late period of the Baroque and the transition to the classicist period the façade was modified. At that moment the house became already an administrative building.
Georg Hecht erected a building which is even today one of the most superb, best built and most important ones in the Main Square. He bought an old building which belonged in the 15th century to Christophorus Italicus de Florentia and Nicolaus de Wagio and Oswald Wenzel, mayor of Sibiu in that century. In this house the first Lutheran services in Sibiu took place before the entire community joined the new Christian rite.
When his family became extinct the house became the property of Johannes Wayda and then of the town and from that moment on, i.e. since the end of the 17th century during the 18th century, it became an important administrative centre of Sibiu because here the office of the Saxon University was.
Towards the end of the 15th century and into the 16th century in the Hecht house the mint of the town functioned, the first in Transylvania which coined. One supposes that another location of this mint was in the medieval building of the town hall. In the years 1800 in front of the building there were three trees planted and they reminded of the tradition of the Saxon settlement in this area. The trees were a permanent part of the urban furniture of the Main Square until the 1947 when they were removed by the communist authorities. Also in this building during the Second World War there was the office of the German ethnic community, the political Nazi equivalent of the German community, a group which was dissolved in 1944 and then functioned in the offices of SS in Sibiu.
When the nationalization of 1948 happened the house became the property of the state. The Hecht house was renovated within the vast program initiated for the preparation of the year 2007 when Sibiu was a European Capital of Culture.
The Hecht house remains the most important particular building built in the medieval Renaissance period in Sibiu. It is built in the initial Gothic style with two floors. The Gothic elements which can still be noticed are the vaults with penetrations of the rooms at the ground floor and some other frames at the upper floor.
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