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Published in Scientific Papers. Series B, Horticulture, Vol. LXVI, Issue 1
Written by Ana VIȚA, Vladimir BOC

The paper deals with the research and valorisation of the relationship between sacred spaces and forest landscapes through the insertion of biblically-themed gardens into a 20 ha monastic domain, surrounded by the forests of Cheia mountain resort, located in central Romania. The site is crossed by a natural water course with two ponds and comprises a series of mixed tree groups and groves, increasing the landscape diversity of Cheia Orthodox Monastery area. The first stage of the project consisted in a complex research of the site from a cultural, historical, functional, ecological and visual point of view. Following the site assessment, a landscape redevelopment strategy has been proposed through minimal interventions. It is intended to introduce biblical thematic gardens focused on the conservation of the dendrological vegetation, on the valorisation of the local ambiances through visual and functional integration of the site in the context of the mountain forest landscape and Cheia resort. The proposed vegetation presents a distinct symbolic value in each thematic area that confers a particular visual identity and a specific spiritual role. The conclusions reveal the high potential of the site from visual, environmental and touristic point of view. The opportunity to increase the attractiveness of the monastic domain is highlighted by inserting multiple uses, such as educational, religious, cultural, recreational etc.

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