Montag, 30. August 2010


In the last years Mălâncrav became known primarily for its visits of Charles, Prince of Wales. After a cautious restoration the former mansion of the Apafi family, once used by his Royal Highness, is open for visitors today. Alongside, a little further up the hill from the village the Evangelic Lutheran Fortified Church has been erected. In the Roman church visitors can find one of the best-preserved examples of 14th century linear-narrative gothic painting in Transylvania. At a length of about 20 meters, the biblical salvation history is depicted in numerous images. The paintings date from the 14th Century.

Mălâncrav is one of the last villages in Transylvania that still has a large Saxon community preserving numerous traditions. The village lies at the end of a beautiful valley and is surrounded by a gentle hilly landscape. A dense network of hiking trails leads to the neighboring villages.

A wide range of accommodations in private homes is available in Mălâncrav. Especially in the summer months, it is the perfect place to rest and relax for a few hours or days.

Montag, 23. August 2010


The ruins of the Cistercian monastery of Cârţa are an impressive testimonial of the eventful history of Transylvania. Through the construction of the monastery, around 1200, the easternmost abbey of the order was erected. Scarcely 50 years after its establishment the ensemble was destroyed by the Mongolian invasion and it had to be rebuilt afterwards. In the 15th Century the downfall of the monastery began. The buildings were damaged again by Ottoman attacks and partly burnt down. The dissolution of the abbey took place in 1471. While the chapel was being used as a parish church by the developed village, the remaining living spaces and farm buildings of the monastery decayed.

The ruins survived over the centuries until today. They are affectionately maintained and can be visited. Marginally to the whole ensemble is the evangelic protestant parsonage of the Saxon community. Professional guidance is offered there.

Montag, 16. August 2010


In Câlnic one of the last noble’s castles in Transylvania is preserved. Because of its exceptional meaning and value, it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In the 13th century Count Chyle marked his residence in the village of Câlnic by building a tower.

Due to frequent attacks from the Ottoman territories the tower was upgraded with a defensive platform and surrounded by a huge defense wall.

The relationship between the Chyl family and the predominantly Saxon villagers was never the best. Therefore in 1430 the last Count relocated and sold the residential castle to the villagers. They used the ensemble as a refuge in case of attacks from the Ottoman territories and constructed additional defense equipment and storage areas. In 1658 Turkish troops attacked the village and destroyed it. The castle, however, remained untaken.
Inside the tower there is a museum today, which offers the opportunity to have a look on the life and local traditions of Transylvanian Saxons.

Montag, 9. August 2010


How did life in late Middle Ages look like in a besieged fortified church? In Hărman one can get a feeling for it, even today, with the help of the numerous components restored. The fortified church was repeatedly besieged and attacked especially in the 16th and 17th century, but was never taken. In January 1612 the villagers even succeeded to defend the castle against a 7,000-strong army of the Hungarian prince Bathori.

At that time the ensemble comprised three surrounding walls, a moat and many defence towers. The entire third fortification wall included storage space on the inside. Water supplies were provided by wells located within the fortifications. Living units were integral part of the church, which in case of a siege could provide accommodation for the mayor, the pastor and other key community representatives.

The defensive fortifications were built between the 13th and 15 Century. Until today very well preserved remains can be visited, e.g. the powerful inner fortification wall, the defence towers, and living as well as storage rooms in the castle precincts.

Montag, 2. August 2010


Aţel with its charming fortified church is located in a picturesque side valley of the Târnava Mare River. The ensemble is a typical example of medieval defence architecture, and contains many hidden treasures that can be discovered by visitors. A concealed stone spiral staircase leads directly from the sacristy into the attic. The double-wall bell tower features even more surprises. The defense platform on the top floor offers a magnificent view of the surrounding village and landscape. From here one can also trace the course of an escape tunnel rediscovered only 50 years ago, which leads from the church to a nearby creek.

In Aţel the historic image of the village with its traditional Saxon farmhouses has been preserved to a large extend. The village is surrounded by a hilly landscape. Numerous hiking trails provide opportunities for shorter and longer tours to neighboring villages and to other fortified churches.