Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania

Counties of Alba, Brasov, Harghita, Mureş, Sibiu, Region of Transylvania
N46 8 9 E24 46 23
Date of Inscription: 1993
Extension: 1999
Criteria: (iv)
Property : 553 ha
Buffer zone: 3,727.87 ha
Ref: 596bis
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These Transylvanian villages with their fortified churches provide a vivid picture of the cultural landscape of southern Transylvania. The seven villages inscribed, founded by the Transylvanian Saxons, are characterized by a specific land-use system, settlement pattern and organization of the family farmstead that have been preserved since the late Middle Ages. They are dominated by their fortified churches, which illustrate building styles from the 13th to the 16th century.

Suggested Bases:

Brașov (pronounced Bra-shov) is a city in Transylvania, Romania. It’s set in the Carpathian Mountains in the centre of the country, 180 km from Bucharest. It’s mostly a modern industrial city with a population of about 250,000, but the reason to visit is the well-preserved Old Town. It’s also an alternative base for skiing at the nearby resort of Poiana Brașov. In the Middle Ages Transylvania had Hungarian rulers, who brought in Saxon settlers. They developed the walled town known in German as Kronstadt and in Hungarian as Brassó. Later development was further out so this old centre was largely preserved. It has good tourist facilities and is well worth an extended stay: perhaps because it lacks an airport, it’s not as well known to westerners as similar old towns such as Sibiu and Cluj Napoca. Shop, restaurant and hotel staff often speak English and German. For the visitor therefore, the core of Brașov is the old town (largely pedestrianised) and adjoining Șchei district [read more].

Cluj-Napoca (Romanian), Kolozsvár (Hungarian) or Klausenburg (German) is the capital of Cluj county and the unofficial capital of the historical region of Transylvania. The city, with about 320,000 people (2016), is very pleasant, and it is a great experience for those who want to see urban Transylvanian life at its best. Along with fine dining, excellent cultural activities, a wonderful historical legacy and a great atmosphere, the city will not disappoint those who add it to their travel itinerary. What’s more is the fact that Cluj (as it’s called for short) is so easy to access and get around. Today, the biggest ethnic group in Cluj-Napoca are Romanians. However, this was not always the case as many different groups have inhabited the city throughout its history. The first trace of life was neolithic settlements which were dating back thousands of years. Later the settlement was conquered and inhabited by Romans [read more].

Bucharest (Romanian: București) is Romania’s capital and largest city, as well as the most important industrial and commercial center of the country. With more than 2.1 million inhabitants in the urban area, Bucharest is one of the largest cities in Southeastern Europe. Bucharest is the primary entry point into Romania. Bucharest is a booming city with many large infrastructure projects changing the old face of the city. Known in the past as “The Little Paris,” Bucharest has changed a lot lately, and today it has become a very interesting mix of old and new that has little to do with its former reputation. Finding a 300-year-old church near a steel-and-glass tower that both sit next to a communist-style building is commonplace in Bucharest. Bucharest offers some excellent attractions, and has cultivated a sophisticated, trendy, and modern sensibility that many have come to expect from a European capital. Bucharest has benefited from an economic boom along with the EU grants that have helped rebuild parts of the city, including the revamped old town [read more].

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