[Romania] Road trip to the Fortified Churches in the Sibiu County (part 1)
We were planning such a weekend for a long time, but each time we were considering of actually doing such a trip, we always said that we can leave it for another time, as these places are very close to home and we have some other options further away.
But finally, at the beginning of April, we said that this is it, we are doing it. We wanted to go somewhere with the baby, as the weather forecast was expected to be very good. As it’s still a bit difficult to go on long holidays with the baby, some short weekend road trips, with not too much driving are a good option to spend some time outside the city and explore the world 🙂
Sibiu County has a very long and diverse history, not to mention an extremely beautiful landscape. For someone visiting the city of Sibiu, plan also to go outside the city and see the beautiful Saxon villages. You will be amazed by what they have to offer in terms of houses architecture, fortified churches, local products and local customs and very authentic experiences.
For us it was the first time we did such a trip, although we’ve been living in Sibiu for so many years and I have to admit I was more than amazed by what the weekend offered to us. I still think with such great pleasure about the two days we spent in these beautiful villages and I have to admit that we came back home filled with such a good vibe and so much positive energy.
We chose the perfect timing for visiting these villages and their fortified churches, it was the first official opening weekend of the year and there were barely any tourists around. During summer time it gets quite crowded and weekend tend to be even more crowded, so for us it was even a more delight being all alone with the guides, asking all the questions we wanted, getting the chance to understand the realities of these villages.
The Hosman Fortified Church
Our first stop was the village of Hosman and its beautiful fortified church. Our first encounter of the church was from far away, while driving, with the beautiful Fagaras Mountains behind it.
The Chuch was built in the XIII century and forced by enemy attacks, the locals had to fortify it 2 centuries later. The interior is filled with animal-like characters, biblical or fantastic characters, supernatural beings and dramatic scenes emphasizing the good and evil fight.
The Chirpăr Fortified Church
After having a quick lunch, we stopped in Chirpăr to have a look at their fortified church as well. Same story, built in the XIII century and fortified about 200 years later.
Unfortunately this church is not open for visiting, nor is it in a decent condition. It was left unsupervised and it’s slowly turning into a ruin.
The Agnita Fortified Church
Agnita was our next stop after a nice afternoon sleep.
Agnita is a town in the Sibiu county, famous during time for its craftsmen. Unfortunately, now these crafts and traditions are not so well maintained anymore. Their fortified church lays on the Hartibaciu riverside and was initially built as a Romanesque basilica, in the XIII century.
It’s built in a Gothic style with baroque and Renaissance elements and it still has its old fortifications standing.
The Biertan Fortified Church
Biertan was our final stop for the day and also the place we chose to spend the night in.
The fortified church of Biertan is one of the biggest and most beautiful in the area. Built in the Reinaissance style, with Gothic influences, it’s the last such church built in Transylvania.
Built in the XVI century, The Biertan Fortified Church is now an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The village is also incredibly beautiful, with old architecture, with Saxon houses which are now turned into guest houses.
We spent the night in one such house, called the Oppidum House, very nice and cosy place. We also had breakfast and lunch included, cooked by one of the locals, absolutely delicious.
Sunday morning we woke up and had a nice morning walk on one of the hills close to Biertan for a nice view over the village and its beautiful fortified church.
The Richiș Fortified Church
Only a few kilometers away from Biertan, is Richiș, another old Saxon village, as beautiful.
Its fortified church hides lots of stories and legends and we were so lucky to find its guide, Mr. Schass alone and willing to tell us all about it. It was such a nice conversation, he is such a dedicated person, patient enough to explain every detail of this beautiful monument.
The Richis fortified church was initially built as a Cistercian monastery and was transformed in the XV century in a catholic church. Inside there is an abundance of symbols and details that give this place a truly mystical touch.
The Alma Vii Fortified Church
Alma Vii was our last village and fortified church for the weekend. Built on the hill above the village, the church was recently renovated and itțs in an excellent condition. It was built in the XIV century and fortified 2 centuries after.
The fortification towers are now small museums, showing artifacts from the area, traditional tools, pieces of furniture and clothing and there is also a small shop with traditional products from the village.
This was our weekend around the beautiful Saxon villages in the Sibiu county. The trip with the baby was extremely pleasant, she enjoyed it as much as we did. The distances between the villages are small, which allowed to stay more outside than in the car, having two full sunny days with temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius.
This is the map of our trip and there will be individual posts for each of these beautiful churches and villages.
We did have a longer list of places to visit in this area of the county, but it seems that 2 days were not enough. There will be for sure a next time to check all the other places we wanted to see.
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[…] About Richiş there’s so much to be told. We have visited this village many times before and it’s one of our favorite Saxon villages form Transylvania. Before Richiş became one of the most prosperous communes in the land of Mediaş and before hardworking people founded the locality, the place was harsh and swampy. Only wild animals lived among the reeds, willows and thorns. In memory of those times, the elegant coat of arms of the commune was created, a herd walking gracefully through an infinite pond, guided by the stars under a red sky. More info on the village and its beautiful fortified church HERE and HERE. […]