On the road from Mediaş to Sibiu there is a village with an unusual name called Axente Sever. Until 1933 the name of the village was Frâua (Frauendorf in German and Asszonyfalva in Hungarian). The new name comes from Ioan Axente an important figure of the Transylvanian Revolution of 1848. He was born in the village and hence the authorities gave his name to the village in 1933. The first mention of the village comes from 1305.
Valea Viilor (English – Vineyard Valley) got its name exactly because the Saxons living here were producing quality wine. The hills surrounding the village were perfect for having vineyards and the sun helped the grapes ripe exactly as much as needed so the wine had an excellent taste.
We arrived in the Dealu Frumos village on a Saturday evening during one of our tours through the Saxon villages from the Hârtibaciu Valley. Dealu Frumos (Schönberg in German) is said to be in the exact center of the country. The first mention of the village was in 1280 in a sales document and the author was writing “happy is the wonderful town in peacetime …”
The third stop on our second journey through the saxon villages was Merghindeal. In the old documents the settlement was called Marienthal (Maria’s Valley). The legend says that a young woman called Maria helped the Saxon colonists find the place where they would build their village and so they named the village after her.
Cincu is first mentioned in a document of 1329 as Schenck, a word connected to Schenke, meaning “tavern” in German. The village was founded in the mid-12th century by some 30 families of German settlers from the Rhineland. There were 64 families in 1488, 70 in 1532 and 344 in 1729. Some 215 individuals were settled there by the Hapsburg in 1753. In 1850, there were 2635 inhabitants.
Cincșor is a village in the Brașov county, where the Hârtibaciu and the Transylvania plateaus meet. The village has had over the centuries many names, both in Romanian and German (Cincu Mic, Șincșor, Șinchișor or Kleinschenk) all meaning approximately the same = the small inn.
Writings about the existence of the village first appear in a Pope document in the year 1377. But it seems that the area had been inhabited before this time, as archeologist had found a Roman Castro here.
The Mocăniță from Sibiu to Agnita is a narrow gauge railway running through the the southern hills of Transylvania and fortified churches, on the Hârtibaciu Valley. The railway, owned by a state company, was abandoned in 2001 and in danger of dismantled, but was saved by a volunteer association and now they are trying to gradually restore it for touristic purposes.