That we love Sibiu is no longer a secret. Neither is that we love the whole county of Sibiu, with all its history, culture and diversity. And what’s not to love about it – beautiful landscapes, traditions that are still being kept, houses with old and well preserved architecture, villages with so many stories to be told around the fire, rich and diverse cuisine, rural life at its best. In a world that’s going too global, these villages keep to their local diversity.
Our last stop from the second road trip through the Saxon villages was Slimnic, also known as Stolzenburg. Slimnic is on the way from Sibiu to Mediaș, two important cities in the South of Transylvania. In the medieval period the road connecting them was constantly under threat of enemy attacks.
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.
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.
The Alma Vii Fortified Church was the last one to visit during our first weekend road trip around the beautiful Saxon villages in the Sibiu county. The church welcomed us from up the hill, right before entering the village.