Travel with Ker & Downey to Viscri – one of the seven villages with fortified churches of Transylvania and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There’s a lot more to Transylvania than Dracula. It’s one of the most beautiful natural regions in Europe – surrounded by the Carpathian mountains, forests, green hills, and rivers. Small towns, medieval fortresses, castles, and monasteries dot the landscape. It is one of the most developed areas in Romania, yet there are also charming villages where the people live as if unchanged by time.
In the 12th century, German merchants arrived in the region and over the next few centuries, built seven fortress towns and hundreds of fortified churches to withstand seiges from Ottoman and Tatar invasions. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the seven villages with fortified churches provide valuable insight into the lives of the Saxon settlers. The churches were the main element of town, and around it, the social life gravitated. Nearby, you would find the parish house, homes of wealthy villagers, a school, and village hall.
They churches were often located in the center of town in an easily defendable position, and equally accessible by all villagers. Multiple types of fortifications can be found around the church: enclosures and rows of fortifications around the church, multiple fortification walls, and defensive functions, which are all a testimony to the Saxon building techniques.
The seven churches that comprise the Fortified Churches of Transylvania UNESCO World Heritage Site are Biertan, Câlnic, Prejmer, Viscri, Dârjiu, Saschiz, and Valea Viilor.
The village and church of Viscri have been beautifully preserved. The church, originally built in the 12th century, was expanded and fortified by the Saxons in the 16th century. In 2006 Viscri received some attention when HRH the Prince of Wales purchased and restored two 18th century Saxon houses in the area in an effort to help protect the way of life that has existed for hundreds of years. When the Prince of Wales isn’t visiting, the homes are used for guesthouses or tourists.
Travel with Ker & Downey to Romania to see the fortified churches of Transylvania. For more information, contact your Luxury Travel Consultant. To stay up to date on all of our online content, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.