Sighisoara and Fortressesfrom
Transylvania, a mythical land, a fascinating mix of nature, culture and biodiversity!
Reviews 4 Reviews0/5
Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely
Group Size Medium Group
New York Times wrote about a mythical Transylvania with medieval buildings well preserved over the centuries; The Toronto Star described Transylvania as a charming land; The Telegraph describes it as “the land beyond the forests”; Le Figaro called it the “living heart of Europe”. Prince of Wales himself often comes here to enjoy the beauty and serenity of the Saxon villages.
UNESCO-Heritage Sighisoara and the Fortified Churches
These Saxon villages – pearls of Transylvania – were built hundreds of years ago by the Saxon colonists. Today, they still preserve their old architectural charm: big houses spread along the main road, large unpaved streets, tall wooden front gates, shady gardens with orchards and vineyards.
For the Saxons, the church represented the soul of the community. It wasn’t just a place for payers but also a shelter against the enemies, a witness of their joy and sorrows. This is way, each of these churches and fortresses has its own story, its own personality, real architectural monuments.
All these villages faced the hard times but the 20th century and its terrible conflicts – the two world wars, the communist persecutions and the Revolution in 1989 deepened even harder the anguish. But, despite this, the influence of the Saxon culture and civilisation remains till today visible – all these communities (even though depopulated) preserve the old ambience and the fortified churches remain a silent witness of the past.
Sighişoara is a beautiful UNESCO citadel, the only fortress still lived in Europe. It is said that Dracula was born in here so, it will be the perfect place to discover who the threatening prince really was…
Alma Vii is tucked in the green landscapes of Transylvania preserving, thus, its heritage untouched. Wildlife thrives here and the forests around burst with life. The 14th century fortified church stands boldly right in the middle of the village like a guardian watching carefully its people.
Biertan is one of the best defended churches in Transylvania. The stories of the village and its fortified church are amazing. We’ll learn about the famous vineyards, the fortification system, listen to great stories about the Bacon Tower, the married couples prison, the famous sacristy door and so many others…
The standard tour includes:
- Walking tour in the fortress of Sighisoara;
- Visit in Biertan – UNESCO heritage
- Visit at Alma Vii fortified church
The standard tour doesn’t include but, at your request, we could add:
- A visit at one of the other fortified churches or fortifications: Mosna, Malancrav, Saschiz, Viscri, Crit;
- A walking tour in the old town of the former medieval Medias.
The oldest medieval fortress still lived nowadays… Narrow streets, old thick-walled houses, little windows and massive wooden gates, shady yards, mysterious dark tunnels, wooden floor stairs, towers and bulwarks; this is Sighisoara in just a few words.
A UNESCO heritage monument, the citadel of Sighişoara is amazing. As you climb the stairs up on the hill, you have the feeling that the time-machine really exists!
The medieval atmosphere welcomes you everywhere, it’s just an exercise of imagination. The cobbled streets join you along the fortified walls till the covered stairs. 175 steps must be climbed to reach above the citadel, on the hill. There is the evangelical church, the old Saxon graveyard, the place where the ghost stories are born, the place haunted by Dracula’s spirit at midnight…
As we arrive in the citadel, we shall be fascinated by the old Clock Tower. It is the tower in which a toy drummer announces every quarter of an hour; it is the tower with figurines, with symbols, with a golden globe on its top and with a rooster that predicts the weather; it never fails.
Who hasn’t heard of Vlad Tepeş or Dracula? It is said that he was born in Sighişoara. Many and mysterious are the legends linked to the frightening Tepeş, but all of these are more enjoyable when told up on the fortress or even on the alleys of the graveyard…
It will be the perfect place to discover who Dracula really was… the legends say that he was a vampire, the history says that he was a courageous prince, for Saxons he was a demon, for Romanians he was a hero. But who was Vlad the Impaler and why did he become one of the most famous characters in the history of Romania? A guided tour in Sighişoara will provide you all the answers…
Biertan Fortified Church
It is one of the best defended churches in Transylvania, a UNESCO heritage monument. The stories of the village and its fortified church are amazing. We’ll learn about the daily activities (and the famous vineyards), the fortification system, listen to great stories about the Bacon Tower, the married couples’ prison, the Catholic Tower, the famous sacristy door, the beautiful aisle, and so many others…
Alma Vii Fortress
Transylvania’s well-kept secret is Alma Vii. This little villages is tucked in the green landscapes of Transylvania, far from the heavy traffic preserving, thus, its heritage untouched. Wildlife thrives here and the forests around the fortress burst with life. The 14th century fortified church stands boldly right in the middle of the village like a guardian watching carefully its people.
The fortification of the church was restored a few years ago with Norway founds and the church building will be restored this year with US founds.
In the northern part of our county we can find the biggest number of Saxon villages and fortified churches and citadels.
During the Middle Ages, fortresses were not only for defence purposes, they were also edifices of prestige, symbolising social, economic and, of course, military power and influence. All these fortifications are of great value for Romania as they still preserve many elements of original medieval architecture. In the recent years, due to the great work of non-governmental associations and even the influence of Prince Charles of Wales, many of these churches have been restored and their community reintegrated through programs for social support. There are so many, among them we suggest:
- Axente Sever
- Valea Viilor
Our tour is focused on the heritage and patrimony of Transylvania: Saxon medieval towns, fortified churches and citadels. We’ll talk about the different ethnic groups that lived over here during the centuries, their daily life and their influence over the today’s communities.
This tour is about life, history, legends, heritage, multicultural and intercultural relationships, wars, strategies, traditions, architecture, crafts and biodiversity. It is a complex tour and you’ll enjoy spending a lot of time outdoors, in the countryside. We’ll set together all the necessary details for the tour.
As an alternative to one of our visits, we can add a hiking tour in the area of Biertan – a nice, relaxing walk with an amazing view over the village and the hills around.
Yes, it is suitable for children, too.
Most of these fortifications are built up on the top of the hills, so most of the suppose a bit of walking/ climbing. Please let us know in case you have any kind of health issues and we’ll try to adapt to tour to your needs/ possibilities.