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CITADELS AND FORTIFIED CHURCHES
The Saxon colonists arrived in these areas about nine centuries ago, brought by the Hungarian Kings in order to defend the territory from the attacks of the enemies and develop it. Being Catholics, at first they built little Catholic basilicas but the violent attacks of the Ottomans and, later, the Reform of Martin Luther imposed their transformation into Evangelical Fortified Churches.
In the same time, the Saxons developed their little towns and villages with streets organized on guilds and neighbours, with trade areas and squares.
But for the Saxons, the church was the core of their community, of their universe. It was not just a sacred place but also a shelter, a witness of their joy and their sorrows. This is why these people gave their churches and citadels personality and uniqueness - more than 150 fortified churches and fortresses were built in Transylvania, 50 of them in our county - amazing monuments of architecture.
All these places survived the hard centuries but the 20th century with its terrible conflicts - the two world wars, the Communist persecutions and the Revolution in 1989 - brought the end of the prosperous times. Step by step the Saxon communities were destroyed, expropriated and deported. But, the influence of the Saxon culture is still alive, today and these churches are a symbol of the old times.
Each and every church has its own story - they are a fascinating universe with lots of valuable objects, organs, frescoes, hidden symbols, sacristy doors, bells and towers.
The villages are also so picturesque with an old still preserved architecture, a mix of joyful colours, simple people, stunning landscape... The land of the fortified churches and the Transylvanian Highlands are just stupendous!
Some of the fortified churches and villages we suggest:
- Alma Vii
- Axente Sever