Biertan – a UNESCO World Heritage Treasure
The biggest Saxon Fortified Church in Transylania, built between 1493 – 1522
The village of Biertan has a very high importance because of the following things:
- It is one of the most visited villages in Transylvania, being the historically important place of the annual reunion of the Transylvanian Saxons, many of whom now live in Germany and they come back for Saxons Festival in September;
- Here is the biggest Saxon Fortified Church in Transylvania.
- The only film festival that takes place in Romania focused on Horror Movies, taking place in open space – “Full Moon – Horror and Fantasy Film Festival” – taking place every year in the first week of August
Visiting Biertan you can still relive like the old days. You can see the villagers practicing manual agriculture, helped by animals or in the evening admire the cow herd that occupies the whole width of the street.
Here, the locals eat fresh and healty food, they make their own wine and drink fresh milk from their own cow. Taking part to this spectacol of life it’s wonderful and could be a unique experience.
In case you wonder if the locals aknowledge the present development you must know that they have facilies such as high speed internet or running water system. That means that they chose a responsible way of leaving, combining traditions with modern life.
if you visit Biertan don’t miss Richis (cover photo), Copsa Mare or Laslea – the villages from the surrounding area. Or you can go further to Dumbraveni where you can find the Armenean Church.
The first documentary testimony about the village dates from 1283 in a document about the taxes paid by the inhabitants of 7 villages and so it is believed to have been founded sometime between 1224 to 1283 by Transylvanian Saxons. The village settlement quickly developed into an important market town and by 1510 Biertan supported a population of about 5,000 people. Between 1468 and the 16th century a small fortified church (die Kirchenburg) was constructed and developed. After the medieval period the town declined in importance with the rise of neighbouring Sighişoara (= Schäßburg in German), Sibiu(Hermannstadt) and Mediaş (Mediasch).
In the census of 1930 Biertan had 2331 inhabitants, of whom 1228 were Transylvanian Saxons. During World War II many men were conscripted into the Romanian army and later the Waffen-SS. After the war many Transylvanian Saxons were expelled from the region. Following the collapse of Communism in 1990 many more left for Germany.
Today the whole commune has a population of about 2,500 and the village of Biertan alone has about 1,600 people.
Biertan - a UNESCO World Heritage Treasure
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