Viscri Fortified Church

“I visited the Saxon Villages area of Transylvania and I was deeply impressed by the natural beauty and cultural richness of what I saw. The area represent a lost past for most of us – a past in which villages were intimately linked to their landscape. The culture, traditions, art and architecture of the Saxons of Transylvania are a truly remarkable survival […]”  

Prince Charles of Great Britain


The Saxon villages display a remarkable, unspoilt harmony between people and landscape. The houses follow a clear pattern: they sit end-on to the street, painted in a rich variety of ochres, greens and blues, with distinctive hipped roofs. The houses themselves are built to a format, with their cobbled courtyards, winter and summer kitchens, vegetable patches and colossal timber frame barns enclosing the rear end of the courtyard. 

Viscri is first mentioned in written documents in the 1400's but is thought to have been settled in the 12th century, at the site of a small chapel, which eventually grew into the fortified church that stands today. Like many of the villages in the region, it has survived with its traditional layout and architecture intact. Saxon villages were usually situated along a main road, which may have had one or two offshoot roads.

A traditional Saxon house is entered through a large front gate, which opens onto a long courtyard. The courtyard runs the length of the house and beyond, ending at a barn. Beyond the barn is an orchard and, beyond that, meadows. Inside, the houses were relatively small, and usually decorated with traditional handcrafts.
Without a doubt, a visit to a place like Viscri is a unique experience. To see a way of life most "modern" peoples might not even imagine still exists is a wonderful thing, and it is easy to fall in love with the idealized, simplified life that time in Viscri shows the short-term visitor.
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Viscri Fortified Church