The landscape of fortified churches in Transylvania.
Transylvania is famous for its over 150 legendary fortified churches. Originated in the late Middle Ages they suffered modifications and were enlarged over the centuries. Since then and until our times they stay as the landmark of almost every village. In Transylvania these medieval fortifications are to be found in a unique density, diversity and preserved in the historical shape.
Starting with the 13th Century the churches were prepared to serve their new defence role. At that time Transylvania was a border area, struggling between Hungarian and Ottoman influence. The limited resources of the villages were not sufficient to protect the whole settlements. This is why the churches, which were massive and strong constructions, were fortified with defensive structures and transformed into church castles. During raids the populations of the villages found protection behind the strong walls and tried to fend off the attackers. In addition, valuable goods were stored in outbuildings within the fortifications to protect them from looters.
The fortified churches of Transylvania highly vary as built areas. While some of the strong, real fortresses resemble, many other churches received only simple defense systems due to the limited resources in their villages.
The Saxon fortified churches in Transylvania belong to the Evangelic Church of Augustan Confession in Romania. Along centuries they have been the center of the cultural and religious life of the German minority.
Today the church towers still offer fabulous views of traditional villages and the surrounding hills. Often on the horizon the towers of the next castle are already visible.
Follow in the footsteps of medieval defence architecture and discover the many treasures of the large and small Transylvanian fortified church landscape. We have prepared for you a tour through 100 fortified churches, just to give you a foretaste of the rest of 50. You are invited to discover together with the castles the traditional Transylvanian surrounding villages that create a unique historic landscape in a charming natural environment.
This app was produced with the help of subsidies from the Commissioner for Culture and Media of the German Federal Government in cooperation with the Berlin University of Technology and the Consistory Superior of the Evangelic Church A.C. in Romania through its Coordination Office for Fortified Churches.
More details on: www.kirchenburgen.org
Tags: kirchenburgen application