UNESCO destinations within Brasov County

The World Heritage List includes 7 villages with fortified churches in Transylvania which depict rural life in this area during the Middle Ages. In 1993, only Biertan was on this list,the rest of the 6 villages being added in 1999 with the aim of representing the Saxon heritage on the Romanian territory better. These 6 villages are: Calnic (Alba County), Darjiu (Alba County), Saschiz (Mures County), Valea Viilor (Sibiu County), Prejmer and Viscri. The last two are UNESCO destinations within Brasov County.

Prejmer

15 km far from Brasov, the fortified church from this village is the largest and most important from a larger series of Saxon fortified churches in the area. This holy place is more than 700 years old and though it has been restored several times it still has the charm of that dim and distant past. Also, it holds the oldest evangelical shrine in Transylvania (500 years old) with icons representing the Passions of Jesus. The surrounding wall is very solid, being 3-4 m thick and 12 m high. Like any medieval fortress, the external walls are surrounded by a protecting ditch which, in cases of emergency, was filled with water to keep out intruders. This fortress has an unusual weapon, called the ‘organ of death’, as it consisted of several guns put together that could be triggered all at the same time. The interior walls hide 275 small rooms, arranged on three and four levels, where the people under attack would find shelter.

Viscri

This village is situated nearly 10 km far from the Bunesti commune, within a breathtaking natural landscape, especially during the summer. The Saxon community that immigrated here more than 800 years ago have strived to maintain their original habits and manner of living. Thus, their typical blue Saxon houses are perfectly conserved together with the white fortified church that has been protecting the village ever since 1230. More than just visiting the picturesque houses, the church or the little cafe where craftsmanship objects are sold, tourists are invited to experience the true Saxon hospitality, traditional food and the most exciting rural atmosphere.

These villages are included on the World Heritage List due to their ethnographic value, the uniqueness of their architecture and the importance they have within a larger social area (these Saxon villages have influenced other villages nearby). Moreover, they have remained unaltered as far as people, customs, roads’ names are concerned, which is why a visit to the UNESCO destinations within Brasov County is rewarding in so many ways.

Leave a Reply