Fortified Churches Day Tour

Prejmer, Harman, Feldioara, Rupea, Saschiz, Viscri

In this escourted day tour we travel to see some of the most beautiful fortified churches from Transylvania. We begin our journey with Prejmer Fortified Church wich is the largest Fortified church in Southeastern Europe and was built by the Teutonic Knights in 1212-1213. The powerful surrounding wall is 40 feet high and 10-15 feet thick. Historical records attest that in its 500 years of existence Prejmer fortress was besieged 50 times. However, Prejmer Fortified Church was only captured once, in 1611 by Gabriel Báthori, Prince of Transylvania. Endowed with bastions, drawbridges and a secret  subterranean passage through which food supplies could be transported, the  Prejmer church’s most famed war device was the “death machine,” made of several weapons that could shoot simultaneously, causing the enemy severe losses.

Access to Prejmer Fortified Church was through a 100-foot-long arched passage fortified with two rows of gates. Each village family had a designated room for shelter in case of attack. The red-roofed wall accommodated 272 rooms, stacked over four stories and linked by wooden staircases.

The church, built in a cross-like plan, was completed in 1225 and later adapted to the Cistercian style. The nave features late-gothic vaulting.

Next stop in our tour is Harman Fortified Church wich is located in the heart of Harman (Honigburg in German, meaning Honey Castle) village, this fortified church dates back to the 13th century when Saxons built the original structure. Strong walls and bulwarks surrounded the church and on its sides, massive towers were added. The huge system of fortifications that surround Harman church consisted of three concentric walls (the exterior of which has not kept), the inner wall, 12 meters high and is reinforced with seven towers. Between the middle and the outer wall there was a water channel over which was passed using a drawbridge.

 Harman Fortified Church, in which enters a narrow passage, having high-ceilinged, vaulted, which rises above the simple wooden pews is dating from 1293 and shows obvious cistercian influences. Of great interest are the frescoes in the chapel, dating from 15 century, depicting the Crucifixion and Last Judgement.The Choir was built in a square shape resembling a cross with the vault. It was surrounded by two chapels, indicating the influence of the Cistercian style. This influence can be also observed in the still-standing original round windows with four lobes in the upper part of the church. Harman  fortified church boasts two chapels.

From here we travel to Feldioara where we visit the ruins of the largest fortresses built by the Teutonic Knights in Transylvania, which was also the capital of Land of Barsa until Brasov became the major settlement It's situated on a hill and is surrounded on three sides by Olt river, with a great view attributes on Barsa Lands.
We go further in our trip , leaving behind Rodbav and Maierus villages and cross Padurea Bogatii ( The Rich Forest) wich is natural reservation and arrive at Rupea Medieval Castle which is situated on a basalt massive near the important road linking Transylvania and Moldova with Tara Romaneasca trough southeast passes. First document attesting Rupea Castle is from 1324 when the castle served as a refuge for the Saxons rebelled against Charles I, King of Hungary.

The fortification of Rupea Castle is made up in three stages. At first, older than the German colonization, was built above the city, the city was built in the middle of the century. 15 and enlarged at the beginning of the century. 17 and bottom-century fortress. 17, the city's current appearance is the result of many additions, changes and repairs. Rupea fortified castle was along time a place of refuge for people from surrounding villages during the Turks and Tartars.

If you asked long time ago a local people about the village location , he would have answered, so full of joy that would be forgotten the road description "Saschiz, with our beautiful church and the old peasant citadel is worth to be seen , you should really go together there". Saschiz village (UNESCO World Heritage), is renowned not only as home to one of Transylvania’s finest fortified churches but also as a carpentry and wood-painting center. It was here that Saschiz blue pottery was born in 1702.

The name of Saschiz comes from the word "KEZ" in Hungarian, which means hand (in terms of defense), as attested for the first time in 1309, as Kapitel Kisder and is located in the southeast part of Mures County,on road linking Sighisoara and Brasov.The evangelic fortified church was built at the end of the 15th century on the place of a 13th-century basilica. Saschiz is surrounded by crops pomicule, viticule and hops, hay fields, and forested hills.Traveling to Sighisoara, meet the Forest of the Hanged at the righ, but peasant fortress city on the hill dominates the landscape.

The name of Saschiz comes from the word "KEZ" in Hungarian, which means hand (in terms of defense), as attested for the first time in 1309, as Kapitel Kisder and is located in the southeast part of Mures County,on road linking Sighisoara and Brasov.The evangelic fortified church was built at the end of the 15th century on the place of a 13th-century basilica. Saschiz is surrounded by crops pomicule, viticule and hops, hay fields, and forested hills.Traveling to Sighisoara, meet the Forest of the Hanged at the righ, but peasant fortress city on the hill dominates the landscape.

The last atracttion in this tour, one of the most interesting Saxon fortified churches (UNESCO World Heritage), wich was visited five times by Prince Charles, is located in Viscri village (Weisskirch in German). The name comes from the German Weisse Khirche, meaning white church. Unlike other Transylvanian fortified churches, Viscri was built around 1100 by the Szekler population and taken over by Saxon colonists in 1185. This explains why this unique gothic church displays a plain straight ceiling rather than a traditional vaulted one. In the 14th century, the eastern section was rebuilt and around 1525, the first fortification walls with towers were added.

In the 18th century, the church from Viscri was endowed with a second defensive wall. Inside, you can admire a classic 19th century altar featuring Blessing of the Children, the masterpiece of painter J. Paukratz from Rupea. Another issue that deserves attention is the Bacon Tower. Here, due to low temperature,was kept (guarded continuously) bacon and ham supplies of all villagers, each peace beig inscribed with its owner's house number, to avoid any comfusion. Inside one of the towers is arranged an interesting small museum which exhibits traditional costumes, tools and other personal items donated by the Saxons who had left the Viscri village.

Return to Brasov.

For price request please email to tdtours@yahoo.com, send sms or call 0040747 758976 Bogdan Ghenoiu, your tour guide.
Included: Transport, Driver / guide english specialised, permanent assistance

Not included: meals, Entrance fees.