During this tour we’ll have the opportunity to visit the villages of Saschiz and Viscri whose fortified churches have been designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. Transylvania claims a cultural and architectural heritage unique in Europe. This region is home to nearly 200 Saxon villages, churches and fortifications built between the 13th and 15th centuries.
KEY INFORMATION FOR SASCHIZ AND VISCRI SIGHTSEEING TOUR:
- Duration: 8-9 hours
- Group Size: 2-17 people
- Specialty Category: Sightseeing
- Tour Customizable: Yes
- Price: upon request (it depends of the size of the group)
- Cost includes:
- Transfer by car/minibus from Brasov to Saschiz and back;
- Entry fees (for visiting the fortified churches from Saschiz and Viscri, and Rupea Citadel, on request);
- Services provided by a licensed national tour leader;
- Meeting place: Brasov-The Council Square or your hotel/guesthouse;
In the morning I will pick you up from your accommodation in Brasov (or other place, as you wish), then we’ll drive to Saschiz (about 100 km.), a beautiful village mentioned in documents, for the first time, in 1305.
Once arrived here, we’ll visit the fortified church of the village. The gothic church has been built between 1493 and 1496 (completed in 1525), replacing an older Romanesque basilica.
The chalice of the Evangelical Church at Saschiz is richly adorned, with its leg decorated with beams, an inscription and a trimming with lily flowers. On the leg of the chalice are carved the portraits of three Hungarian kings, i.e. Stephen, Emeric and Ladislas. The fortified level is placed over the nave and choir, making the edifice look like a huge bastion.
The Defensive Tower has the shape of a pointed pyramid, itis covered with coloured enameled tiles, and is richly decorated. Its top level below the cover of the roof is slightly protruded, being held up by a bracket, and supported on a row of narrow arches that hold the loop-holes on the cornice. Its defensive role was strengthened by the elevation of the vestry with solid masonry. The twelve skylights, three on each side of the Tower, the four turrets on its corners, and the highly pointed spire with its bulb-shaped iron-plated base, make it look like the building that actually inspired it the Clock Tower at Sighisoara.
After visiting the fortified church, we’ll walk for about 20-30 minutes through the meadows and forests to The Peasant Fortification, whose purpose was to provide protection for the locals from Saschiz and other villages from its proximity. Built during 14th century (on a stone from the fortress is carved the year 1343), it had six bastions and a deep well of 65 m (which today has only 1 to 2 m). Legend says that at the bottom of the well was a tunnel that leads to the center of the village. Nowadays, the citadel is in ruins but still preserves its medieval character.
Descending back to the car park, we’ll drive to our next objective: Viscri village with its Saxon fortified church. The origins of the fortified church date from 1100 when the Székelys built a small church with a single hall and semicircular apse. Around 1185 the church was taken over by Saxon colonists, and the Székelys were forced to settle further north. In the 14th century the eastern part of the church was rebuilt and in 1525, the first fortifications with towers were added. In the 18th century the church was surrounded by a second defense wall. After 1743 a covered corridor for the storage of corn was built. A century later, two chambers in the defense corridor of the bastion were turned into school rooms.
On our way back to Brasov, before completing our sightseeing tour of Saschiz and Viscri, we can have one more stop for a short visit of Rupea Citadel. It was first mentioned in historical documents from 1324. Coiled in stone, the fortress has grown over centuries. Its three precincts are now open to the public, after a complex works of restoration, completed in June 2013.