Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania

Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania

These Transylvanian villages with their fortified churches provide a vivid picture of the cultural landscape of southern Transylvania. The seven villages inscribed, founded by the Transylvanian Saxons, are characterized by a specific land-use system, settlement pattern and organization of the family farmstead that have been preserved since the late Middle Ages. They are dominated by their fortified churches, which illustrate building styles from the 13th to the 16th century.

Sites villageois avec églises fortifiées de Transylvanie

Ces sites villageois et leurs églises fortifiées donnent une image vivante du paysage culturel du sud de la Transylvanie. Les sept villages classés, fondés par les Saxons de Transylvanie, se caractérisent par leur système particulier d'aménagement du territoire, le schéma des foyers de peuplement et l'organisation des unités agricoles familiales préservée au cours des siècles depuis la fin du Moyen Âge. Les villages sont dominés par leurs églises fortifiées qui illustrent les périodes de construction du XIIIe au XVIe siècle.

المواقع القروية والكنائس المحصنة في ترانسلفانيا

تعطي هذه المواقع القروية بكنائسها المحصنة صورة حية عن المنظر الثقافي الخاص بجنوب ترانسلفانيا. وتتميز القرى السبع التي أنشأها الساكسونيون في ترانسلفانيا بنظام خاص لتنظيم الأراضي وبمخطط نقاط التجمع السكاني وبتنظيم الوحدات الزراعية العائلية التي تم الحفاظ عليها على مر العصور منذ القرون الوسطى. وتشرف على القرى كنائسها المحصنة التي تجسد مراحل البناء من القرن الثالث عشر الى القرن السادس عشر.

source: UNESCO/ERI

特兰西瓦尼亚村落及其设防的教堂

特兰西瓦尼亚村落和它的防御教堂,展现出了一幅生动的图画,为南部特兰西瓦尼亚的文化景观增色不少。这些村落有着自己独特的土地利用制度、居住方式以及农庄的家庭组织单位,这些特点使特兰西瓦尼亚村落独具特色,自中世纪后期以来,村落及其设防的教堂一直完好保存下来,是13世纪至16世纪建筑史上重要的插曲。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Деревни с укрепленными церквями в Трансильвании

Эти трансильванские деревни с укрепленными церквями дают яркое представление о культурном ландшафте южной Трансильвании. Для семи входящих в объект деревень, основанных трансильванскими немцами «саксонцами», характерны специфическая система землепользования, структура поселений и организация семейных ферм, сохранившихся со времен позднего средневековья. Доминантами этих селений являются укрепленные церкви, которые отражают стили строительства XIII-XVI вв.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Aldeas con iglesias fortificadas de Transilvania

Las siete aldeas con iglesias fortificadas inscritas en la Lista del Patrimonio Mundial son una vívida ilustración del paisaje cultural de la Transilvania meridional. Fundadas por los sajones transilvanos, estas aldeas se caracterizan por haber conservado desde finales de la Edad Media una ordenación territorial, una distribución de los edificios de las granjas familiares y un esquema de poblamiento sumamente peculiares. Las iglesias fortificadas que dominan estas aldeas son ilustrativas de los sucesivos estilos arquitectónicos imperantes entre los siglos XIII y XVI.

source: UNESCO/ERI

トランシルヴァニア地方の要塞教会群のある集落

source: NFUAJ

Dorpen met versterkte kerken in Transsylvanië

De dorpen met hun versterkte kerken geven een levendig beeld van het culturele landschap in het zuiden van Transsylvanië. De zeven dorpen zijn gesticht door de Transsylvanische Saksen en worden onder meer gekenmerkt door een specifiek ruimtelijk systeem, nederzettingspatroon en de organisatie van familieboerderijen (bewaard gebleven sinds de late Middeleeuwen). De dorpen worden gedomineerd door hun versterkte kerken, die bouwstijlen weerspiegelen van de 13e tot de 16e eeuw. De Transsylvanische Saksen waren in staat om hun taal en gewoonten door de eeuwen heen te behouden, ondanks dat ze leefden in een land met een meerderheid aan etnische Hongaren en Roemenen.

Source: unesco.nl

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Fortified church of Prejmer (1250) © M & G Therin-Weise
Long Description

The Transylvanian villages with fortified churches provide a vivid picture of the cultural landscape of southern Transylvania. They are characterized by the specific land-use system, settlement pattern, and organization of the family farmstead units preserved since the late Middle Ages, dominated by their fortified churches, which illustrate building periods from the 13th to 16th centuries.

In the 13th century the kings of Hungary encouraged the colonization of the sub-Carpathian region of Transylvania (Erdely) by a German-speaking population of artisans, farmers and merchants, mainly from the Rhineland. Known as the Transylvanian Saxons, they enjoyed special privileges granted by the Hungarian Crown, especially in the period preceding the creation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Despite living in a country where the majority of the population was ethnic Hungarians or Romanians, the Transylvanian Saxons were able to preserve their language and their customs intact throughout the centuries. Their ethnic solidarity is vividly illustrated by their settlements, which remained resistant to external influences

Their geographical location in the foothills of the Carpathians exposed the Transylvanian Saxon communities to danger when the Ottoman Empire began to menace the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Their reaction was to build defensive works within which they could take shelter from the invaders. Lacking the resources of the European nobility and rich merchants, who were able to fortify entire towns, the Transylvanian Saxons chose to create fortresses round their churches, enclosing storehouses within the enceintes to enable them to withstand long sieges. The first documentary reference to Biertan dates from 1283. In 1397 it was raised to the status of Oppidum (fortified town) and twenty years later the Hungarian King granted it droit de l'épée (jus gladii ), i.e. the right to bear arms. From 1572 to 1867 Biertan was the See of the Evangelical (Lutheran) Bishop of Transylvania, and as such played a major role in the cultural and religious life of the considerable German population of the region.

The seven churches are:

Biertan: Late Gothic hall-type building, completed around 1522-23, on a low hill, with two lines of walls, at the foot of the hill, built at the same time as the church.

Câlnic: Based on a mid-13th-century dwelling tower, a chapel and an oval enceinte; presented in 1430 to the village community, which raised the walls fitted with two towers and transformed the dwelling tower into one for defensive purposes.

Prejmer: Early Gothic Church of the Holy Cross, in the shape of a cross; walled in the 15th century.

Viscri: Romanesque chapel enlarged in the early 16th century to form a single-nave church, with a fortified storey resting on semicircular arches supported by massive buttresses; walls strengthened in the 17th century.

Dârjiu: Late Gothic church fortified towards 1520, decorated with murals going back to 1419; rectangular enceinte restructured in the 17th century.

Saschiz: Romanesque church and its enceinte replaced by a late Gothic church (1493-1525); defensive storey gives the church the appearance of a high bastion.

Valea Viilor: Church transformed into late Gothic style and fortified in the early 16th century; defensive storeys built above the choir, nave and tower, communicating with each other; porches of the northern and southern entrances protected by small towers with portcullises.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

In the 13th century the Kings of Hungary encouraged the colonization of the Sub-Carpathian region of Transylvania (Erdely) by a German-speaking population of artisans, farmers, and merchants, mainly from the Rhineland. Known as the Transylvanian Saxons, they enjoyed special privileges granted by the Hungarian Crown, especially in the period preceding the creation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Despite living in a country where the majority of the population consisted of ethnic Hungarians or Romanians, the Transylvanian Saxons were able to preserve their language and their customs intact throughout the centuries. Their formidable ethnic solidarity is vividly illustrated by their settlements, which remained resistant to external influences. This is explained partly by their privileged status and partly by the fact that they were cut off from their German contacts during the period of Ottoman rule over the Middle Danube in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Their geographical location in the foothills of the Carpathians exposed the Transylvanian Saxon communities to danger when the Ottoman Empire began to menace the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Their reaction was to build defensive works within which they could take shelter from the invaders. Lacking the resources of the European nobility and rich merchants, who were able to fortify entire towns, the Transylvanian Saxons chose to create fortresses round their churches, enclosing storehouses within the enceintes to enable them to withstand long sieges.

The first documentary reference to Biertan dates from 1283. In 1397 it was raised to the status of oppidum (fortified town) and twenty years later the Hungarian King granted it the right of droit de l'épée (jus gladii) - ie the right to bear arms. From 1572 to 1867 Biertan was the see of the Evangelical (Lutheran) Bishop of Transylvania, and as such played a major role in the cultural and religious life of the considerable German population of the region.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation
Notes
  • Extension of "Biertan and its Fortified Church".