Medieval times were intense. Invaders and attacks were common and the wall surrounded towns were able to accommodate a limited number of people in case of attacks. All the others had to take covers in their villages and where else than in the large churches built in each and every village of Transylvania. Surrounded by walls with defensive towers the fortified churches of the Saxons were actual citadels that may have deterred the invaders to move away. Many of them are nowadays well preserved in spite of a high level of neglect during the Communist times. Out of more than 300 churches that were built in Transylvania today remain about half of them, seven being included on the UNESCO World heritage list.
The Fortified church in Saschiz is right on the road to Brasov-Kronstadt in a village that in its entirety was listed in the UNESCO World heritage list. It was built at the end of the 15th century with a number of fortified buildings out of which only the main tower surrounded by the church nave and several other buildings.
Several kilometers further towards Brasov, a small road veers left and winds through bucolic hills and valleys peppered with farms and sheep. The road is/was paved but is full of potholes that require delft maneuvers not to ruin your car but after about 7 km you end up in the large main street of Viscri village, a lovely location that can be admired better if you climb on top of the church dating from the 1100s. The church is itself fortified and is surrounded also by a fortified wall with defensive towers looking spectacular. Inside is a museum that displays old village items and local history. The village is famous in Romania being known by the fact that Prince Charles came here and falling in love with the location bought a number of traditional houses, renovated them and at least one was converted in a B&B. We tried to visit it but unfortunately the gate was closed. The cobble stone street of Viscri has a sleepy atmosphere with occasional stalls selling all sorts of knitted clothing for the incidental tourists. The road leaving the village towards Brasov, different of the one we took when we entered the village, is a dirt road never paved before and, of course, is a a way better alternative to visit the village. Not necessarily modernity is a better option….