Once the summer came and the heat seems to seize the whole city, everyone’s wish is to escape to the oasis of peace that helps us re-energize. And where would it be better if not close to nature and to the genuine values of Romania?
If you’ve ever thought about taking the path of slow-travel, a good way is to start from Transylvania and its spectacular villages. Of course, this region cannot be mentioned without Saxon influence in local architecture, still preserved many original elements, perfectly combined with the natural landscape of exceptional biodiversity. Besides the famous villages with fortified churches included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, which are specific to the German minority in Sibiu county and northwestern Transylvania, several other stops deserves the attention of passengers passing through the counties of Brasov, Alba, Mures and Cluj, where you can rediscover the village life or get in contact with the simple lifestyle of the locals.
And because a road stretched in Transylvania requires spectacular views, the most recommended options to the villages first stop, are either Transfăgărăşan with a break at Cârţişoara or Transalpina, a much older and higher road, that seems to get you closer to heaven. If you chose the last one, after exit Transalpina, the road to Mălâncrav will surely impress you, being bordered by afforested hills that guarantee a wonderful view, especially if you happen to pass by during the sunset. The village is one of those supported by the Mihai Eminescu Trust, which ensures the restoration of cultural heritage in villages in Transylvania, included in the UNESCO world heritage list. Whether you choose to stay here in one of five centuries old restored mansions, or in a simple Saxon house, the sense of originality and ownership is assured. In the village you can admire the interior of the evangelical church, which impresses with its Gothic best preserved frescoes in the country.
The star remains, of course Viscri which benefited from the Prince Charles promotion, after he spends a few days a year in his own home. The village is also included in the category of peasant settlements with fortified churches on the UNESCO list, it is within the central landmarks. It dates from 1225 and is one of the oldest fortified churches, characterized by irregular shape and a simple interior, which is specific to Evangelical churches. Often, near the entrance various dances or celebrations with traditional Saxon songs are happening, being a meeting place of the Saxons that still remained in the village. Many households offer to passers traditional food, such as cheese, syrups, jams, honey or other hand-made souvenirs. Moreover, activities as bicycle tours, cooking classes or traditional pottery workshops are always available to tourists who choose the village as a weekend destination.
This circuit of Transylvania villages requires a stop in the Mures Saschiz village, which by its church tower can be easily confused with the Sighisoara’s Clock Tower. Here can also be accessed the Peasant Fortress, that still retains the 6 towers designed to defend the village population in wartime. The area offers many opportunities for hiking in nature, biking or agricultural activities and visits to different local producers, tasting products at a picnic on the Citadel Hill.
After the success of Viscri village, promoted by Prince Charles, the next favorite village is Biertan, as well part of the UNESCO World Heritage. The village Biertan, certified since 1283, includes peasant fortress located on a hill in the village center, with 3 enclosures, six towers, three bastions of defense and a late Gothic church. The village impresses with its urban organization, the rows of houses which are set around a central market; and through the picturesque area where peace rule, in a village which seems lost among the valleys and hills of the Transylvanian plateau.
For a spectacular final tour through the villages of Transylvania, Rimet offers one of the most impressive panoramas of the whole Transylvania relief. From the top of the massif limestone, which offers natural protection of the village, you can admire the particular houses, narrow streets or Unitarian Church. The village still organizes cultural events, specifically near major Christian holidays, and keep an ethnographic museum with more than 2,500 traditional exhibits, along with two other private museums, which are home to the oldest house in the village and a mill water wheel wood.
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