Biertan Fortified Church

Biertan fortified church: Saxon fortified church

The fortified church of Biertan can be found in the town with the same name, Biertan (Birthalm). Not to forget that is one of the oldest settlements in the Transylvanian region. It was first mentioned in 1283 in a document concerning the taxes demanded from the Catholic priests of Saxon settlements by the Superior Board of Alba-Iulia. As far back as the late 14th century, Biertan was mentioned as an oppidum (borough). In 1418 it receives the Ius gladii (the right to be a sword bearer) and the right to organize a weekly Saturday market in the main square.


Together with other Transylvanian churches, represent an entire era. The church was not just the spiritual center of the community, but also its cultural and administrative one, as well as a sanctuary during times of war. The church of Biertan was built in the Late Gothic style, in the 16th century. It has monumental dimensions and is surrounded by three sets of walls, with six towers and three bastions.


Despite the constant religious wars in the rest of Europe, the four confessions that existed in Transylvania at the time demonstrated outstanding tolerance for each other. Dramatic events were caused by the convulsions inside the Empire or by the Ottoman attacks. At times such as those, all the inhabitants of the village, irrespective of religious creed, would find shelter within the walls of the fortification.


Fortified Church

The locking system, preserved to this day, is very ingenious, using no less than 19 locks. At least the same as ingenious was the system of the spousal prison. According to it, the couples that were considering separation would be locked together in a cell until they were reconciled. That means that they would have to share a bed, eat from the same plate with the same spoon and drink from the same cup. This is probably the reason why in Biertan there has been just one divorce in the past 400 years.


Visiting hours:

High season: from April 1 to October 31
Daily: 10.00-19.00
Low season: from November 1 to March 31


Ticket Prices:

Adults: 8 Lei
Pupils/students: 8 Lei
Groups: 8 Lei
Guiding included

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