Cund, the place where Valea Verde receives its guests, is located between Sighișoara (30 km) and Tîrgu Mureș (43 km) and halfway between Brașov and Cluj Napoca. If we say that Valea Verde is in the heart of Transylvania, we would have a margin of error of only a few kilometers.
In the last article we told you about our passion for truffles and, especially, for truffle dishes. We could even say that we serve truffles in the morning, at noon and in the evening, and in our free time we go to look for truffles with our (already) professional dogs and our guests. But what can we visit nearby when we are not busy with truffles?
Included in the UNESCO Heritage, the village of Viscri (located on the road between Rupea, Sighișoara and Mediaș) became famous from the moment Prince Charles chose to buy a house here. And from that moment, the heir to the throne of the United Kingdom became an ambassador of the Transylvanian rural environment.
The place bears the traces of the Saxons who settled here in the 13th century and who also gave the name of the village (Saxon White Church or Weiskirich). The main attraction in Viscri is the fortified Evangelical Church, built by the Saxons in the 13th century, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. The church is surrounded by a defensive wall, two towers (one can be accessed by tourists) and two bastions. A museum with popular objects from the area, with items for sale, is opened in the churchyard.
A walk through Viscri will remind you of your grandparents’ holidays, when playing and relaxing were the only worries. The people of the village will invite you to visit their household, to try the traditional products prepared by them, to enjoy a hearty lunch or to choose a beautiful gift for your loved ones (you can buy woven clothing or decorative objects or even cheerfully designed by them).
The small village of Saschiz, which 5-6 centuries ago competed with Sighișoara, is ready to amaze you and make you wonder what country you are in. The evangelical church, built in place of a Romanesque shrine, is the main attraction. With a history of over 500 years (its construction began in 1493), the fortified church will attract your attention with glazed and colored tile, which covers the tower added to the original construction, after the model of the Clock Tower in Sighisoara Fortress. The church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The second tourist attraction that the locals are very proud of is the Saschiz Peasant Fortress. The fortress was built in the 14th century, in order to defend the households in the village. Historians say that the current walls were built on the ruins of a former Roman fortification, which had a protective role on the road Rupea – Sighisoara. The towers of the fortress were given a name to illustrate their usefulness: the Voivodeship Tower, the Priest’s Tower, the Gate Tower, the School Tower, the Ammunition Tower and the Guard Tower.
Saschiz invites you, after visiting the two main tourist attractions, to set off for the Huhnenburg Fortress. Traces of the fortress are located 4 km from Saschiz, in an area known as Volsoc. Historians say that the fortress was built around 2500 – 1800 BC. And the legend says that in the fortress lived giants who had fun throwing stones in carts that circulated around the walls of the fortress. The stones were later used by the villagers to pave the streets.
The fortified church in Biertan is an architectural gem, included in the UNESCO Heritage, which you must visit whenever you come to Transylvania.
The impressive construction dates from the 15th century and combines the Gothic style with the Renaissance style. The door of the sacristy has gained international fame thanks to the locking system, with 19 locks. The system was awarded in 1900 at the World’s Fair in Paris.
The fortifications around the church, considered the strongest in Transylvania, from a peasant fortress, have three rows of walls, 6 towers (Mausoleum Tower, Catholic Tower, Bacon Tower, Gate Tower, Prison Tower and Weavers’ Tower) and 3 bastions built in different stages starting with the 14th century.
And the Biertan Fortress is subject to legends. It is said that in the eastern bastion was the “prison”, where the couples (husband and wife) who were arguing and intending to divorce were imprisoned for two weeks. In the small room, with a small table and a single bed, the Saxon community provided them with a single plate, a single cutlery, and a single cup of water. So, in those circumstances, only one couple remained unmoved in the initial decision to divorce, all the other couples leaving there reconciled, without going to court.
These are just 3 of the jewels of the Transylvanian crown that we invite you to visit. And at the end of the day we are waiting for you with a glass of local wine and a portion of risotto with truffles, of course!