"> Heritage – Experience Transylvania

Heritage

Transylvania contains vast, beautiful, unspoiled natural wonders. But another aspect of the beauty of Transylvania is its impressive cultural heritage. This heritage is the result of centuries of intermingling between different ethnic groups, each with their own traditions, native folk-crafts and rituals.

Each village has its own distinct character, but there is also a certain unity that defines the ‘Saxon-ness’ of the villages: the fortified churches, the tanzplätze or dancing circles, the houses and barns, the streetscape, the exemplary harmony between man and landscape and the centuries-old agricultural methods that survive to this day.

The villages have distinctive Romanesque and Gothic churches, prominently situated and protected by high walls, enabling them to withstand the long sieges of centuries past. These castle-like buildings stand at the center of each village. The villages themselves feature wide main streets, with houses set back only inches from the road. Each house is colorfully and distinctively painted; decorated by a family emblem or proverb and a date recalling some event in the building’s history.

Past the main streets flow swiftly running streams; their banks reinforced by woven lattices of branches and twigs, their waters crossed by bridges of split oak.

The Saxon Villages of Transylvania lie in a medieval landscape. There is a rare equanimity and balance between town and castle, home and farm, woodland and village. Cobbled courtyards and wooden barns extend up the valley passing through vegetable gardens, orchards, and meadows to the thickly wooded ridges. Fortified churches stand guard over the villages and vineyard terraces contour the high slopes. The landscape and its way of life have changed little since the twelfth century. Everywhere there are animals: horses, cows, pigs and poultry in the villages and on the streets; wolves, bears, lynx and wild boar in the forests; and eagles, owls, storks and larks in the skies. The meadows are lush with wild flowers and streams run fresh from hillside springs.

The landscape is dependent on the tight-knit communities and centuries-old farming traditions that have created the form and rhythm of the land. Here, in rural Transylvania, the people and their village are one.



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