vineri, 21 decembrie 2012

Middle Age mysteries in the Medieval fortress  Biertan

If it comes again about the fortified churches from Transilvania ( also known as peasant' fortresses) the first and most important name coming in my mind is for sure Biertan, ant the other hundreds come only on the second place!

Discover Biertan and the other fortresses starting from Sighisoara and Medias, which are little charming towns, themselves worth to be discovered in details, staying in hotel Binder Bubi. Another recommended lodging camp is also Sibiu, which is bigger, but not necessary much more interesting (my first proposal is hotel Continental, former Bulevard!). Anyway, once in the area, don't dare to miss the fortresses.

All these fortresses have been build by German Saxons ( Siebenbuerger Sachsen), which came in number in the XIIth century for defence purposes, brought by the Hungarian King Geza, which ruled the area. For these purposes and due to the many fight against invading barbarians, they build a lot of fortresses, and the one from Biertan (Bierthalm) is the biggest and best preserved.
No chance to dislike the fortified church of Biertan, I am sure!

Driving from Medias in the picturesque hilly region, once covered with vineyards, discover Biertan, nowadays a charming village which was in Middle Age the Residence of Catholic Archbishops. The village has been also an important craftsmen centre. Access in the church St. Mary is only possible after stopping in the Central Market and climbing a long covered stairs. Observe the three successive fortifications, and try to figure the way of life from the Middle Age!
Panoramic view of Biertan, with the church (view from the hill)

The church has been build within 30 years, starting from 1490, on the place of an older church. Admire to the Western entrance the coat of arms from the District Medias, called " The swearing hand". The St. Mary church is Gothic and has no less than three ships! Discover the Clock tower (the clock works starting from 1880) and enter the Lapidarium Tower, hosting the funeral stones of a few archbishops. I propose you to watch very carefully these tombs, observing and discovering the pelican feeding its cubs with blood, which is a symbol of the Templars! This symbols reminds the sacrifice of the big master Jacques de Molay.
May be is a good idea to discover Biertan by bike, it is in a picturesque hilly area

An amazing place, not exclusively for the married couples, is the eastern Tower. Here used to be send the couple wishing to divorce (a capital sin, for the Church) for a few months, sharing the same spoon, same glass (and the same bed btw) until they came back to more positive thoughts!

Inside the church observe the guilds' flags, the chairs, the superb painted altar (consisting of 28 paintings made by the Vienna school). If you ask the guardian to lock you inside, wou'll be totally amazed by the complicated locking mechanism. Inside, a bigger surprise. Notice the huge painting of one saint hanging there. watch it carefully, and observe a simple unbelievable fact: whereever you stay, or sit, the eyes of the saint are watching you, and his left foot is pointed also to you. No one can explain this illusion.

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