Built in the 13th century by Count Chyl de Kelling, the Fortified Church at Calnic (German: Kelling) is one of the most imposing defensive structures in Transylvania. First documented in 1269, the fortress served as a residence for Saxon nobility until 1430, when it was sold to the peasant community of Calnic.
One of the most interesting Saxon fortified churches is located in the village of Viscri (Weisskirch in German). The name comes from the German Weisse Khirche, meaning white church.
Located in the Vineyards Valley, this fortified church was built in 1263 in gothic style and was enlarged and fortified in the 15th and 16th centuries by adding a range of 26-foot-tall and five-foot- wide walls. A unique element is the well in the center of the church choir that provided water for the locals during sieges. Inside, you can admire Saxon furniture and decorations dating from the 16th century.
Saschiz is renowned not only as home to one of Transylvania's finest fortified churches but also as a carpentry and wood-painting center. It was here thatSaschiz blue pottery was born in 1702.
The largest fortified church in southeastern Europe, Prejmer (Tartlau in German) was built by Teutonic knights in 1212-1213.
Located in the heart of Harman (Honigburg in German, meaning Honey Castle) village, this fortified church dates back to the 13th century when Saxons built the original structure. Strong walls and bulwarks surrounded the church and on its sides, massive towers were added.
The village of Biertan (German: Birthalm), first mentioned in an official document in 1283, is home to one of the largest and most impressive medieval strongholds in Transylvania.
Surrounded by quaint streets and vineyards, the 15th century fortified church at Biertan is perched high on a hill in the middle of the village. Three tiers of 35-foot-high defensive walls, connected by towers and gates, encircled the complex, making the church impossible to conquer during medieval times.
Originally built in the 12th century as a Romanesque basilica, the church was fortified during the 15th century to protect the local Saxon population against repeated Ottoman raids. The fortification process included the construction of fortified towers over the two side entrances and the choir, the building of a double structure of defense walls, a moat and several defensive towers along the walls.
The clock installed in the 195-feet high (bell and clock) tower has been working since 1868; no repairs were ever needed!
The fortified church at Darjiu was initially built in Roman style in the 14th century, and later rebuilt in gothic style. It was fortified in the 16th century when locals drew inspiration from the fortified churches of neighboring Saxon villages. The Gate Tower preserves its initial form, with openings for shooting missiles; wooden shutters provided protection against incoming projectiles.