The Fortified Church of Biertan, Transylvania, Romania
> The monumental Medieval fortified church looks like a castle.
> It is surrounded by houses built centuries ago.
> For 3 centuries, it was the main hub of the Lutheran Germans of Transylvania.
It is probably the most important, most impressive and most visited of the Saxon villages with fortified church from Transylvania, having been listed as a World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. It was the seat of the Lutheran Bishop in Transylvania for 3 centuries, starting 1572.
Biertan is one of the first place where the German immigrants settled in Transylvania, centuries ago. The fortification is the most impressive one among the Saxon villages of Transylvania.
It was built in 1500-1516 and is shaped like a long hall, with a chief nave and two side-aisles. The first organ was brought in 1523 and replaced two centuries later and then in 1869, when a large organ with 1290 tubes was built in Vienna for Biertan.
Biertan has one of the best defensive systems ever built in Transylvania. The walls have 8 defensive towers and they shape like a spiral starting from the church. The church is surrounded by three concentric walls, all connected by tower gates. The clock tower is located on the first inner wall. The bell tower hosts the tombstones of the local priests starting with 1520. The Bastion tower was used for holding the prisoners. The Catholic tower was a symbol of the religious tolerance in Transylvania, in an area where Protestants were the dominant doctrine but 4 other Christian denominations were present. The Townhall Tower made the connection between the inner and the middle walls. The towers of the gate belong to the second and third walls. The Weavers' Bastion is placed on the exterior wall. There are 3 gates that allow the access inside the fortification.