I recently spent some of my holiday in Transylvania where I visited several old churches. Ghelinta, a tiny town in deepest Transylvania, is home to a church whose amazing interior wall paintings look almost as fresh as when they were first put there, six or seven centuries ago.
I recently spent some of my holiday in Transylvania where I visited several old churches. Here are some interesting facts about the Fortified Church of Prejmer.
The fortified church of Prejmer is one of the most important medieval historic monuments in Transylvania.
The church was founded by the Germanic Teutonic Knights, and then was eventually taken over by the Transylvanian Saxon community. Initially Roman Catholic, it became Lutheran following the Reformation.
Due to this strategic position, the church was strongly fortified in the 15th-16th centuries. High, strong walls were built and surrounded with a water-filled moat. The circular walls are up to 5 m thick and reach nearly 12 m in height. The circular walls surround the church, while a second and smaller wall sits atop the arched passage at the entrance gate. Other defensive features include five towers and a battlement.
On the interior side of the wall, there are four levels containing rooms and storage space and backed by the battlement. The over 270 rooms could offer shelter to some 1600 villagers in case of attack. Entry into the complex is made through a 30 m long tunnel protected by a portcullis with wooden grilles strengthened by iron and powerful oak doors.
In 1993 the roofs have been repaired and the rooms restored. In addition, permanent museum exhibitions have also been created.
In 1999 became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.