Biertan or simply where I come from

26 Jun

I’ve decided to start my posts about Romania, my home country, with a post about Biertan, a small Romanian village in the Sibiu county.

If you google it a little bit you’ll find out that it’s one of the most important Saxon villages with fortified churches in Transylvania (Birthalm, as the Saxons would call it), that it has been listed among the Unesco World Heritage sites and, maybe, that the earliest proof of the existence of a Latin speaking population in Dacia has been found just nearby, a Christian votive bronze donarium saying “EGO ZENOVIUS VOTUM POSVI” (“I, Zenovius, offered this gift”).

But why Biertan? I mean Romania has plenty of places to boast about, other Unesco sites, bigger towns or other much more popular cities and so many natural wonders. Simply because it’s where my roots are, where my father was born and where I spent all my childhood and all my summer holidays while I was still at school. I came across all those labellings later in life, during my history classes or even later, in my adult life,  so my love for this place had and has nothing to do with it being a must-see spot.


I adore its green pastures, the soft-lined hills full of grape-vines, the smokey chimneys of the houses and the tall mighty frame of the church in the middle of the village as we so often saw while driving on this country road towards it. I love the pastel coloured Saxon houses with their green high gates and its pebble streets. I like the slow-paced rhythm of life as villages often have, when you wake up early only because the rooster in the farmyard crows a little bit too loud and when in the evening you enjoy watching the herd of cows and goats returning from their pasture with their udders full of milk. I used to love those days in which, after a long rain, my uncle would take me and my sister to gather mushrooms and those summer mornings in which my grandmother would show us all the secret spots in which to find blackberries or blueberries and we would pick a bucketful. And I simply adore moving around in carts pulled by horses as people do in rural areas, or the smell of hay of the cartload, the authenticity of it all..


If you consider visiting this pristine place, there are plenty of B&B to choose from such as Todoran, or the Unglerus pension restored in medieval style, just come along and ask. You will enjoy the time spent here, the day trips, trekking across the hills, the mountain bike routes along the valleys around Biertan, the genuine and really good food and the friendly people. And if you’re lucky you might stumble upon some festivals such as the nostalgic festival of the Saxons in Transylvania on the 16th of  September or TransilvaniaFest.

If not, the very well-preserved 15th-16th century fortified church will always be there to welcome you, perched on its hilltop, with its three concentric walls, the covered wooden stairs, the 15 locker vestry and the seven towers, one of which – the prison tower – is said to be the place where pairs on the edge of separation were imprisoned for 30 days with just a bed, a table, a plate and one set of utensils and at the end of the month spent in prison none of them wanted to split anymore.

So what are you waiting for 🙂 ?

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2 Responses to “Biertan or simply where I come from”

  1. ancutza July 4, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    such a beautiful and inspiring place…I didn’t know about it. On my wish list!

  2. biertan March 7, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    ce dragut este. Descrii cu atata caldura Biertanul incat simt ca ma indragostesc si eu de el 🙂

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