Discovering a Few Hidden Gems from Transylvania

Good morning my dears 🙂 It’s Friday already and.. since the weekend is just getting started I thought I should write this article to give you a few ideas for a short and beautiful trip through Transylvania. As you’ve probably seen on my Instagram account (or on my Facebook page), I’ve posted several photos from a few interesting places around Sibiu last week, and now I’d like to show you why you should totally see them 😀

My first stop was in a place called Alma Vii, a picturesque little village, dating back to 1289, with Saxon traditions, colorful houses, flowers, and a breathtaking setting that complements the laid-back lifestyle here. The heart of the village is an incredible fortified church, that glances over the houses from the top of a hill. Built in the 14th century (with the fortifications built 2 centuries later), this church is now part of the select group of UNESCO heritage Sites.

Unfortunately we couldn’t get inside this medieval wonder, because the staff was getting ready for lunch when we arrived here, so.. if you ever plan to visit Alma Vii, you should know that between 13 and 15 o’clock, the place is closed for the lunch break. But we’ve walked a bit around the church, enjoying a cool view of the village, and then we went down to explore the little streets of Alma Vii.

Just like Valea Viilor, the entire place was sooo quiet; you couldn’t see a man or a car for minutes and you could just enjoy the silence. It was actually a bit too quiet, but maybe I’m just used with the hustle and bustle of the city. The entire village seems to move at its own pace and the laid-back atmosphere here makes you wonder how relaxed you could be in a place like this.

If you’re ever in that area you should totally visit Alma Vii and what’s even better is that this little village is just a few minutes away from Biertan – home to the most beautiful and imposing fortified church in Romania. Defended by three walls of fortifications, with several towers and bastions, this mesmerizing church was built between 1490 and 1520 in late Gothic style and it’s the last church in Transylvania built in this style.

Apart from this impressive architectural complex, at Biertan you will find an incredible door with 19 locks – the door of the sacristy – which was made by local craftsmen back in 1515. It’s considered one of the finest examples of the medieval Transylvanian saxon manufactory, and it received several awards at international exhibitions ever since.

What’s also very interesting at Biertan is the famous “chamber of getting back together”, a small room where married people who planned to divorce where locked together and forced to share everything for a few weeks. They had just one small bed, a small table with a single chair, one plate, a fork and many other details like these, and eventually the spouses learned to co-exist and got back together. That’s why there was no divorce in Biertan for many, many centuries.

We’ve been to Biertan several times already, but since I was with my mom this time, we had to go there once again, because this entire place is a must see. The interior was perfectly restored or preserved, with only a few minor modifications done at the entrance, and it’s an incredible sight wherever you might turn your head.

We’ve stayed there for around one hour this time, enjoyed a good ice-cream, and then we went straight to our next stop: the Bethlen Castle in Cris. If you’ve never heard about this castle, don’t worry, you’re probably not alone. I didn’t know anything about it and I honestly didn’t expect it to be so beautiful and interesting. It was a ruin a few years ago, when the restoration process began, and now it looks better and better with every day that goes by.

Built between the 14th and 18th-century, the Bethlen-Cris Castle was the fortified nobility residence for the Bethlen family – hence the name of this place. It’s probably the most beautiful castle built in the Renaissance style in Transylvania, and I’m pretty sure that after all the restoration work will be done, this castle will seem almost too good to be true.

I really liked the huge courtyard, which was so well arrange and filled with flowers, and I also loved to see the sunset here, because it gave this castle a special charm. Once again, I didn’t expect it to be so beautiful. I’m already planning to come back here as soon as possible.

In the end, since we’re talking about castles and fortified churches in this article, I’ll also post here a few photos I took last week at the Corvin Castle. Maybe I’ll write an article about that castle as well, but I’m pretty sure you all know how wonderful it is already 🙂

I hope you like my article, and if you’ll go to Alma Vii, Biertan or the Bethlen Castle, I hope you’ll tell me how was your trip  🙂

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