Richis, Romania’s multinational village
Richis village in Sibiu holds an unusual record, the one of being a multinational village after ‘adopting’ the highest number of foreign families from all over the world. So, almost 20 families from the Netherlands, US, Austria, Germany, Lithuania, UK and Switzerland have bought houses in Richis over the past years.
Antonia Timmerman and her husband were the first foreign citizens to move in here 13 years ago. The Dutch family was invited by a local who had received a package from them. They loved the place so much that they bought a villa where they used to come one time a year. But 13 years ago they decided to move in for good and since then, they bought the village shop, set up a tourist accommodation in the church house and opened a camping.
Foreigners are in love with the village’s peace, starlight sky, green hills and last, but not the least they love the traditional food and drink. For example, another Dutch family, Elaine and Martin Engbrenghof said they liked the tripe sour soup and ‘?uic?’, the traditional Romanian plum brandy.
An American family is living at number 123, two houses away there is a Lithuanian family and then a Dutch one, Digi 24 reported.
Richis was an old Transylvanian Saxonic village, also called the rich village, located five kilometers away from Biertan. After 1990, all Transylvanian Saxons living here left for Western Europe, with this exodus also allowing old traditional houses to go under.
However, the village was brought to life again due to the foreigners’ relocation and also to the initiative of Paul Hemerth, a Transylvanian Saxon who returned home to Richis and campaigned for the traditional houses’ rehabilitation. He revamped a few himself.
The financial benefits came along, as the price of a house in Richis was up fourfold. For example, an old dwelling is now EUR 40,000.