Saschiz, one of the seven fortified churches in Transylvania
Saschiz, a commune located in Mures County, the central part of Transylvania’ Plateau was documentary attested in the 14th century. Saschiz is renowned for its medieval fortress and church built up by Transylvanian Saxons. At the end of 15th century, between 1493 and 1496, the Fortified Evangelic Church was erected. The tower of the church is very much alike the Clock Tower in Sighisoara Citadel.
The monument strikes with the expressive beauty of the dimensions and with the rigorous adaptation of the fortifying elements to the aspect of a chapel.
Its history begins in 1494 and continues in 1497 and then in 1521 when Saschiz received some donations from Sibiu. All these donations were made for this fortified church to arise. Church St. Stefan received the possibility of granting indulgences between 1503 and 1507. However, since April 1714 the locality faced a dark period as a fire damaged multiple buildings in Saschiz, including all three bells of the clock tower, which melted down.
From the outside, the church appears to be a fortress, but the defensive destination of the monument is overshadowed by the beauty of its Gothic architecture elements. The fortification served as shelter for the local community, as the church was often the main refuge for the inhabitants of Saschiz when the village was under assault. Saschiz Fortified Church is part of UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999.
Saschiz is renowned not only for one of Transylvania’s exquisite fortified churches but also as a carpentry and wood-painting center. In 1702 Saschiz blue pottery came to life. Saschiz pottery shines due to the cobalt – blue colored pieces, on which white motifs are hand-painted. This type of pottery has developed in the 7th century, but unfortunately, due to unknown reasons, the technique has been lost. The technique of producing this pottery is still under debate.
Currently, the Transylvania ADEPT Foundation and Saschiz Municipality opened a permanent Pottery Workshop in Saschiz which tries to revive the tradition of pottery in Saschiz, thus encouraging tourism, with tourists being able to attend the pottery workshops.