Valea Viilor Fortified Church, another outstanding monument listed as UNESCO world heritage site

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Vine Valley Fortified Church (Biserica Fortificata Valea Viilor) is a Lutheran fortified church in Valea Viilor, a commune located in Sibiu County, Transylvania region. It was built by the ethnic German Transylvanian Saxon community at a time when the area belonged to the Kingdom of Hungary.

The church was built in 1263 in gothic style and was enlarged and fortified in the 15th and 16th centuries. To resist the continuous invasions, the church was surrounded by defense walls and towers. Some say that in the past the church had only 10 meters length, meaning less than half the length of the current church. Vines Valley Evangelical Church shines through its distinguished architecture shaped by the forms and the impressive aesthetics.

1500 was a very important year. At that time the fortification began by raising the choir and the western tower. The oval enclosure was reinforced by three towers, while on the interior was built a watch road. Around the fourteenth century plans were made for building a new church, the Church of Virgin Mary, church built in Gothic style. It has a small room, which is distinguished by numerous ribs on the vaulted ceiling, supported by seven pillars.

The church has not kept its initial appearance; it suffered some changes around the sixteenth century. One of the important changes is the displacement of the hall, which was lifted with a defensive floor. The church is surrounded by an oval precinct with 7-8 meter high mantle walls. On the sides there are four bastions oriented north, south, east, and west. A unique element you can observe is the well in the center of the church choir that provided water for the locals during sieges. Inside, you can also admire Saxon furniture dating from the 16th century.

In the churchyard, right at the entrance, there is a small Saxon museum where you can admire Saxon traditional costumes, pictures and other items gifted by the community members in Vines Valley. The church is on the UNESCO list of protected monuments since 1999.

Visiting hours: Monday – Sunday – 10:00 – 18:00

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