About BIERTAN Fortified Church
Biertan Fortified Church
This historic monument, an arhitectural masterpiece, is illustrative for the entire area which was colonized by the Saxons of Transylvania. Out of a total of almost 300 fortified churches built between the 15th and 16th centuries, the church from Biertan preserved very well its previous aspect. This edifice is placed high on a hillock right in the centre of the village, in the center of the transverse valleys borded by vineyards, maize cultures and forests .
The Church, hall type, with three naves, from the period of late Gothic, was built in 1500-1516, the chancel of the pre-existent edifice being heighten with a fortified level. The inner wall, from the same period, was fortified during the 16th century with 8 towers,being unfolded in a spiral form,like a three-towered belt around the hill. The present church is embelished by walls painted in the 16th century. Another church occupied the same place before. It can still be observed the frescos from the beginning of the 16th century on the Southern tower of the inner wall as well as the tombstones of the Saxon bishops in the Mausoleum tower.
The Baroque and Renaissance contribution, originated in Central Europe, is from the 16th, 17th, 18th centuries. The walls are painted and the basic structures are made of stone. In the period when the chancel from Biertan was fortified, the consolidation of the eclesiastical buildings continued in most of the parts. The western tower is heighten and endowed with storeys having a defensive role, using a large number of possibilities when it is about the ways of defence intermingled with the work and forms of architecture.
The Donarium from Biertan it was discovered in 1775, deep down at the root of a tree from Chimdru woods, located at 5 Km South from Biertan . It was part of the private collection of antiquities of the baron Samuel Brukenthal from Avrig, now displayed at the Brukenthal Museum. It is made of a board covered in bronze(32,5 cm x 12,6 cm) with the inscription EGO ZENOVIUS VOTUM POSVI (I Zenovius offered this gift)and a disc of bronze with the diameter of 23,7 cm, with an interior monogram of Jesus Christ (H+P). The scientists dated it in the 4th century (A.D.), representing an evidence of the existence in this area,after the Aurelian retreat (271 A.D.), of a Christian population which was speaking Latin.