Monday, September 1, 2008


We continued through an area of Romania that was until quite recently inhabited by Germans. They were brought in as colonists in the 13th century by a Hungarian overlord to what was virtually unbroken forest to secure what would have been the border with the Turkish empire. They built towns and villages in which a central feature was a fortified church. These churches looked like castles though without the manorial dwelling of them. When the communist fell and the Ceausescu regime ended the German community uprooted en mass and moved 'back' to Germany. The move being triggered by economic incentives from the German government and the promise of a better life in what was (and still is) a poor place. I wonder how much they would have had in common with the Germany that their forefathers had left 600 years before.

One of the town that we passed through, Biertan was once the seat of a protestant bishop. Its church sitting behind high double walls looked very 'western'. It was quite magnificent, especially since we came to it through a rough mountain road and our first view of the town was of the church on its fortified mound. UNESCO agreed and had inscribed in in the list of World Heritage sites. The lower part of town followed a pattern that we'd seen in other 'German' towns with little two story dwellings strung along the main road. Most of these houses followed a pattern, whether constructed in 19C or more recently constructed.

Unfortunately after Biertan we had to follow a rather big road to get to Sighisoara which was our destination for the night. Trucks zoomed past us without giving us much space but we survived.

We stayed at the Couli B&B in the centre of the old town costing 130 lei including breakfast.

Distance 94km
Time cycling 5 hours 21 minutes
GPS position N 46°13.158" E 24°47.457

No comments:

Post a Comment