For travelers who may be interested in
well-preserved medieval vestiges, Transylvania is no doubt a priority
among cultural tourist destinations. The Saxon settlers, craftsmen and merchants
(who came invited by the Hungarian kings starting with the mid XII century) have been living
mainly in southern and south-eastern Transylvania and left us an indelible mark.
Beautiful romantic medieval towns and citadels, precinct walls,
towers, ramparts, bastions, bridges, staircases, narrow streets, vaults, squares, civilian and public
houses and many fortified churches were raised in order to protect their town's inhabitants
from the frequent raids of the Mongols or Turks during the Middle Ages.
The most impressive Saxon heritages among all are the fortified
churches built by the village communities for defense, an architectural formula which is considered
today unique in whole Europe. For though the Saxons used construction techniques
similar to those found in medieval towns throughout Europe, the peasant fortified churches
which have withstood the lapse of time and can be visited today in Transylvania look
quite different from each other. Their rich diversity is due to the specific ground
on which they were raised; it also has to do with the skill and talent of their
craftsmen and builders, alongside the economic potential of the local community
and defense requirements of the area.
Moreover, travelers will be delighted to discover
that many of these churches still provide religious services for the Saxon
villagers. A few of the most representative fortified churches of the kind can be
found in Prejmer (Tartlau), Harman (Honigberg), Biertan (Birth�lm), Viscri (Deutschwei�kirch)
or Mosna (Meschen).