Biertan is located in a long valley surrounded by vineyard terraced hills. The village was founded in 1283 and is dominated by the impressive Saint Mary’s citadel and church, defended by three fortified walls. This hilltop medieval construction has been declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO Foundation in 1993.
Biertan was an important ecclesiastical and commercial centre – in 1572 it was named the Chair of the Lutheran Bishopric, maintaining that role for almost three centuries. The late Gothic-style church was built between 1500 and 1525. Its spectacular altarpiece has twenty-eight icons, painted by a Viennese artist in the year 1483.
Around the year 1515, Johannes Reychmut, an artist from the nearby town of Sighișoara, decorated the interior and exterior of the church. The citadel also features a unique system of protective padlocks, built by local craftsman in that same year.
The Saxon community nowadays only numbers around 70 members, for whom the church service is available on every second Sunday.
Today, the local tradition of wine-making has become almost extinct. However, small quantities of wine are still produced in the Biertan wine cellars, which you can visit, explore, and support.
In Biertan’s main square, you can find a tourist information point in the old community centre building, which you may find useful.
Mister Iordan Ilie, a craftsman that locally produces slippers, hats and other textile products is always happy to receive guests. You can also stop by Mr. Ion Constantinescu's painting and sculpting workshop and watch this local artist using centuries-old traditional methods.
A lot of village beekeepers will gladly serve you with their local bee’s products or if you’re eager to try something new, you can enjoy a Saxon soup formerly reserved only for special occasions: Broderleavend – which translates as “roast soup” – is made with meat, potatoes and bay leaves.
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