Location: Darjiu, Transylvania – Central Romania
Address: Darju, Harghita county
Nearest large town: Sighisoara (20 miles W), Odorheiu Secuiesc (15 miles N)
Nearest train stations: Sighisoara and Vanatori (19 miles W)
Telephone: 0266 222.002
Darjiu Fortified Church is one of the 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Romania
The fortified church at Darjiu was initially built in Roman style in the 14th century, and later rebuilt in gothic style. It was fortified in the 16th century when locals drew inspiration from the fortified churches of neighboring Saxon villages. The Gate Tower preserves its initial form, with openings for shooting missiles; wooden shutters provided protection against incoming projectiles. The original interior frescoes, some of the most impressive Transylvanian medieval works, have been preserved.
The wall around the church, which served as defense against Ottoman attacks, was not as high as those surrounding most Saxon fortified churches since the village, itself, was situated high on a hill. Today, only a small section of the wall built in 1520 remains.
Residents still keep their grain in barns inside the fortress, whereas bacon and ham are kept in the fortress towers. Grain may be picked up every morning, but bacon only once a week.
Main Image Courtesy of Cosmin Danila