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Published: August 3rd 2008
Not so crowded as last year but still beautiful!
Perfect timing for a short summer holiday. We had the greatest weather, although the last month it has been raining all over the country.
For a long time I was planning to visit the saxons fortified churches. In Transylvania there are a lot of them, some very well preserved and famous, others very close to become ruins.
After I've done some research, I printed the maps and tried to establish an itinerary. We had only 4 days to acomplish this mission. As usual things dont go exactly as you plan them.
What have we managed so far:
Day 1 - Sibiu - Cisnadie - Cisnadioara
Day 2 - Sibiu - Medias - Biertan
Day 3/4 - Sibiu - Agnita - Bradeni
Returning to Sibiu I found the city with a new look. A lot of construction sites, many of the old traditional houses and historical monuments are being renovated but most of the work was already done. I booked myself a room at Hotel 11 Euro, of course that actually the cheapest room is 20 euro/night, but it was pretty nice. It was 5 minutes away from the central area and I had no problem getting around.
early in the morning, we walked a little in Sibiu especially around the parts we missed last year.
After lunch we went to the Transmixt bus station near Sibiu train station. As I already knew they have buses towards all the places we wanted to go.
We decided to take the Cisnadie bus. The village is 10 km south of Sibiu, the buses are scheduled to leave every hour and a one way ticket is less than 2 euro. Of course if you dont speak Romanian or you dont have anyone around to translate for you it will be a difficult task to communicate with the staff at ticket office. I cant understand why they dont make an effort to learn at least some basic words in english, when most of travellers are foreigners and shouting at them in Romanian doesnt help.
After a 45 minutes ride we arrived in Cisnadie (Heltau)
. The village is absolutely beautiful, the church is right in the middle of it. Its an evanghelical church (Saint Walpurga's), build around 13 century and although by the time we got there it was closed for rehearsals (the village's days 2-3 august), we asked the guide if
we can have a quick look and take some pics. The woman was so nice that she guided us inside and around the church, explaining us the church's history and after inviting us for the weekend party. In this fortified church they kept the famous Cisnadie treasure and after the renovation a part of the treasure is now at the Brukenthal museum in Sibiu. After the tower was destroyed a few times by thunders, in 1795 was installed the first lighting conductor in Transylvania, using a unique method at that time.
3 km distance from Cisnadie, is the village Cisnadioara (Michelsberg)
. We decided we will walk till there and it was the best choice. The landscape is amazing, the peace, everything in different shades of green, the 30 minutes walk it was like heaven. The church is situated on top of the Saint Michael's Hill, about 70 m altitude. The woman that sells tickets (about 1,5 euro) will give u the keys of the gates so who leaves last gets to lock them. When we arrived there it was already open, we had no guide but there were a few posters with details. Inside the church are kept the
tombstones of the german officers and austro-hungarian soldiers who died in 1916. Compared to Cisnadie here there arent so many objects to see but the view from above is spectacular. Before we left we walked around the village and discovered another interesting church but unfortunately it was closed and no one seemed to be around.
It was already late and we had to catch the 9:15 PM bus from Cisnadie to Sibiu so we hurried back to the village. Although there are plenty of buses if we would have had more free time all this distance we would have prefered to walk. As we dicovered the next days in almost every village we passed there was a fortified church, and some werent even mentioned on the map so the best thing to do is to visit each village, enjoy the nature and talk to the locals... thats an awesome experience!
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