After having seen several fortified church villages before, we are in the mood for more. While visiting Viscri, we adjust our plans, and decide to stay the night. It will allow us to enjoy the village to the fullest, until sunset, and see it again when the sun goes up. We make sure to see the fortified church first. From the outside, it looks like a compact complex, and when we walk through the gate, the entrance of the church proper is just a few metres away. Inside, we again find proof of the strong German presence in the region, with German texts. We climb the wooden stairs to the top of the bell-tower, which gives sweeping views of the surrounding bucolic landscapes, as well as the wall surrounding the church, and the towers defending it. Back to ground level, we see rooms where corn was stowed, as well as rooms which served as classrooms.
After seeing the fortified church inside out, we find a place to stay in a farm house. While the facade of the houses might not look enormous, often with only one floor, you realise how big they really are when you walk in: they are very long. We leave our stuff, and enjoy the greatest hours of the day by walking around the bucolic streets of Viscri. We see kids play around a cart, we see horses grazing next to parked cars, we see tractors driving up and down the main street of this charming Transylvanian village. We walk past the restored Saxon house owned by prince Charles, turn the corner, and walk the other street of Viscri. This clearly is the poorer part of the village, with smaller, and more run-down houses. Many have a cross on the facade, probably indicating their religion (orthodox, lutheran, etc.).
We end up just sitting on the corner of the street, watching life go by. We see a tractor overloaded with hay, with people sitting on top, riding into town. We see kids playing, one with an airplane. An old couple, with hats on, sit outside their house, casting long shadows behind them. A horse cart comes by. And suddenly, somehow, the scenes remind us of Central America. We walk back the main street when the sun is sinking low, walk to the other side of town where we find an orthodox church. Once a Saxon village, the large majority of people here are Romanian or Roma, with only few Saxons left. We are amazed to find one of the best dinners of our entire trip, obviously produced with local products, before we make it an early night, for an early departure. We are already more than happy, and get a bonus when we find a big herd of cows walking the main street. We stay behind them, see them turn the corner, on the way to the fields, from where we get a great distant view of the fortified church again. It is time to leave Viscri behind, and head to Sighișoara where we hope to beat the crowds.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Viscri (Romania). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Viscri. Read more about this site.