I chose last year to spend two weeks of May, including my birthday, exactly in the middle of my country, visiting a village in Transylvania. It seems like I needed a year to integrate my deep emotions and write more about this place forgotten by time.
I arrived in Sighișoara by train and then I accompanied the craftsman who expected me to work for him as a volunteer.
He is a very religious man who spent a whole year at a monastery.
He shared everything with me, his little paradise: his creaft, neighbors, friends, and some of his relatives. He presented me the surroundings and his countryside life.
You can see many photos and enjoy the first part of the story here.
I was treated like a queen, here’s my little breakfast:
Fresh homemade bread, fried and served with butter, homemade strawberry jam, cheese and milk buffalo from the buffalo that I greeted every evening when they grazing; and coffee with natural cream.
All made at home served with silver cutlery on a log in the yard and listening to the trill of birds.
With my soul still impregnated in the emotion of those memorable days, I am presenting to you today some of my experiences through my visit to one of the important places in the area, the fortified church in the village of Biertan.
I was watching through the window of the car and the village seemed to me to have been broken from our time, so different reminding somehow of my childhood.
I grew up in the city but I often went to the countryside as a child. I remembered the simple life in the village and those times in which people were so pleased and happy.
I have learned to pronounce Biertan from the locals, with a fallen emphasis on one side and now speak with the pride of the one who was there and explored it.
Biertan village is one of the first Saxon settlements in Transylvania, with a documentary attestation dating back to 1243.
The Saxons who came from the Rhine during the 12th-14th centuries were free to practice the professions they knew.
The men handled well the saw, molded the stone and clay, worked the earth and cultivated vineyards, fruit trees, and grew animals.
The women knew how to pour, work tailoring, and cook well. They were able to prepare a meal of few ingredients.
The church is a huge Gothic edifice with Renaissance and Baroque elements, one of the largest village churches in Transylvania.
It is said that the Turkish and Tartar barbarians who were destroying everything in their way were emerging at a certain moment. To defend themselves, the Saxons began to fortify their churches, building reinforced walls and towers.
The church in Biertan has 3 walls that correspond to 3 inner courtyards. There is the Clock Tower, the Catholic Tower, the Town Hall, the Mausoleum, the Bell Tower and the Outside Tower, as well as the Bacon Tower. The last was an airy and cool place where families brought their bacon to keep under strict records.
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On these lands I first heard about the traveling calves, and to my delight I even met one of them, a young carpenter.
The traveling calf is the one who goes through the world to learn a profession and to make a living.
But not everyone and only one who is under 30, is unmarried without children or other duties.
He undertakes to observe the rules of the guild he enters, including to wear the traditional costume.
Is very interesting that the young man leaves his home for 3 years and is not allowed to return to his native country to less than 50 km during this time. He is also not allowed to use the mobile phone, the public transport, nor is he allowed to stay for more than 3 months in one place – just to learn a profession from as many craftsmen and become one , finally.
And here’s another story that I really liked.
There is a matrimonial prison here.
What is this?
A room where the two, husband and wife, who wanted to divorce were locked up until they got together.
They were forced to use the same bed, the same table, the same chair, the same dish and the same spoon. They had to share everything and communicate only one to each other. No children and their usual chores, so no care.
It would be a great method to apply today, is not it?
My recommendation is that in the moment you are visiting my country,
don’t miss the UNESCO Biertan site – one of the most beautiful places in Transylvania.
For more details you should start with “Lada de Zestre”, the local library and tourist information point.
Thank you for accompanying me on this new virtual trip.
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