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Fortified church of Biertan and Transylvania village, UNESCO heritage site

Fortified church of Biertan

Biertan is a small Romanian village, located in the Sibiu district, about 70 kilometers north of the beautiful Transylvanian city.
In this small town of just under 3000 souls there is one of the most beautiful and best preserved fortified churches in the region, in a fascinating setting surrounded by woods, vineyards and maize crops.
A truly impressive glance.

Since 1993, Biertan and its fortified church have been included by UNESCO, along with 6 other villages, on the World Heritage List. Today the village with the Fortified Church of Biertan represents one of the unmissable stops on a holiday in this wonderful region.

Its construction dates back to the period between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and has Gothic and Renaissance elements. The Church located at the center of the defensive complex, stands on a small promontory, surrounded by three circles of spiral walls, 6 towers and 3 bastions.
A suggestive covered wooden staircase, built towards the end of the 18th century, gives access to the complex. The tourist entrance is located at the very beginning of this precious staircase.

The fortified church of Biertan, in addition to being a really beautiful place, preserves some interesting anecdotes, such as the presence of a unique locking system of the door, so much so that it was exhibited in 1899 in Paris on the occasion of the historic Universal Exposition. The lock, in fact, was closed with 13 bolts: a system that made the sacristy inaccessible to those who did not have the right.

Fortified Church of Biertan UNESCO



Biertan is located almost halfway between Medias and Sighisoara, about 30 kilometers away from both. Sibiu, to the south, is located just over 70 kilometers away.
There is no regular bus service to Biertan. From Sighisoara, however, tours are organized to reach the small village with the fortified church.
The car remains the best option to get to your destination, allowing you to visit the surroundings in total autonomy.


You enter the fortified church of Biertan by climbing the covered staircase for about 100 meters. At the top of the stairs, near the church, there is a large boulder on which the perpetrators of petty crimes were tied. He was to serve as an example for everyone!

From the long staircase you reach the northern part of the complex, with the Clock Tower (from 1508), the Campanile Tower and the Mausoleum Tower. In the latter there are the tombs of some parish priests and bishops of Biertan.
Rather curious is the presence of the Bastion of the prison, which rises, east of the Complex. Here the spouses who wanted to divorce were locked up, literally left to “bread and water” and forced to share a single single bed, a single plate, a single set of cutlery, until they found marital peace. This happened in almost all cases: according to legend, in fact, only one couple did not retrace their steps!
The church, located in the center of the village, is very beautiful. Do not miss the splendid organ from 1869 cion 1290 pipes, and the largest wooden altar in Transylvania. The polyptych is made up of 28 sacred images depicting biblical events, scenes from the life of the Madonna and, in the center, a Crucifixion with the Virgin and Magdalene embracing the cross.
Precious objects are still preserved in the Sacristy. At one time it served as a treasure chest and, for this reason, the special lock was created.


The complex is generally open at the following times:

  • From May to September, every day from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 19:00.
  • April and May, from 10am to 1pm and from 2pm to 5pm.
  • From October to March, from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 15:00, mainly on request. During the winter, with the low number of tourists, this one, like many other sites, opens only on request.

The ticket to access the complex costs 10Lei per person, equal to approximately €2.

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