Transylvanian Saxon Fortress

Transylvanian Saxon Fortress


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The Saxon Fortress located at Magura foothill is also known as the Cisnadie Fortress, being situated in the village with the same name in Sibiu County.


If you want to see this medieval city, from Sibiu you have to go to the south about 9 km, going on a modernized road, at the exit from Talmaciu, about 5 kilometres up to Cisnadie.


In the thirteenth century, the Saxon settlers built a basilica in Cisnadie. Later on, it was converted into a fortified church with three naves and a massive tower above the choir. The church is dedicated to St. Walpurga.


Unfortunately, the fortification could not resist the Turkish invasion at the end of the fifteenth century, and the locals have invested in renovations and improvements in Gothic style of the religious settlement. The central tower was raised by building ramparts and two more bastions were built above the side portals. For defensive purposes, the church was fortified with walls provided with guard roads and ditches, presently covered, but in the past they could be filled in with water.


Because of the many changes it went through, the church has lost its Romanesque appearance, the only elements left intact being at the base.


An interesting aspect of the architecture of this building is that in the past the bell-tower, 60 meters high, had a golden ball on top. But unfortunately, it seemed that the tower was pursued by bad luck, because it was struck several times. At the end of eighteenth century, in order to prevent catching fire again, the first lightning copper conductor in Transylvania was installed on top of the tower.


Today, the tourists can also see some of the old towers of the Fortress from Cisnadie, such as the School Tower, the Watchman Tower, the Town Hall Tower, the Sickle Forgers Tower or the Bacon Tower.


In addition, an almost 350 years old bell is kept in the Fortress, the old gates of the altar in Baroque style and a Gothic font of bronze have also been fairly well preserved.


For a long time, the famous “Treasure of Cisnadie” was preserved in the church-fortress, but it was moved in 1915 to the Brukenthal Museum in Sibiu, where we can find it today.


The Textiles Museum can also be found in Cisnadie, where you can admire pieces related to the history of weaving, some dating from the fifteenth century, including machinery for processing wool, looms, warp-knitting and wool combing devices.


The church-fortress of Cisnadie is considered to be a witness to the city expansion.

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