The Transylvanian Meltingpot

Today’s journey is going to give us the chance to discover a very special part of Transylvania, with medieval sites, fantastic legends and very warm and friendly people.

We will depart in the morning through the “Hârtibaciului Valley” and reach the small village of Alţâna. It used to be massively inhabited by Germans, who emigrated after the Second World War, leaving over eight centuries of civilization and culture behind. The old massive Saxon houses and the few Germans, who still live in the city, remind one of this great community. We will take a walk through the German alley and the Romanian street and visit the Lutheran church. The highlight of our tour is going to be the visit of the multiethnic museum. It is a private collection, belonging to a young restorer from Alţâna, who’s going to show us different artifacts of the Romanian, German, Hungarian, Romani and Jewish communities which once used to inhabit these regions.

Departing from Alţâna, we will travel to one of Transylvania’s fairytale places: Alma Vii. The small village seems to be taken out of a children’s story book: small houses painted in lively colors, with horses and cows grazing on flowers filled meadows and a picturesque fortified church, which once used to serve as a refugee for the locals… In the newly restored medieval school, we will be spoiled with homemade and homegrown organic products.
Our next stop will be the village of Moşna, where we are also in for a culinary treat: the Schuster Family were the first organic farmers in Romania and are nowadays an example for many young peasants all over Europe. We will have the chance to chat with them and find out more about the problems Romanian small scaled farmers face, but also to taste the cheese that has made this family so famous.

Our last visit of the day is probably the most spectacular, as we are going to visit Transylvania’s largest fortified church in Biertan. It used to be the residence of the Saxon bishop, which explains the massive defensive walls and tours. Besides the splendid old Gothic church, another small building will certainly attract our attention: in a small house in the fortified premises, a unique prison for married couples used to function. The couples, who wanted to divorce, were forced to live for a couple of weeks together in that small room and could only separate after that. Legend has it, that only one couple in the history of this prison went ahead and got a divorce.
In the evening we will return to Sibiu.