UNESCO România
Mănăstiri Transilvania
UNESCO România Mănăstiri Transilvania Transilvania



The Fortified Church


The distance between the centre of the parish and the higher, farther place where the Old Fortress was built made the inhabitants prefer the Fortified Church as a refuge at times of war. This one, placed right in the middle of the village, alongside the Tower, separate from the Church, stand today near the national road which crosses Saschiz. The Church at Saschiz was built in 1493-1525 without a precinct, on the site of a Roman style church and a later Cistercian Gothic church. The church was dedicated to the Hungarian King, Stephan the Holy. A couple of preserved documents certify subsidies given by the Province of Sibiu from 1494 to 1525 for the construction of the church. The township was even given Papal indulgence from 1503 to 1507 and was furthermore exempted from supporting the military troupes with accommodation and supplies as the official Johan Polder had established


The church and the tower were sorrounded by a defensive wall. It is known due to archeological excavation that the original wall stood in the same place as todays perimeter wall. Today the church and the tower are included in UNESCO World Heritage Site patrimony since 1993. The church draws attention by the expressive beauty of its proportion and by a rigorous adaptation of a typical fortification’s elements to the requirements of a church. The fortified level is placed over the nave and choir, making the edifice look like a huge bastion. The bulwark of the wall-walk is pushed forward by the bracket over the massive arches placed on top of the stone and brick buttresses. Behind the arches one can see the slits of the loop-holes.


The Fortified Church of St. Stefan holds one of the most beautiful chalices made by the goldsmiths in Transylvania. The chalice of the Evangelical Church at Saschiz is richly adorned, with its leg decorated with beams, an inscription and a trimming with lily flowers. On the leg of the chalice are carved the portraits of three Hungarian kings, i.e. Stephen, Emeric and Ladislas.


The Tower at Saschiz is one of the most beautiful examples of Saxon architecture in Transylvania. The spire of the Tower has the shape of a pointed pyramid. It is covered with colored enameled tiles, and is richly decorated. Its top level below the cover of the roof is slightly protruded, being held up by a bracket, and supported on a row of narrow arches that hold the loop-holes on the cornice. Its defensive role was strengthened by the elevation of the vestry with solid masonry. The twelve skylights, three on each side of the Tower, the four turrets on its corners, and the highly pointed spire with its bulb-shaped iron-plated base, make it look like the building that actually inspired it the Clock Tower at Sighisoara.