UNESCO România
Mănăstiri Transilvania
UNESCO România Mănăstiri Transilvania Transilvania



The village of Viscri, is part of Buneşti commune (composed of five villages: Buneşti, Criţ, Meşendorf, Roadeş and Viscri, each of them having a fortified church) in Braşov county and is best known for its excellent preserved fortified church. Viscri (meaning weisse kirche in german or the white church) is part of the seven villages with fortified churches in Transylvania, designated in 1993 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Today Viscri’s population is of Roma majority, with a few Romanians, and about 20 Germans. The first documentation of Viscri is a record of church taxes dated around 1400, in which the village is referred to as being part of the Rupea parish. Its inhabitants consisted of 51 farmers, 1 school master, 3 shepherds and 2 paupers.
The church was built around 1100 by Szekely (Szeklers, Hungarian ethnics) colonists who built a small church with a single hall and semicircular apse, and taken over by Saxons colonists in 1185 when the Székelys were forced to settle further north. In the 12th century, in the first stage of German colonization in Transylvania, the Saxons had built a Romanesque church, which, having been pulled down by the Tartar invasion in 1241-1242, was replaced by an edifice which has been preserved until today.
Though small in size, the Gothic Church of Viscri impresses by the grandeur of its walls made of roughly shaped stones. The plan of the former Saxon Romanesque church had been simple, with a single nave, a flat ceiling and a semicircular apse on its eastern side. In the 13th century a keep was built onto the west of the church, the choir was extended eastward and shortly afterward the church was enlarged as far as to the tower. The residence tower alongside its outbuildings placed in an oval enclosure that had once (in the 13th century) been home to the village’s headman were actually the core of the Peasant Fortress built in the 14th century, and restored, together with the Church, in the 16th century. The Fortress has two precinct walls. The inner one, provided with four towers and two bastions, has been preserved until today.
In the 14th century the eastern part of the church was rebuilt and in 1525, the first fortifications with towers were added. In the 18th century the church was surrounded by a second defense wall. During a third phase of construction at the end of 15th century, the church was converted into a fortified church by adding battlements to the choir and the West Tower. In the chancel one can see what was left of a Romanesque pillar, ended in a cornice capitel (actually the only one known in Transylvania), alongside a triumphal arch left also form the former church.
On the wall, one can still read that restoration works were made in the 17th century under the guidance of architect Hartmann, and having the following motto ‘In pace de bello et in bello de pace cogitatis’. Mention should be made of the covered wall-walk of the fortification, linked to the four towers and to the Church. At times of war, it would allow people’s safe moving along within the Fortress. The fortification has a stone arched entrance and four upper levels which can be reached by the wall carved steps. The walls have a depth of five meters which were built from the nearby river’s stones. After 1743 a covered corridor for the storage of corn was built. A century later, two chambers in the defense corridor of the bastion were turned into school rooms.
The classic 19th century altar has as centerpiece “the Blessing of the Children” by the painter J. Paukratz from Rupea. The font was made from a capital of the 13th century church. The furniture of the Church is decorated with folk Saxon motifs. To this day, the church is surrounded by a cemetery with gravestones dating back to the “Bijelo Brdo culture”.
The Church and the Peasant Fortress display three different building materials, namely stone mixed with partially plastered brick for the precinct walls, towers, as well as for the Church’s walls and spire; wood used to encircle the precinct walls and the towers, and placed below the cornices and along the bracket corridors; tile which covers the Church’s and the towers’ tall roofs. Their corresponding colors, i.e. white, brown and red make the buildings’ complex look particularly picturesque. To this effect contribute also the Church’s buttresses, with lateral entrances to the nave, alongside the very narrow space left between the Church and the Fortress, keeping with the rural styles during the Middle Ages.
In 2006, Prince Charles of Wales bought and restored two 18th century Saxon houses in the Transylvanian villages of Mălâncrav and Viscri to help protect the unique way of life that has existed for hundreds of years and promote sustainable tourism. The buildings have been sensitively restored and converted into guesthouses for tourists. They remain in keeping with the surrounding architecture and feature a number of Transylvanian antiques but with modern facilities where possible. The renovation of these buildings has helped provide a sustainable future for the people of rural Transylvania while also enabling residents to maintain their traditional way of life.[/green][blue]

Satul Viscri, este parte componenta a comunei Buneşti (compusa din cinci sate: Buneşti, Criţ, Meşendorf, Roadeş si Viscri, fiecare dintre ele avand o biserica fortificata) din judetul Braşov si este celebra pentru biserica fortificata excelent conservata care se afla aici. Viscri (insemnand weisse kirche in germana sau biserica alba) face parte din cele sapte sate din Transilvania cu biserici fortificate, desemnate in 1993 ca facand parte din Patrimoniul Mondial UNESCO. In prezent populatia din satul Viscri este formata majoritar din romi, alaturi de care convietuiesc cativa locuitori de nationalitate romana, si aproximativ 20 de germani. Prima atestare documentara a localitatii Viscri este o inregistrare a taxelor catre biserica datand din jurul anului 1400, in care satul este mentionat ca facand parte din parohia Rupea. Locuitorii sai erau 51 de fermieri, 1 invatator, 3 ciobani si 2 tarani iobagi.
Biserica a fost construita in jurul anului 1100 de colonistii secui (etnici de origine maghiara) care au construit o mica biserica cu o singura sala si o absida semicirculara, biserica ce a fost preluata de colonistii sasi in 1185 cand secuii au fost obligati sa se mute spre nord. In secolul 12, in prima etapa a colonizarii germane in Transilvania, sasii au construit o biserica in stil romanesc, care, fiind distrusa in urma invaziei tatarilor in 1241-1242, a fost inlocuita cu un edificiu ce a fost pastrat pana in zilele noastre.
Chiar daca e mica in ceea ce priveste dimensiunile, biserica gotica din Viscri impresioneaza prin grandoarea zidurilor sale construite din piatra neslefuita. Planul fostei biserici sasesti in stil romanesc era foarte simplu, cu o singura nava, un tavan plat si o absida semicirculara in partea estica. In secolul 13 un adapost a fost construit in partea de vest a bisericii, capela a fost extinsa spre est si scurtata ulterior dupa ce biserica a fost largita pana langa turn. Turnul de veghe impreuna cu alte clădiri aflate într-o incintă ovală erau initial (in secolul 13) casa conducatorului satului si reprezenta de fapt inima cetatii taranesti fortificate construite in secolul 14, si restaurata, impreuna cu biserica, in secolul 16. Cetatea taraneasca avea doua ziduri de incinta. Zidul interior, care era flancat de patru turnuri si doua bastioane, s-a pastrat pana astazi.
In secolul 14 partea estica a bisericii a fost reconstruita si in 1525, primele fortificatii cu turnuri au fost adaugate. In secolul 18 biserica era inconjurata de un al doilea zid de aparare. In timpul unei a treia faze de constructie si la sfarsitul secolului 15, biserica a fost transformata intr-o biserica fortificata fiindu-i adaugate creneluri la capela si la turnul de vest. In altar pot fi vazute astazi ceea ce a mai ramas din stalpii vechii biserici in stil romanesc, stalpi care se termina intr-un capitel cornisa (in prezent singurul care s-a pastrat in Transilvania), de-a lungul arcului triumfal care de asemeena s-a pastrat de la vechea biserica.
Pe perete pot fi vazute inca picturile care au fost restaurate in secolul 17 sub indrumarea arhitectului Hartmann, si avand urmatorul motto ‘In pace de bello et in bello de pace cogitatis’. Merita de asemenea mentionate zidurile de trecere acoperite ale fortificatiei, care legau cele patru turnuri cu biserica. In vreme de razboi, aceste ziduri permiteau miscarea oamenilor in incinta cetarii in siguranta. Fortificatiile includ si o intrare de forma unui arc de piatra si patru etaje in care se poate ajunge prin scarile sapate in piatra. Zidurile au o adancime de cinci metri si au fost construite din piatra de la raul din apropiere. Dupa 1743 a fost construit un coridor acoperit pentru depozitarea porumbului. Un secol mai tarziu, doua camere din coridorul de aparare al bastionului au fost transformate in sali de clasa.
Altarul clasic din secolul 19 are o parte centrala “Binecuvantarea Copiilor” opera a pictorului J. Paukratz din Rupea. Baza altarului s-a pastrat din capitelul vechii biserici din secolul 13. Mobilierul bisericii este decorat cu elemente populare sasesti. Biserica este inconjurata de un cimitir (utilizat si azi) cu morminte care dateaza inca din “cultura Bijelo Brdo”.
Biserica si cetatea taraneasca au fost construite din trei materiale de constructie diferite, si anume piatra de rau amestecata cu caramida tencuita partial la zidurile de incinta si turnuri, precum si pentru zidurile si turlele bisericii; lemn folosit pentru incadrarea zidurilor de incinta si a turnurilor, si plasate sub cornise si de-a lungul coridoarelor de sprijin; tigla care acopera biserica si acoperisurile inalte ale turnurilor. Culorile lor corespondente, cum ar fi alb, maron si rosu fac ca complexul de cladiri sa arate intr-un mod pitoresc. La acest efect contribuie si contraforturile bisericii, cu intrarile laterale in interior, impreuna cu spatiile foarte inguste lasate intre biserica si cetatea taraneasca, pastrand elemente din stilul arhitectural taranesc din Evul Mediu.
In 2006, Printul Charles a cumparat si restaurat doua case sasesti din secolul 18 in satele Mălâncrav si Viscri din Transilvania pentru a contribui la protejarea modului unic de viata care a existat de sute de ani in aceste locuri si pentru a promova un turism sustenabil. Cladirile au fost restaurate total si transformate in case de oaspeti pentru turisti. Ele si-au pastrat specificul vechi si se incadreaza perfect cu arhitectura inconjuratoare si fac parte dintr-un numar tot mai mare de asezaminte vechi din Transilvania cu facilitati de cazare moderne acolo unde este posibil. Renovarea acestor cladiri ajuta la asigurarea unui viitor sustenabil pentru cei care locuiesc in mediul rural din Transilvania si contribuie in acelasi timp la pastrarea modului de viata traditional al locuitorilor de pe aceste meleaguri.