7 Saxon fortified churches are UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Seven Saxon established villages with fortified churches from Transylvania are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List: Viscri, Darjiu, Prejmer, Saschiz, Valea Viilor, Câlnic, Biertan,. With more than 150 fortified churches, in various architectural styles, southeastern Transylvania is the area in the world with the highest concentration of churches-fortresses built between the 13th-16th centuries in Europe.
Germany’s most successful rock star is a Saxon from Brasov
Peter Maffay, born in 1949 in Braşov, is Germany’s most successful rock singer, loved from his debut 40 years ago, till today. In 2002, he was nominated the artist of the year in Germany. He is the German artist with the most albums sold in more than 1 million copies. His 1982 album, “Ich will leben”, has kept 37 weeks in a row the no.1 position of Germany`s top. Since 1980, his tournaments have always been among the top 10 events in Germany, according to the number of spectators. For his successful career he was decorated by the German State with the Order of Merit of the Republic and internationally recognized by the World Music Award.
Brukenthal, the first Romanian museum today
Brukenthal Palace is the first museum open for the public in Romania and the largest museum in Southeastern Europe. Built in the late baroque style, the Brukenthal building brings the distinctive atmosphere of the Viennese palaces in the heart of Sibiu. The core of the valuable collections hosted here was the pinnacle of Baron Samuel von Brukenthal, governor of Transylvania, the most fascinating personality of its time. Here are some of the Europe’s greatest masterpieces, such as Jan van Eyck’s “Man with Blue Tichia”, alongside the paintings by Hans Memling, Tiziano Vecellio Da Cadore, Peter Bruegel the Young and Peter Bruegel the Elder.
Neighborhoods were organised as institutions within the Saxon communities, based on mutual help. Neighborhoods were a form of organization between several residents on the same street or several adjoining streets, who contributed to the proper arrangement of the village and of the houses. The villages ranged from four to thirteen neighborhoods.
Their members lent money among themselves, shared some common agricultural lands and tools, attended the most important events (weddings, funerals), helped among them to build houses and to work the fields. It was very important for the members of the neighborhoods to maintain the image of their village by cleaning the streets and fountains, digging ditches or repairing the wooden bridges. Those who evaded duties towards the neighborhood were fined.
Chamber of reconciliation, couple therapy in Saxons
One of the firsts Biertan Bishops came up with an ingenious solution aiming the decrease of the divorce rate which turned into a highly efficient couples therapy . He enforced the following rule applying to couples from all over Transylvania who came to him asking for a divorce.
They had to spend two weeks imprisoned in a small room with only one bed, one pillow, one blanket, they had to share a single plate, a single spoon, etc…in other words they were forced to share everything for a two weeks.
The legend says that in over 200 years only one couple remained faithful to the divorce idea after passing through this treatment.