Busy with of our XXI Century modern life we often have the tendency to picture our ancestor`s lives as idilical ones. In fact you should know it was not at all like that if not quite on the opposite. Our ancestors faced the same problems like us today and besides that some bigger ones.
If you`ll have the curiosity to research on internet for modern man problems ranking you will not be surprised to find out that on the second place after the financial problems are the couples and marital problems.
The same study applied on the XVI century people of Transylvania would have probably revealed black plague and barbarian population invasions as top problems concerning their lives.
Nowadays thousands of books and thousands of web pages study, debates and offer solution regarding marital problems, a normal response to such an important contemporary problem you would say. A new profession appeared and it is highly regarded, the marital couple therapist.
Facing far more important problems our former Transylvanian ancestors came up with an astonishing simple solution to marital problems and I invite you to appreciate yourselves it`s efficiency.
Freedom of modern man relies primarily on the repeal of laws governing basic aspects of the basis of life, namely family, religion and work their explanation. We are free to choose our sis today has changed many times during the life we want everything and we want and as often about the three pillars of life. Our ancestors did not have this freedom.
Transylvanian Saxons were Lutheran Protestants and according to local tradition at the age of 14 a girl was available for marriage. The religious marital ceremony was held by the local priest. Until mid of XIX century, the religious communion of the family was high more important than the administrative or legal marriage one if you like.
The local priest had the right to officiate all the religious ceremonies but in case of a divorce, couples had to address to the superior religious ranking which was the bishop.
For nearly 300 years Biertan with it`s fortified church was the see of the Lutheran Evangelical Bishop in Transylvania and the religious center of this historical region.
Until mid of XIX century divorce was regarded as something immoral and as a consequence there was a strong tendency from the society pillars to discourage this phenomenon.
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 couple of weeks.
The legend says that in over 200 years only one couple remained faithful to the divorce idea after passing through this treatment.
“Step in to see the room where the world couples therapy was applied” I tell my tourists in front of the beautifully restored “Marital Prison” inside the Biertan Fortified Church.
You can also have a glimpse of this place in the pictures above.
Come visit Transylvania!