Calnic Fortified Church: A Landmark of the Saxon Heritage
The fortified church of Calnic is one of the seven fortified churches from southern Transylvania included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and one of the must-see attractions around Sibiu and Alba Iulia.
Built as noble residence sometime in the 13th century by Chyll de Kelling, the historical monument from Calnic was designed on a rectangular plan, surrounded by massive oval walls, with towers on the northern and southern sides. It kept this residence status until 1430 when it was sold to the villagers of Calnic. In the early 16th century, they added new external walls, and built the chapel on the ruins of an older construction. The locals also fortified and raised the imposing dwelling tower, the Siegfried Tower, for defensive purposes, and built storage rooms that still exist in the present.
The symbol of the fortified church from Calnic, the massive Siegfried Tower, hosts today ethnographic and medieval art collections with valuable pieces of furniture, ceramics, traditional clothes, religious objects, carpets and wooden sculptures. In the nearby of the fortified church, you can also discover the 16th century parish house and the Evangelical Church, built in the 15th century and later restored in a Neo-Gothic style.
The fortified church of Calnic survived several Ottoman sieges, the most dreaded menace of the time, and is today one of the most important cultural and historical attractions in Transylvania. It’s also a great starting point of a journey of uncovering and understanding the importance of the Saxon heritage in this magical region.
Visit the nearby citadel of Alba Iulia, one of the main historical attractions in Romania.
Take a one day trip to Sibiu, one of the most visited cities in Transylvania, and Sebes, another medieval town with centuries old monuments.