Viscri: Promoting Heritage and Community
With a history that goes back to the 12th century, Viscri is today one of Romania’s most famous villages. Prince Charles’ repeated visits, its UNESCO World Heritage fortified church and the ceaseless activity of the local foundation Mihai Eminescu Trust have helped this small village dust off its last decades of oblivion. Viscri is right now one of Romania’s most popular off the beaten track attractions with plenty of activities for all those curious to discover the typical rural life from Transylvania.
Besides its many traditional houses, characteristic for the Saxon heritage of the community, Viscri is best-known for its white fortified church, first mentioned in 1400 as Alba Ecclesia. Historically, the church went through three construction phases. Its earliest foundations date back to the beginning of the 12th century when the local Szekler population built a small church. At the end of the same century, the Saxons took over this church while settling in the region.
During the second phase that started sometime in the 13th century, the Saxons built the main tower on the west side and enlarged the nave of the church towards east. It’s during the third construction phase starting with the 15th century that the church is fortified, a defensive corridor being added to the nave and the tower besides the defensive walls surrounding it.
More than just a tourist attraction, Viscri is an example and a success story of responsible and well-done community tourism. We can only hope this will be the pattern and not the exception.
Where to stay
Book the guest houses managed by the Foundation Mihai Eminescu Trust. This way, you’ll contribute to the conservation of the cultural patrimony from the village. Discover the guest houses
While one day is enough to take a walking tour of the village, take at least two or three days to get to know as much as possible not only Viscri, but also its surrounding villages. Most of them have fortified churches and some are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Saschiz while others have large medieval fortresses like Rupea. Various cycling trails cross Viscri and a bike renting center is also open in the village.