The Famous Village of Viscri
Sometimes it’s worth going to great lengths to unveil beautiful things, and the Transylvanian village of Viscri is a shining example. Hidden deep in the heart of this land, this place is a worthy recipient of the UNESCO World Heritage title and one of the places where you feel like traveling back in time.
Viscri is famous for several things but one that stands out from the crowd is the highly fortified church that was built almost 1000 years ago by the Szeklers. In 1185, the Saxons took over and the Szeklers had no choice but to resettle in the southeastern part of Transylvania. Three and a half centuries later, the church was rebuilt and fortifications were added, with a 2nd defense wall being erected in the 18th century. Nearby visitors can discover an ancient gravestone that goes back all the way to the Bjielo-Brdo culture.
Unlike other communities that dwindled and perished over the course of time, the Saxons were still standing after hundreds of years and even withstood the communist regime. Following the 1989 revolution, the vast majority of its Saxon inhabitants decided to leave the community and relocate in Western Europe. Many of them never returned home, but some found it impossible to accommodate to their newfound land and chose to come back to Viscri.
One of the benefactors of this village is His Royal Highness Prince Charles of Wales, who was mesmerized by the beauty of Transylvania. In 2006, he decided to purchase the 18th century Saxon houses in the village and restore most of them, in an attempt of protecting the heritage and promoting sustainable tourism. At the time of writing, the village is a shining example of how such goals can be achieved, with the unswerving contribution of charitable organizations and foundations.
Those who are lucky to travel here, will be impressed by the manner in which Viscri was rehabilitated and it is all the result of strict renovation rules. Many families who reside here open their doors to tourists and their reputation of hospitality precedes them. Recently, new programs were introduced and by far the most successful one is aimed at promoting handmade products manufactured by local women.
Lunch and dinner available