Activities usually start with a visit to the fortified church of Alma Vii
A visit to Alma Vii’s fortified church has been ranked as one of the Top Sights in Fortified Saxon Villages by The Lonely Planet, alongside the famous churches in Biertan, Viscri, or Valea Viilor. The medieval fortified church of Alma Vii started as a small church in the early 1300s and has over centuries been constantly enlarged to become today’s impressive ensemble.
The fortified wall was renovated in 2016 under the supervision of the Mihai Eminescu Trust. It now houses a charming and kid-friendly museum with old artifacts from Alma Vii – including a real skeleton! A second phase of the renovation of the church itself started in 2022.
It is now even possible to climb inside the towers on steep, wooden ladders. In the bell tower, you will be right next to the giant old church bell. From there you will enjoy a beautiful view of the village and beyond.
You can find all the information on the church’s webpage at www.almavii.ro.
The opening times vary according to the season and other factors. Therefore it is advisable to inquire about them beforehand.
Why did the Transylvanian Saxons build fortified churches?
The fortified churches were built for a number of reasons, including as places of worship, as defensive structures to protect against invaders, and as places of refuge for the local population during times of conflict. Many of these churches have thick walls, towers, and other defensive features, such as arrow slits and openings for throwing stones at attackers.
Although there are around 150 fortified churches in Transylvania, not all of them are open to the public. Some of them are still used as places of worship and are only open for services, while others have been converted into museums or other public buildings. However, many of the fortified churches are open to visitors and offer tours or other activities. If you are interested in visiting one of these churches, it is worth doing some research beforehand to find out which ones are open and what activities they offer.
Overall, the fortified churches served as an important part of the defense and protection of the Transylvanian Saxon communities.