Explore the fortified churches of the Transylvanian Saxons in Romania
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Câlnic Castle and the three-aisled Biertan fortified church
Travel through Sibiu, Cluj-Napoca and Brașov, and take in the wooden churches and gates of the Maramureș region
"I learned a lot about the complexities of this region. Our leader was extremely knowledgeable"
- ACE customers on a previous Citadels of Transylvania tour
The Transylvanian Saxons – a group of German-speaking artisans, farmers and merchants – were first invited to settle in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains by the Hungarian Crown in the 13th century. In response to raids in the late Middle Ages, fortresses were erected around their churches, and our tour to present-day Romania will feature visits to a specially selected number of these fortified structures.
Visits will include the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Prejmer, where the early Gothic Church of the Holy Cross was walled in the 15th century, and Biertan, with its late Gothic complex dating from circa 1522.
We will investigate the wooden churches of the Maramureș region, characterised by their slim clock towers, and the walled town of Sighișoara. Dominated by a hill overlooking a bend in the River Târnava, the town is another superb reminder of the architectural ingenuity of the Transylvanian Saxons. The narrow streets have conserved much of the town’s medieval fabric: not just an impressive citadel and defensive towers but also the houses of the local craftsmen who were responsible for developing Sighișoara’s prosperity.
Medieval Brașov was formerly one of Eastern Europe’s most important trading towns and later a source of the Reformation in Transylvania. Sibiu is home to the Brukenthal Palace, the main 18th century residence of the Governor of Transylvania, and is noted for its series of interlocking squares and covered passages with an extensive stock of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture.
We will stay at hotels of three and four-star standard throughout the tour. These will be specified closer to departure.
This tour will be led by Alex Koller, PhD, an expert in art history and architecture. Alex has lived and studied in Vienna, Salzburg and Cambridge. In addition to his interest in art history, Alex is a linguist, numbering German, French, Italian and Russian amongst his languages.
Included: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, seven breakfasts, one lunch, seven dinners with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities & all taxes.
Not Included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £200.