Saschiz Fortified Church

Saschiz, Mureș County

The Lutheran Church of St Stephen in Saschiz was built in 1492 and completed in 1525, on the ruins of a Romanesque church and of a Cistercian Gothic one. It was dedicated to King Stephen of Hungary, which is why the patron saint of this church is Saint Stephen. It was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999 and is one of seven fortified churches in Romania that are part of UNESCO. Built with a single nave and a long choir, it is surrounded by 22 buttresses on which 23 arches rest. The ten-metre-high tower is representative of Romania's medieval constructions.
The most impressive element of fortification is the church's top floor, a true fortress in the attic, stretching over the entire church. The church is plain inside, as the paintings were covered over during the Calvinist Reformation. The organ, on the of top 10 largest organs in Transylvania, was brought from Brașov in 1788, and the baroque altar comes from Vienna, having been brought in 1735. Saschiz was also visited by King Charles III of Great Britain and became well known.