Biertan is home of the Fortified Church. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was the Evangelic Episcopal See for almost 300 years from 1572 – 1867.
The altar is sculptured in wood and has 24 icons with each showing a different biblical scene.
One of the more interesting things about this church was the door of the vestry, built in 1515. It had a lock with 19 bolts in one, which was awarded first prize at the World Exhibition of Paris in 1900.
Although this was interesting, it was not a must-see stop in my opinion unless you are collecting UNESCO sites and want to check it off your list. Continuing on…
I was looking forward to our stop here. Sighisoara is another UNESCO site and considered to be the most beautiful and well-preserved inhabited citadel in Europe with authentic medieval architecture.
It is the birthplace of Vlad Dracula, also known as Vlad the Impaler. The inspiration for Bran Stoker’s book, Count Dracula, Vlad ruled the province of Walachia from 1456 to 1462.
The highlight was to be a visit to the Clock Tower which can be seen in the background of the picture above. Unknown to us, or evidently our tour company, the street to the Clock Tower was closed for the day due to some filming and we were not allowed past the barricade. We were still able to have a nice lunch in the square and look around a bit.
I found the town square quite touristy, but still enjoyed the color. I think this is a place better visited on your own where you can take more time and not just a pass through.
Still in the Transylvania part of Romania, Brasov is a metropolitan city of around 250 thousand people. Dating back to 1235 AD, the city combines medieval history with modern-day industrialization.
We visited St Nicholas Orthodox church which is attached to the 1st Romanian School. In the school museum can be found a variety of first Romanian books and the first printing press.
By the end of the day we were tired and things were getting blurred together. As much as I enjoy having someone take me by the hand, get me from point A to point B, tell me what I am looking at and explain the local history, this was too much to crowd into a single day.
I think this was one of the first tour groups on this itinerary, and perhaps they were still in the process of working out the kinks and logistics.
I felt that we had just touched bases with each stop instead of experiencing it. That is one of the negatives of taking an organized tour. The plus side that offsets this is making the most of your limited time and squeezing in as much as possible.
I am looking forward to finding a happy medium in our future travels.
How about you – do you prefer a guided tour that can make the most of your time, or traveling independently so you can spend as much time as you like in each location?