Multicultural Transylvania


Marin Nicu Marius

Copyright: Marin Nicu Marius

Published by Marin Nicu Marius at Editura Digitală

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Transylvania is a multicultural area. From some points of view I can say that it is like Europe. Coming in this region of Romania called Transylvania, which is the womb of our nation and our language, is like you came to visit Europe. To be short I will explain you why Transylvania is a mini Europe.

      1. All the main language families of Europe are here : latins, germans, hungarians.

      2. All the main religions of Europe are here : orthodox , catholic, protestant

      3. All the main architectural styles of Europe  are here : romanic, gothic, baroque.

Now, let me explain you.


At the begining of time, this land it was covered by forests and hills and at the edge surendered by mountains from the Carpathian chain. The time passing by and the first indo-european nations came here more then 40.000 years ago. In the first age of iron , like 3000 BC in this area was raised a mighty civilization : The Thracians. They was spread from Romania to the borders of Greece and one of the tribes was lived on the teritory of Romania so, also, in Transylvania.

Because this tribe was called Daci ( dacians ) their country ( Romania from today ) was called Dacia. They developed here a high civilization with advanced knowledges in mathematics, astronomy, medicine, arquitecture aso. The western half of their country ( actual Romania ) was  conquered by the romans after two wars ( 101-102 ; 105-106 AC ) which brought roman colonists which receive land here, was mixed up with the dacians and between the 4-6 century appeared a new nation and a new language : romanians and the romanian language which, as you understand already, is a latin language because after 165 years of roman dominance here’ the dacians was latinized by the romans. That was very easy because the fact that the vulgar latin, the basic latin spoked by the roman soldiers and the roman colonists  and the language of the dacians it was very similar. The question is why it was similar ? How it was possible ?


Very simple. The Dacians was part from a larger nation of the Thracians spread in the entire area of the Balkans to the border with Greece and Turkey. Their south wing was participate to the Trojan war. After the war, they was going by their boats to Italy where they was combined with the indigens having an important role on the formations of the latin language.

The dacian[* *]romans as we called them continue to live here after the retreat of the roman army from Dacia on the south of the Danube starting with the year 271 AC when starts the period of migrations of the nations from the east to Occident to conquer the Roman Empire. I am talking here about Osthrogots, Visighots, Pecenegs, Cumans, Slavs, Huns, Magyars aso. Those, migrators, were called incorrect “barbarians”, because for the romans, barbarian was called any nation which was’n‘t part from the roman culture, but because those migrators was warriors and brutals and cruels the word barbarian became similar with a violent behaviour.

Because of this behavior, the romanians, which was a nation of agricultors and shepards, can’t resist in front of those migrators and was refugeed on the top of the mountains. In those conditions, was’n‘t capable to create and preserve an archive with written documents , even that, the first writing in the world was discovered in Transylvania on the valley of the river Mures, at the Tartaria village and have 3000 years before the one from Sumer, which everybody knows it is considered the first writing in the world. Our is older with 3000 years because the population from here migrated to Sumer and is not only a supposition but a cerain fact based on the idea that the legends of the sumerians are talking about mountains and animals typpical for our area and their calendar it was built on the latitude and longitude from here.

Coming back from our lesson, the only proofs that the romanians lived here ,in Transylvania, after the retreat of the roman army and administration only, are the arheological discoveries.

When around the year 994 – 995 the principe of the hungarians Vayk is baptised in the catholic religion he bacame Stephen, the first king of the hungarians. He was the nephew of a transylvanian nobile. Then, between the year 990 and 1210 the hungarians started to talk about and then to conquer, what they was called in latin “nostra terra trans silva” the country beyond the forest which later will became Transylvania.

Romanians at the Union of Transylvania with Romania – 1918

Entering in our territories, they will discover here the Romanian population, organized in counties, having leaders which fight for their lands against the Hungarians. Many informations about this conquest we have from famous hungarians chronicars like Anonymus ( Gesta Hungarorum ) Thuroczi, Kovary Laszlo, Andrea Bonfini ( the secretary of Matia Corvin the famous Hungarian king ) aso.

The fact that the Romanians was here before the hungarians is certified by the Hungarian kings from the XIV-een – XV-een century, when certifiying the possession of some Romanians those kings will say that those possesions belong to the Romanians since the time of the “saint Hungarians kings and before them” which it means that the Romanians was here before the year 1000 when appear the first saint Hungarian king , King Stephen The Saint and before him. Problem solved. !

Coming back to the Romanian language we can say that the sintaxys and morphologie are latin and the base of the words the same, only 10% from the words have Slavic origin and under 5% another origins like Turkish, german, Hungarian.

In this way, we demonstrate how are the latins the first ethnic and linguvistic group of Transylvania.

Because , thanks to the modern technics we can open large the gates of an e-book, I will do this right know, and I will invite you to learn more about the Romanians, the Hungarians and the germans using the miracle named internet. I will start with the Romanians inviting you, to check the next links to my blog and to learn about:

Traditional Romanian Carols singed by Stefan Hrusca the most known Romanian carols singer

[+ http://romaniatoursvacations.blogspot.ro/2013/12/romanian-carols.html+]

Romanian Cookery

[+ http://romaniatoursvacations.blogspot.ro/2013/10/romanian-cookery-3.html+]

Folkloric Dances and Romanian Music

One of the best moments referral to Romanians from Transylvania and there culture is provided by Andre Rieu and you can see this following this link


Opera and Classical Music

[+ http://romaniatoursvacations.blogspot.ro/2013/10/opera-and-classical-music.html+]

Romanian Historical Movies :

[+ http://romaniatoursvacations.blogspot.ro/2013/10/michael-brave-romanian-movie.html+] – Michael the Brave and the first union of the Romanians from 1600

[+ http://romaniatoursvacations.blogspot.ro/2013/10/mircea-elder-historical-romanian-movie.html+] – Mircea the Elder the single Christian prince which defeat an ottoman army leaded by the sultan on the battlefield. In the movie appear the nefew of Mircea, Vlad, the future Dracula.

[+ http://romaniatoursvacations.blogspot.ro/2013/10/vlad-impaler-dracula.html+] – Vlad the Impaler Dracula

Romanian Poetry :


If you want more you search my blog in detail.

2) The second ethnic and linguistic group of Transylvania, belongs to the fino-ugric languages like finish and hungarian so I speak here about the Hungarians.

The hungarians came here, in Transylvania, as invaders.  I know it sounds a little bit tough, but this is the truth and is nothing bad in this. Facts like this was happened everywhere on the european continent.

Their kingdom foundated in the year 1000 because of the baptism of the leader of the hungarian tribes, Vayk, to the catholicism as Stephen, ( king Saint Stephen I-st ) together with all hungarians, became fast, the most important kingdom in the region.

Soon they will start to speak in their documents written in latin, the official language of the catholic religion about “…terra trans silva”.

The latin words trans=beyond and silva=forest will give until the end the name Transilvania which it means, “The country beyond the forests”

Those forests it was really huge covering more about 70% from the Transylvanian (Romanian) territory.

The richness of Transylvania like mines of salt ( a precious aliment in those times) situated in mountains easy to be exploatated, gold mines, silver mines, vineyards, ships, potatoes, wood as construction material were so many reasons to decide the conquest of this territory by the Hungarian kingdom.

The romanians living in Transylvania, where they were organised in some counties, having politic and military leaders, will try to resist to this conquest, but the hungarians which better trained and armed, will conquer Transylvania little by little in the next years. This thing is certified by all the Hungarian historians and chronicars starting with Thuroczi, Anonymus, Reti Sandor, Szilagy Sandor, Antonio Bonfini, Kovary Laszlo aso. Also when the Hungarian kings wants to reconfirm the properties of the Romanian nobiles from Transylvania, they wrote in their documents that “…we reconfirm this possession of the Romanian nobile, over his possession which he have it since the time of the saint Hungarians kings and before them”. What it means the term “saint Hungarians kings” ? It mean starting with the first king “Saint StephenI-st” around the year 1000 and before him. Quod Era Demonstrandum.

After the conquest, the hungarian king,  to control a teritory where the romanians were and still are, a majority of population, was forced to brought on the eastern side of this region , on the border of the Oriental Carpathians , a nation related with them, szekelys. Those ones are even today, on the same territory as almost 800 years ago. Also, close to them, many hungarians came in this land to establish new homes under the protection of their king. They was settled on the eastern side of Transylvania where they are still leaving today.

Since the beginning, they had from their king, the right to take from the romanians all the properties they need to built their own settlements, which creates many fights with the owners of the land, romanians.

At the end, because of a a rebelion in 1437 of the romanians, they are losing all their politic , social and , military rights becoming tolerated in their own country and used only as workers.

The Hungarians will decide together with the Romanians and the germans in December 1-st, 1918 the union of Transylvania with the Romanian kingdom, fulfilling in these way the dream of centuries of the Romanians to live unite together in the same state.

They receive from the Romanians the warranties to preserve their own language and traditions and this thing were respected, and today in the counties Mures, Harghita and Covasna where the Hungarians and the szekelys are still living after more then 1000 years, they have by the law, kindergartens , elementary schools and highschools in their language and even classes in Hungarian on the largest university of Transylvania and Romania, Babes-Bolyiai from Cluj Napoca. They have acces to television and radio in Hungarian, they can organize social and religious parades and meetings, showing the flag of Hungary and singing the Hungarian anthem in public, speaking their language in public without fear.

When they request to place on the official institutions of the Romanian state the local flag of the szekelys, the gouvernament change the law wich said that only the Romanian flag and the E.U. flag can stay on it and now the flag of the szekelys waving on the same position with the flag of Romania and E.U. on the city hall, of schools, hospitals, courts of law.

Above all the Democratic Union of the Hungarians from Romania, an ethnic party in fact, it was part from each Romanian government since 1992 untill now, having the possibility to offer better conditions of life to the Hungarians. If they succeed or not I invite you to ask the Hungarians from Transylvania.

On the other hand, the szekelys and the Hungarians which on the level of Romania are a minority became a majority in those counties, because many Romanians left from there because of the abuses against them, of the rights the hungarians have as a minority.

In conclusion, they leave here, better then in Hungary having all the rights they need to preserve their nationality which I can`t say about the Romanians living in Hungary.

Coming back to history I would say that, because the hungarian king needs good craftmens, artesans and merchandisers, traders for commerce and to rise the economy, he invite here people from Flandres and south of Germany. Those was coming having the same right to take from the romanians any piece of land, any forest, any mountain they want to settle their settlements.

About the Hungarians you can see more on my blog:

Hungarian Food

[+ http://romaniatoursvacations.blogspot.ro/2015/11/hungarian-food.html+]

Hungarian Dances and music : [+ http://romaniatoursvacations.blogspot.ro/2015/11/transylvanian-hungarian-music.html+]

3) In this way we have settled here the third linguistic group, THE GERMANS.  If the hugarians was settled on the eastern side of Transylvania, the germans will settle themselves in the south east corner of the region, founding important cities as Brasov, Sighisoara and Sibiu and all the fortified churches. Those cities are disposed into a real “gold triangle” because any of them was an important economical and cultural centre of Transylvania and today are the most important cities in Transylvanian tourism. The fortified churches by density and number here in the south of Transylvania are more then in the south of Germany and Austria where you can find each and there one of them.

The germans was settled and was started to built their houses. Coming to Transylvania and passing by their villages (even their descendents was going back to Germany in the ’90-s in mass proportion, unfortunatelly) you’ll see that the houses have high gates to not see inside. Inside is a courtyard which is separated by the vegetables garden by a transversal barn where they use to keep the cown, the sheeps, the chickens, the tools for working in the garden and the clothes for garden to change when they was going there and changing back when they was coming back to the house.

Because the agricol land belonging to the community being only administrated in small peaces of land by eatch family for his own needs, the planting and harvesting was done in the same time by the members of the community. In the same time they was married after the agrement of the council of the old ones and to visit a neighbour they have to announce first. Was specified what you could`n`t do in Sunday and if somebody saw you breaking the law and don`t report you, he will be punished instead of you.

Also this rules was settled like this just to maintain the independence of the community and for this they restrain the individual independence of the pearson.

that this is because of the relief which here is very hilly, downy, I mean full of hills. This it means that is closed by hills and the influence above the human psichyc is to became closed, serious and not very open, like for exemple are the people living near the sea or on the plain field. I said that because I spent all my summer vacations on my grandparents from my father side on the shore of the Danube and there, for exemple a good neighbour can enter to your yard just like that, announcing you that he will borrow your barrow and live. Something like this is not possible in Transylvania not evem among Romanians

The germans from Transylvania

I supposed by my own experience, because I am born and raised in Transylvania,. Is true that we, the romanians living in Transylvania are latins like our brothers beyond the Carpathians, but we are influenced in our mentality by the germans and because of this we are more like them in work, seriousity, punctuality, respect than the rest of the romanians, and this is possible after 900 years of living together with them here.

The germans was the engine of the economy and trade in Transylvania, and when they decided to left Romania and Transylvania in the ’90-s we regret this very much.

Still exist a german population in Transylvania but not so many as before.

As a curiosity, in the year when I wrote this book, 2015, the president of Romania, Klaus Johanis is a german.

Also on my blog you can find some extra informations about the germans.

[+ http://romaniatoursvacations.blogspot.ro/2015/11/the-germans-from-transylvania.html+]

As you can see, in this way, we still have today, those large groups of languages in here and next time I will tell you how was born here those 3 important christian religions : orthodox, catholic and protestant.

2. The most important european religions are here: greek-orthodox , roman-catholic and protestant

I own you the second part of this documentary. I will talk about the second reason which makes Transylvania a mini Europe : here are the most important religions of Europe: greek – orthodox, roman – catholic, protestant.

After the conquest of Transylvania by the hungarian kingdom we have here greek orthodox ( romanians from Transylvania and outside of the Carpathians ) and catholics ( the germans and the hungarians )

Greek – Orthodox – romanians.

We became christians since Andrew, the apostol of Christ, christianized our ancestors dacian-romans. This christianization was pretty easy to be done, because our ancestors, the dacians, had a religion very close to christianism. Thei had only a major teacher which use to talk them about the single, major God, the same teacher disappear for 3 years in his chamber under the ground to reappear for the joy of the dacians which thought him dead, he give them a previous 10 commandments in their case having 10 times “NO”. All those things made easier the acceptance of christianity by our ancestors. So when we became a nation, we was already christians beeing in fact, the single nation in the world which was christian before to be a nation.

As an example you can see a fragment from a Romanian orthodox religious service:


Then, because of the approach of the Byzantin Empire, we embrace the greek orthodox religion becaming the single latin nation which is orthodox, as the polish are the single catholic nation which have slavic origins.

We receive the orthodoxism from the bulgarian monks and because of this the words which are used during the religious service have slavic roots and the ones connected with the faith, like cruce - cross, inger- angel, basilica - biserica' dominus - domnul Dumnezeu - God aso are coming from latin.

Also, because the official language of the orthodox religion was “slavona” a slavic language, we used the cirilic alphabet since 1862 when it was changed to the latin by a reforme of Alexandru Ioan Cuza.

After the invasion of Transylvania by the hungarian catholic and apostolic kingdom, romanians from here continue to keep their religion despite all the pressures to change it. Not even the reform of Martin Luther does’n‘t had an impact above us.

During the contrareform starting with the year 1699 a part of the romanians from Transylvania, accept to be unite with the catholic church in exchange of receiving social ‘ military and politic right which was take it from them since 1347. Their greek orthodox religion it was’n‘t change to much.

After couple of years seeing that the catholic church do not respect all the promises like 75% from the romanians united with the catholic church decided to go back to the oryhodox church. The ones which remained greek-catholics as it was called this new church was received at the end more rights and their children was able to study Law and History and Philosophy and coming back home, to fight more efficiently for the right of the all romanians from Transylvania, orthodox or not.

Today is the same situation as in the past romanian – orthodox having a large majority in Transylvania.

THE CATHOLICS – hungarians and germans

Before the year 1000 around 996, a hungarian prince, Vayk, having noble transylvanian origins, accepted the catholic baptism together with all his nation, becaming the king Stephen I-st, known today as King Stephen the I-st and Saint of Hungary. It was the moment when the hungarians became catholics and when thei will enter in Transylvania, will became the second religion here, the catholics. The headquarter of the catholic church was in Alba Iulia where, the cathedral from here, and the bishopric was leading the destiny of the catholics here. Also this bishopric from Alba Iulia was ratified all the documents of the hungarian kings when they making donation to the romanian nobiles or hungarian nobiles.

Today, the catholic cathedral from Alba Iulia called in hungarian Gyulafehervar, it is a touristic destination in Transylvania maybe because here is barried one of most proeminents leaders of the hungarians, an important fighter against the ottomans and the father of one of the most importants hungarian kings, king Matthias and I speak about Iancu de Hunedoara or as it is called in Hungary, Hunyady Janos.

Around his and his son Matthias, origins was debates because we, the romanians always said that he and his son are romanians. He, Iancu de Hunedoara born from romanian parents, his son Mathias having a hungarian mother so only half romanian.

Is not the place and moment to explain you why this debate, but if you want, you can write me at [email protected] to tell you more.

Religiously and Social speaking, Romanians, Germans and Hungarians live in complete tollerance then and today. We don’t had religious wars in Transylvania and will not have.

Another ethnic group part from the catholic church from Transylvania was the germans. They also leave in peace with us and the hungarians, but one of them was the one responsable for the birth of the third religion in Transylvania: the protestants.

The protestants – germans and hungarians.

 In 1535, a german humanist from Brasov, Johannes Honterus, took contact with the ideas of Martin Luther and because the social relations in between the catholic church and the german population and hungarian too, it was pretty tense the ideas of reform find a good earth to grow and blossom here. In this way, in a very short time the majority

of the german and hungarian population switch to protestant religion letting the catholic church without believers.  Anyway, not all the germans and Hungarians switch to the new religion, some families remaining catholics. For them, it was arranged into one of the towers of the fortified church, a catholic chapel to let them practice their religion.

I think this it was a good exemple of religious tolerance.

Only the romanians continue to remain greek orthodox. In this way appeared the third major religion of Europe here, the protestants. Today, the majority of the gothic or fortified churches from Transylvania are evangelic or lutherane.

When you`ll enter into a fortified churches from Transylvania you`ll discover something unique in Europe, a kind of fortification invented by the defence necessity of the community, mixed with a church. Usually the church, built into the gothic

style, have elements from the Burgundy Gothic , brought here by the Cistercian monks at the beginning of 1200. Elements of decoration like four or multiple leafs openings placed under roof, or the double windows, are everywhere.

The church nave have benches organized in two large groups: on the southern side boys and mans, on the northern side ladies and girls.

At the entransce of the childrens into the religious community the boys was staying on the southern lateral side along the wall in the last benches. They will advance to the front according with their age, so when they was ready to be married they was staying in the first benches along the southern wall of the church. The same rule was settled for the girls but on the northern side.

After marriage, boys and girls, now mans and womans, was moved on the central benches, each one keeping his side ( to the south mans to the north womans ). Also they was advancing with the age, so in the first benches from the centre was staying the oldest members of the community.

As a conclusion, here you can see in many places, like for exemple in to the downtown of my city, Brasov, a catholic church, 300 meters away an orthodox one and a little bit further an evangelic gothic Cathedral.

In the end of this chapter about religion I want to tell you, that, in between the catholic and the orthodox religions the differences are not too many.

In fact we can talk about couple differences:

The way of we make the cross entering in the church: from right to left the orthodox, from the left to the right the catholics.

The way as we prepare the holy bred: the catholics without yeast , the orthodox with yeast

Filioque which it means that the catholics considered that the Holy Ghost came from the Father and from the Son, the orthodox that he can come only from the Father.

The Catholics are leaded by the Pope, the orthodos by the ecumenical synod, and each country by his own patriarch.

The Catholic priests are NOT married, the orthodos priests, HAVE TO BE MARRIED if they want to became priests.

The infailibility of the Pope which is considered that can`t made mistakes during the religious service.

Immaculate conception: they say that Virgin Mary is born from the Holly Ghost without the human sin.

Chrismation is made only when the children have 7-8 years old and only the high rank priests can do that. We do the Chrismation since the baptism which is usually 30 days after birth.

The communion of the children is not offered to the baptism but many years after that and because of this many children could die without taking the communion.

The communion is made only with the body ( bred) without the blood of Lord ( wine)

The baptism is made trough putting water over the head not trough sinking into the water ( the symbol of sinking is the burial of the body born into the sin of Adam and rebirth into the new world which started trough the sacrifice of Christ.

3. All the main architectural styles of Europe are here : romanic, gothic, baroque.

All this mix of languages and religions it was represented into the arquitecture also.


The romanic style, means first of all the victory of stone instead of trodden land and wood. The brick masonry, brick mixed with stone or pure stone will dominate in military, civilian and ecclesiastical constructions.

Ecclesiastical style

The oldest romanic church from Transylvania is evangelic church St. Michael from Cisnadioara, mentioned since 1223. In building of cathedrals, churches, monasteries and chapels an important role had the believers, the local nobiles, but mostly the monks orders : Benedictines, Premonstratense, Cistercians, Dominicans,aso. Among exemples of romanic churches and monasteries built in Transylvania by those monastic orders I can mention St. Stephan Protomartir belonging to the premonstratense order from Oradea built in 1130 or The Benedictine Monastery from Manastur ( Cluj-Napoca ) Speaking about the plan of those romanic churches we can talk about : the apse hall church, the hall church with rectangular choir, church hall with a tower above the choir.

After the year 1000 in Occidental Europe are built monasteries having to towers on the façade. Later has appeared in Europe and Transylvania too, churches with 4 towers especially on the complex monuments which had a transept. The windows of the romanic churches are tall, very narrow ended into a semicircular arch. On towers we can find circular windows ( Cistercian influence ) Those, narrow windows, are usefull during the self defence of the church in case of need. Another types of windows are double or triple windows.

The first romanesque churches were painted but today none of them does`n`t have a trace of painting. To underline that in case of the Romanesque fortreses do not exists a minimum preoccupation for decorations.

Civilian Style it is measing and only from documents we can say that it was from wood , replaced little by little with new constructions. Because of this, today we can`t speak about a civilian Romanesque architecture because it was mostly a village architecture because the cities, was starting to develop only in the XIV-een century

Military Style.

When in 1241 at the Mongol Invasion, all the constructions made by land and palisade of wood proof their anachronism by the weak capacity of resistence in front of a big attack, after this year is starts a large politics to built all the fortresses and castles on hills as much as possible very difficult to conquest or impossible to conquest with the military techniques of the time. The new constructions, fortified after 1241 it had defence towers surrounded with walls. Some towers had at the superior level, defence coridors made by wood which had places to trough boiled water over the attackers.

The germans arriving in Transylvania and built fortified churches like the ones from Prejmer ( Brasov County ), Biertan and Axente Sever ( Sibiu County ) and many more others everywhere in Transylvania. The teutonic Knights Order, colonized here by the same Hungarian kingdom between 1211- 1225 were found the fortresses from Codlea ( Zeiden), Feldioara ( Marienburg), Cetatea Crucii and Rucar.

The fortresses made by the teutons are caraterised by river stone as construction materials and the buildings are made with square towers placed at the end or in the middle of each side. The main gate is another tower and before it is another courtyard to make the acces more difficult. The main entrance it was done trough a main fortified gate troughout a “barbacana” which consist from a complex of 2-3 gates, one of those gates being a mobile one from up-down. All the defense construction had living rooms, cisterns for water, and warehouses to be able to resist as much as possible.


When the first temples was started to be built, and then the romanic churches, the people tried to recreate a replica of Heaven, reason to place inside of the churches, flowers and angels. When they realized at the moment that, the light of God do not inlight enough the churches, somebody smart invented the Gotic Style. This style,

considered to be so ugly that it looks like created by the barbarians Gots, make churches with very high towers and large openings to let the light of God to inlight the interior. To be able to sustein the heaviness of the constructions it was invented the pointed arch, the barrel vault, the ribbed vault and the flying buttress.

The ribbed vault is the fundamental element of the gothic. The ribbed vault it was used , first, inside of the crypts and then starting with the XII century was moved as arquitectural element of the churches. The ribbed vault, replace the barrel vault and tok a part from the weight of the vaults downloaded on the thick walls. The ribbed vault is downloading the weight of the vaults on 4 points not two as the barrel vault and the succession of vaults will create a reinforcement of the vaults. The ribbed vault is a structure made by crossed arches made by stone and the inner spaces between ribbeds it could be fulfield with something easier like bricks.

The first gothic yard is foundated at Paris between 1137 – 1144 when will be built the church Saint Denis. Here a stonemason had the idea that the ribbed vaults will resist better to the lateral pushings in the four angles of the nave and will permite wider openings in the lateral walls without comprometing the safety of the walls.

In its late form, the Gothic Cathedral will became a huge skeleton carrying the haviness of a huge system of ribbed vaults.

Because the glass blowers could not made huge windows it was invented the stained glass window, which it supposed to fixe the small pieces of coloured glass with lead blades , disposed in such of way to contribute to the drowing of the figures and religious scenes which decorate the windows of a religious edifice.

The flying buttress appear in the same time with the higher cathedrals to sustain the very high walls situated at tens of meters above the ground. The gothic system of arquitecture will be spread first in France and then all over Europe together with the advance of the Catholicism. Against the religious glittering of the romanic style and to the benidictin fast will rise St. Bernard. His adepts will be the Cistercian monks.

The name Cistercian came from Cistercium the latin name of the church from Cateaux, France.

The Cistercians had an auster life founded on the individual prayer and laibour. Good engineers and technicians, the Cistercian monks, will take over the france gothic experiments into a sobre variant which reflect their way of life.

Saint Chapelle from Paris. Gothic.


The Romanian gothic is a periferic form of the gothic art, arrived here in the territories lived by the Romanians, after the invasion of Transylvania by the Hungarians, and its colonisations with Germans, Hungarians and Szekelys which will foundate fortified cities, prosperous economicaly.

Of course that in this territory occupied by the Hungarian kingdom, catholic and apostolic will come to spread the catholic religion, missionaries from the orders of the Cistercians, Dominicans and Franciscans which will bring with them, the gothic style. The influence of the gothic will go over the Carpathians in Moldova, where the windows of the painted monasteries are made in this style of arquitecture.

The Military Style – of gothic have only two famous representations in Transylvania: Bran Castle ( known as Dracula`s Castle ), built starting with 1377 to stop the incursions of the turks and Romanians in Transylvania trough the pass Bran-Rucar of the Carpathians during the time of the Hungarian king Ludovic I-st of Anjou on a rock where, previously, in the XIII-een century the teutonic knights built a wooden citadel.

From the castle only the main tower, the gate tower and the gunpowder tower belong to the gothic period, the rest being not very accurate restorations.

The Hunedoara Castle, it was planned initially as a simple fortification, will be transformed after 1443 by Iancu of Hunedoara in his seniorial residence. It will receive beautifull halls like Dieta and Cavalerilor Hall, both of then having ribbed vaults and Dieta Hall, four closed balconies , gothic style, placed on the top of buttresses.

Civil Gothic Style

The often incursions of the turks in Transylvania between the XIV-een – XV-een century it was affected the settlements of the southern Transylvania and forced the cities to surround itself with high walls, towers and bastions. The recint will became larger to include all the houses of the habitants. Of course that the bastions and the towers was built, mainted and defended by the guildes, the economic engines of the city. In this way we have bastions named after the guildes.: The Drapers Bastion, The Weavers Bastion in Brasov, and in Sighisoara The Shoemakers Tower, The Rope Makers Tower, The Blacksmith Tower.

In the interior of the cities we have main squares at the intersection of the main streets as you can see today in Brasov, Sghisoara, Sibiu. In those places it was organized, parties, markets and executions. The secondary red of streets was drawing the net of houses which have the narrow side on the street and then a rectangular plan going to the wall of the city. The aristocrats of the city to display better their situation was built houses-towers on 3-4 floors like for exemple the Altemberger House from Sibiu ( actual history museum) a very good exemple of late gothic built by the famous Andreas Lapicida.

The Fortified Church

To pass from the military and civil style to the ecclesiastic style it will be to study first another style of the rural construction which exist isolated in Austria , Germany and France : the fortified church.

This style of construction appear in the southern areas of Transylvania, from the necessity of the german communities, to defend in front the ottomans attacks which was a permanent danger for them.

Because the construction of a stone building need financial efforts for the all members of the community, the germans decided the fortification of the churches which they need anyway. In this way appeared around the churches bastions and towers or defensive coridors. In some situations like for exemple Prejmer (view photo) and Harman the defense corridor was built inside of the wall which offered a perfect protection for the defenders. On the inner wall it was built small rooms, one for eatch family from the village where they kept provisions and weapons to resist in case of attack. The most representative exemples are the ones from Prejmer and Harman. The large number of those fortifications in the southern Transylvania give to the ecclesiastic arquitecture an particular exemple and illustrate the volume of this phenomenon.

The Gothic Church

The construction of the gothic chriches in Transylvania, on the Romanian territory, begins because of the Cistercian monks. The first Cistercian abby in Transylvania will be built at Carta, Sibiu county. Built after the mongol invasion from 1241, it was an exemple for the other gothic churches from Transylvania like, the majority of the fortified churches, The Black Church from Brasov, The Church St. Michael from Cluj-Napoca, The Church St. Mary from Sibiu and the St. Bartolomew Church from Brasov.

The Cistercian church from Carta`s abby, ( photo down) had a transept, a polygonal coire, the central nave covered with rib-vaults, the lateral naves with groin vaults and was ended at the west side with a portal in pointed arch, decorated with a round window.

The coire had low butressesand the headstones, decorated with vegetal or imagines of Virgin Mary which was the protector of the cistecians. The capitals, had decorations, and the coire`s windows are polilobs.

The influence of the Cistercians is all over Transylvania, and you can identify this to the all high churches with low buttresses and polilobs windows. The plan with transept from the Evangelic Cathedral ( St. Mary Church ) from Sibiu supposed a lower visual and hearing quality of the ones which was sitting on the lateral sides of the nave.

This one it was replaced under the influence of the orders of begger monks ( Dominicans and Franciscans ) which was preffered the unity of the sacred space, when the preacher could be seen from any place of the church with the hall church.

In Transylvania, the hall church is to be found in Brasov ( The Black Church ), Sighisoara ( The Church on the Hill ) , Cluj-Napoca ( The Church St. Michael) and Sebes.

The Church St. Michael from Cluj-Napoca

The constructon starts after 1350 because of a privilege given to the people from Cluj by the Hungarian kingdom to choose on their own their priest.

The church have a plan on the lenghth of 5 bays covered with gothic vaults. The coire is ended polygonal have on the lateral sides, 2 chapells which connect armonious the eastern side, lower and narrower to the nave. The triparts windows ended in pointed arches are placed inside of the highest walls supported by buttresses ended with pinnacles and fleurons.

The Black Church from Brasov it is a symbol of the Transylvanian Gothic as said mr. Vasile Dragut, it is in the same way the largest gothic church between Wien and Istambul.

It is a hall church built after the one from Sebes, the craftmens from here coming to Brasov to built this church from Timis sandstone, which becaming black after the fire from 1689 was give the actual name of Black Church.

Projected to have to towers on the western side , no one finished, the exterior aspect of the Black Church is given by the sucsuccession buttresses in retreat, having places for statues in the coire area.

The five portals, two on the northern side, two on the southern side and one of the western side, attesting a new phase of flamboyant gothic characterized by many decorations, the absence of the cursivity of composition and by the ambiguity of the shapes, specific of the passing from gothic to renaissance.

This is about the gothic style in Transylvania. The next and the last chapter it will be about Barocco.


As an ecclesiastic style, represent the architecture of the rethoric expression and persuasion. Visual active, those buildings derived from the classical style are decorated with paintings and statues being considered an answer of the Catholic Church to the offensive of the reforme.

The baroque, is the last great European style of architecture which covers the period of the years 1550 -1750 starting from Italy and being named instead of something better, Baroque.

Characteristics of this style are , monumentality, the dynamic of the force and grace, the focusing on the natural detail, the mix of natural reigns and I will add in case of the buildings, a banderole as another element of baroque.

The period when this style was born is a very agitated one if we remember here couple contemporary events with this style: the siege of Vienna from 1683, The Independence war of the United States from 1706, The French – Spanish War – 1719, or the earthquake from Lisbon – 1755.

The Baroque is the style of the Religious Contrareform whereby The Catholic Church wants to eliminate from the art designed to the priests all the things which could give them evil-mindedness. In this way will be imagined in art, all the forms of ascetic self punishment to renounce to all the pleasures, a passion for the pain of Christ and of His Mother when He was crucified. From this perspective, Baroque is the affirmation of the Catholic Religion by artistic acts.

Because of the social-political conditions very well known of the austro-hungarian domination in romanian Transylvania, ( more details in my book Romania Travel Guide) this Romanian province was more permeable to the exemples of the occidental world, situation favorized by the fact that the ortodoxism and the Romanians were persecuted here.

Exemples of baroque architecture, impressive and kingly we have in the architecture of the Vauban fortress from Alba Iulia, ex Alba Carolina, residence of the Austrian garrison, where the 4 gates or triumph arches associated to the 4 cardinal points, have a decoration very rich ornated, first of all with the two headed eagle of the habsburgs,

symbolizing by the two heads that the habsburg emperor it was “the emperor of the emperors”, or by the military images of a conqueror of those days the military commander Eugeniu of Savoia.

The first manifestation of the baroque in Transylvania is a military construction, The Clock Tower from Sighisoara, which is rebuilt in the actual shape after the fire from 1676 by the artesan Welt Gruber from Tirol and the local carpenter Valentin. About Sighisoara, and its beautiful monuments you can read in my other book Romania-Travel Guide.

The aristocratic palaces here, at the frontier of the Habsburgic Empire, at large distance to the catholic Rome and Imperial Vienna will start to have courtyards for walk and relaxation like the ones from Bontida ( in the photo ) or Gornesti, like an exemple of the richness and financial potence of the local aristocrats which wants to imitate this way, the great aristocracy and even the European royalty where Ludovic the XIV-th raised Versailles an absolut palace which has to symbolize this “absolut” which was the king himself.

In the same period will be raised military castles or will be modernized an older ones like Hunedoara, Cetatea de Balta or Lazarea. Talking about the Transylvanian baroque monuments we can remember here the catholic cathedral from Timisoara, The Bruckental Palace from Sibiu, The Bannfy Palace from Cluj-Napoca,- photo down, which express his baroque note trough the unhooked entrance, basically an arch, by the presence of the skylights and by the disposal of the sculptures over the cornices, The Episcopalian Palace from Oradea ( today the Museum of the Crisuri County), The Roman Catholic Basilique from Oradea or The Church St Mary-Radna from Arad County.

Anyway, one of the most impressive and expressive monuments of the Transylvanian baroque is the altar of the Church of the Monastery from Sighisoara which can stand anytime near the baroque altars from Europe. Its pyramidal composition and the details, the mixture of the sculpture with the architecture and painting, the drama of the scenes but the positioning of the ensamble, all this recommend it as the one of the masterpieces of the transylvanian baroque. Excepting this, we can mention as an exceptional achievement of the transylvanian baroque the pulpit of the Catholic Cathedral from Cluj Napoca, St Michael and the statue of Mary the Protector from the same city of Cluj-Napoca.

The pulpit of the church St. Michael have a interesting dynamic with naïve-theatrical attitudes of the charactersand an architecture where the utilitary is very well hided by the decoration which in some places have rococo accents.

Remarcable is the lacquered sculpture which reminds the taste for luxury of baroque in the interior architecture and mostly to the furniture.

The statue of Mary the Protector was built in 1744 and it`s important for the art history because represents the first public monument placed into an open space on pedestal from Transylvania.

The ensamble is to a compositional wisdom almost anti-baroque. If will neglect the fact that this statue commemorates a funeral event, the plague epidemic ended by the help of the Virgin Mary, only the gestures of the angels, the median column cartridges support, and the glorify destination of the monument remember something about the emphatic particular which treats the stylistics of baroque.

The statue of Mary the Protector

The baroque in Transylvania do not reflect the artistic authority but the administrative one, flaunting trough art, a division of the habsurgic aristocracy from the simple an humiliated peopleof those times being them germans, Hungarians but especially Romanians without rights and tolerated in their own country by the occupants.

Transylvania, like in the case of gothic, is the romanian area from where the baroque will irradiate in the others areas of the territory lived by the Romanians.

The Baroque in the Romanian Countries – Moldova and Valaquia

Around 1600 will have into the romanian countries baroque reactions synchronized with the european west. Appeared from nowhere and nothing, will be capable to create a monument like Dragomirna ( in the photo) whose slenderness and appetite for décor , will create a baroque architectural line of taste, into a moldavian county which do not promise anything like this. Will generate again, almost from nothing the first protonational art, the Brancovenesc Style, suggesting an attitude of reverence to the byzantine style of whom revitalization will born artworks closer to the human, who praise the man into a metaphysical way, detached to the wordly power.

Like a confirmation of the unity in modernism of the Romanian Countries with Europe, we have to tell that, in the year when Dragomirna was raised ( 1609), Shakespeare were aritten his Sonnet 71, and like a coincidence for the state of “Fortuna Labilis” ( Fleeting Fortune), we evoke destinies of Mihai Viteazul ( murdered by the habsburgs ) and Constantin Brancoveanu ( executed with his sons and councellor by the turks )

In Valaquia, the church of the monastery from Curtea de Arges,( photo down) a brand of baroque was existed since 1517 like a feeling of the unleashing baroque from later, showed by the torsion of the two towers from the western side. More

about it in my other book “Romania – Travel Guide”

At the entrance into the church we have 12 big columns symbolizing the 12 apostols which use to had in between 12 big icons two sided, silver plated which had above spaces with canopy, closing a space like the second altar of the church. The others accessories of the royal greatness like the small tower placed in front of the entrance with its lace in stone, the design of the façade or the doves with bells in their beacks they are an indication that despite of any great geographical, cultural or confessional distances to the great explosion of the Catholic Church, the orthodox culture it is not far away from the baroque art spirit which were ready to be born. The great achievments of the baroque will came only at the end of the XVII and beginning of the XVIII century.

At the entrance into the church we have 12 big columns symbolizing the 12 apostols which use to had in between 12 big icons two sided, silver plated which had above spaces with canopy, closing a space like the second altar of the church. The others accessories of the royal greatness like the small tower placed in front of the entrance with its lace in stone, the design of the façade or the doves with bells in their beacks they are an indication that despite of any great geographical, cultural or confessional distances to the great explosion of the Catholic Church, the orthodox culture it is not far away from the baroque art spirit which were ready to be born. The great achievments of the baroque will came only at the end of the XVII and beginning of the XVIII century.

Locally, the new century starts with the raising of the Dragomirna Monastery, preparing the foundation of Vasile Lupu “Trei Ierarhi” close like other beautiful artworks like Biserica Doamnei from Bucharest or Biserica Palatului Cotroceni from Bucharest.

Moldova is the area where was identified a prebaroc stylistic aspect, belonging to the international mannerism of Central Europe into a personal way, orthodox, at Dragomirna Monastery view photo up. This church of the monastery looks like a scrape relics being long, narrow and high having a decorative abundance of the tower, carved with geometrical and vegetal decorations and a progressive ascension of the inner spaces to the sky where the narthex have white walls and the nave and sanctuary are covered with frescoes.

Dragomirna it is by planimetry and proportions, unique in Moldova. Could have a correspondent only to the church of the hospital monastery from Cozia ( bolnita). I have no idea if Dragomirna was imitated after something else or just was similar with other monuments but the belt twisted rope type, carved decoration and the renaissance influence it was used after that for other moldavian churches.

At the end , if you want to explore and to see by yourself everything I told you about here I invite you to come to visit Transylvania using one of those two links below and you may have the chance to have me as your private guide.

So :

[+ http://www.visittransilvania.ro/romania-tours-vacations/traditional-life-in-transylvania-%E2%80%93-8-days-54-english.html+]

[+ http://www.visittransilvania.ro/romania-tours-vacations/tour_details.php?id=6&language=english+]

My other book about Romania, the travel guide you can find it in couple of places like those two:

[+ https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/romania-travel-guide+]

[+ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/romania-marin-nicu-marius/1121923457?ean=2940151918374+]


I consider that, we can live together as brothers, no matter what religion or nationality we have, Transylvania it was the country of the Romanians only, but became little by little the country and the home of the germans and Hungarians too. They belong here exactly as us do. We lived together and even today the relations in between us are good.

What creates waves are the politicians which like usual need more power and for this are manipulating people. They`re bad luck is that here in Transylvania we have experience with this kind of things and we can`t be tricked so easy.

So you`ll find us over 1000 years exactly like today and yesterday, living in peace, here, in our corner of heaven, called Transylvania.


Historia Transilvaniei – Ioan Aurel Pop si Ioan Bolovan, Editura Eikon

Arhitectura la Romani ( De la obarsii la Cozia ) – Ion Godea

Arta Gotica in Romania – Dragos Nastasoiu, editura NOI Media

Barocul Romanesc ( gesture de autoritate, replici si ecouri) – Hostiuc Constantin , editura NOI Media

Ungurii despre romani – Sorin Mitu – editura Polirom

Din mainile valahilor schismatici – Ioan Aurel Pop , editura Litera

Multicultural Transylvania

  • ISBN: 9786068749907
  • Author: EdDigitala
  • Published: 2016-01-05 15:40:10
  • Words: 8841
Multicultural Transylvania Multicultural Transylvania