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Prejmer Fortified Church

Brasov, Romania

Take a peek in Prejmer, near Brasov, and visit the best preserved fortified church in Transylvania!

The fortified church of Prejmer or Tartlau as it is known in German, is one of the most important medieval historical monuments in Transylvania. The Teutonic Knights started to build it in 1218. It has the eastern-style floor plan of a Greek cross with the apses ending in hexagons.
After the Order was banished by King Andrew II, the Church was extended in Early Gothic, an architectural style the Cistercian monks brought to Transylvania in the 13th century. In 1240 the village of Prejmer / Tartlau passed to the patronage of the Cistercian abbey of Kerz / Carta. The ceilings of the square apses still have the typical vaulting of the time, in six parts, with consoles and capitals, pointed vaulting details, pointed twin windows, rose windows under the entablature of grooves and leaf buds, all characteristic of the Cistercian Gothic.

The two rooms of the southern part are called “Old school”. One of them is still preserving traces of old paintings on the walls.
You can admire also a defensive gallery along the inside of the wall, at the height of ten meters and about 800 meters long. It has a large number of fire-halls and spouts for pouring boiling pitch onto the attackers.
A special attraction of the fortifications is the “death organ” a thick rotating wooden board on an iron axle carrying five barrels mounted on each side. The barrels on one side could be loaded with metal projectiles while the other was being fired at the enemy and so, by rotating the board rapidly, continuous fire could be achieved!

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