Biertan, Sibiu: Church-fortress, door with 19 locks and anti-divorce “prison”

TzubyCAMPERS Romania Biertan, Sibiu: Church-fortress, door with 19 locks and anti-divorce “prison”

Biertan is one of the first German Saxon settlements in Transylvania, being documented since 1283. For 300 years, Biertan was one of the strongest peasant cities in Transylvania, the town gaining a special spiritual-religious importance. Since 1993, the fortress-church was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Famous is the sacristy door, with a very complicated system of 19 locks, made by local craftsmen in 1515, awarded at the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris as a representative example of medieval Saxon manufacture. The locks are still functional today and, if you benefit from a guide, you will be able to see live how they work.

Another interesting fact is that, in its early ages, the eastern bastion incorporated a “prison”, where family couples (husband and wife) who were on the verge of divorce were imprisoned for two weeks. In a small room with a single table and a single bed, they had a single plate, a cutlery, and a single cup of water. It is said that in those circumstances, only one couple remained unmoved in the initial decision to divorce, with all the other couples coming out of it reconciled.

You may find below a video about the fortress (in Romanian only):