The beginnings of the Holy Cross Church in Prejmer relate to the rule of the Teutonic Knights in Bârsa Country (1211-1225). Widely considered as the most powerful peasant fortification in medieval Transylvania, the fortress encompassing the church in Prejmer was built between the 15th and the 16th centuries.
In 1240, the church and its associated domain were repossessed by the Cistercian monks. Erected in the 13th century in early Gothic style, the church is a Latin cross-plan building with an octagon tower rising over the nave, ogival vaults and side chapels that flank the polygonal-shaped main apse. On the outside, reflecting Cistercian Gothic-style influences from the abbey in Cârţa, are windows with quatrefoil tracery and a console frieze beneath the cornice. Between 1512 and 1515, the church was transformed by enlarging western wing and covering it with a ribbed vault. Inside the church, a valuable polyptych altar depicting the “Passion of the Christ” dating from the mid 15th century has been preserved.
The double-fortified inner ward forms an ellipse with four horseshoe towers completed by a barbican, and was fit with one of the most advanced systems of provision chambers that can be seen in a Transylvanian fortified church. Inside the walls, the village community had all the supplies needed to withstand a prolonged siege.
The first documentary to Prejmer village is from 1240. Organized around a central square that encompasses the fortress-church, the village has almost completely retained its historical layout and structure, as well as the architecture and decoration of the houses, most which were built between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
In 1520, the village of Prejmer was the largest settlement in Bârsa Country, and its present-day structure was completed around 1556. The village preserves ethnological and historical values illustrating the life of a multi-ethnic community (from MarvaoGuide, photos Foton).
Concert Joe Cocker, 4 August 2013, Romexpo
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