The Fortified Church in Prejmer

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).

Sibiu. Just photos

Anamaria Marinca

Anamaria Marinca (born April 1, 1978 in Iaşi, Romania) is an award-winning Romanian actress.

She graduated from the University of Fine Arts, Music and Drama "George Enescu" in Iaşi. She speaks Romanian, English, French and German. She lives in London.

In 2005, she won 3 Best Actress Awards (the BAFTA Television Awards, the Royal Television Society Award and the 'Golden Nymph' at 45th Festival de Télévision de Monte Carlo) for her role in Sex Traffic, a CBC/Channel 4 drama about human trafficking. As well as appearing on stage in Romanian theatre productions, she also acted in Measure for Measure at the National Theatre in London.

In 2007, Anamaria Marinca starred in the Romanian film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days by Cristian Mungiu, which won the Palme d'Or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, and two other awards (the Cinema Prize of the French National Education System and the FIPRESCI prize). She also appeared in the Francis Ford Coppola film Youth Without Youth. More recently, she appeared in 2008 as a supporting character in the BBC 5-episode miniseries The Last Enemy as Yasim Anwar, a human rights activist and the lead character's love interest. Also, Marinca appeared in the Romanian drama Boogie and Oliver Hirschbiegel's acclaimed Five Minutes of Heaven.

Most recently, Marinca played the leading role in Storm by Hans Christian Schmid and starred in Julie Delpy's The Countess. Furthermore she participated in Sleep with me by Marc Jobst. From July 24th until August 8th 2009 Marinca will be seen in Sarah Kane’s final play "4:48 Psychosis", directed by Christian Benedetti in the Young Vic Theatre in London (from Wikipedia).

Sighişoara Medieval Festival

Founded by Transylvanian Saxons during the 12th century, Sighişoara (Sachssburg in German) still stands as one of the most beautiful and best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. Designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this perfectly intact 16th century gem with nine towers, cobbled streets, burgher houses and ornate churches rivals the historic streets of Old Prague or Vienna for atmospheric magic. It is also the birthplace of Vlad Dracul, also known as Vlad Ţepeş (Vlad the Impaler), ruler of the province of Wallachia from 1456 to 1462. It was he who inspired Bram Stoker's fictional creation, Count Dracula.

The city of Sighişoara hosts the Sighişoara Medieval Festival featuring medieval music, film, poetry, folk music concerts, and a competition of love declarations.

Sighişoara’s 15th century citadel was the inspiration for the festival — a group of enthusiastic people sought to raise awareness about the state of degradation of the structure. The beautiful and well-preserved urban medieval town is enhanced by narrow lanes, inhabited massive brick houses, all surrounded by walls buttressed with 14 defense towers. The ambiance of the medieval festival is perfectly suited to the surroundings.

Participants include Romanian artists and performers from all over Europe. The festival is meant to reconstruct the atmosphere of a medieval citadel, with street music and theater and parades of craftsmen and townspeople, damsels and knights in period costumes.

The festival typically attracts 20 to 30 thousand attendees each year. The Festival of Medieval Arts and Crafts (end of July) is re-creating a medieval atmosphere, complete with troubadour music and costume parades, street entertainers and handicraft displays, open-air concerts and medieval ceremonies, this event offers the chance to immerse yourself in the lore and legends of medieval Transylvania.

Cozia Monastery. Just photos