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Crit – Saxon Rigour In Transylvanian Beauty

Like other Saxon villages, Criț (Kreutz/ Deutschkreutz) was first certified in papers in the late 13th century. Kreutz means cross, and the village is said to have been built around a cross on top of the hill. It is structured logically, slightly protected from the main road. Still, when you enter the village, you’ll be surprised by how wide roads are in a small village (dusty and unpaved, but more medieval!).

Houses are set in a disciplined manner on both sides. Our gaze was caught by the tower of the Evangelical fortified church. It preserves a certain modesty, and the fact that it is a bit aside from the traditional cultural tour comprising Viscri (just 12 km) could be viewed both as an asset and a flaw.

Between the church and fortifications, Crit

There is no entrance fee, every tourist can leave a small amount; moreover, all the papers or calendars that you buy are displayed freely for the visitor to take and pay. A tiny piece of Germany in the middle of Romania.

The church is literally very peaceful, neat, and gives its visitor a true feeling of calm churches are supposed to give, but, on the other hand, the surroundings of the church and the fortifications stand to fall apart unless they get some quick restoration.

Rigorous looking on the inside…
…but very disciplined

What we actually see is a 19th century version of the church, it was initially mentioned in documents as old as 1270. Unfortunately, the initial plans of the church are not known. The interior hosts an altar, organ and pulpit. Some pews of the ancient church are still preserved. The church is white-greyish on the inside, with some gold, conferring it a chaste halo.

The fortifications date back from the 15th century, it has a defence wall and 5 towers. Each tower has large wholes that served for fireguns and heating oil. Only the wall and four defensive towers exist today, while one of the towers collapsed about a hundred years ago and was not rebuilt.

Strong walls

Outside we can observe the Gate of the Dead, destined to allow the access for the mortuary cart. Opposite, there are the ruins of the old Saxon school certified by an inscription.

Old German school

The name Sophia Folberth is common among those who want to explore further the history of this charming village. She is 96, originally from Criț, and works voluntarily as a tourist guide for any visitor eager to find out more from a true Saxon. She spends every summer in her beloved native village she was forced to leave due to the war and the communist regime.

Sophia Folberth’s memories were published in a book called Criț. Istoria, poveștile și viața unui sat de sași that only appeared in Romanian. It minutely describes Saxon customs, beliefs and history in a sincere way that makes the reader fall in love with this place. Unfortunately Sophia Folberth could not make it in 2020 because of the pandemic.

Photo source: facebook/saptamana Haferland

Every summer, Criț (and other villages in the area) is the host of an important Saxon festival, called Haferland (Oats Land Week). Every day is dedicated to a different village in the region (Fișer, Rupea, Viscri, Saschiz, Roadeș, Criț, Meșendorf, etc).

Each year the festival wants to introduce the visitor to the very best of the Transylvanian-Saxon world, but it also focuses on a different theme (culinary art, local craftsmanship, Saxon art, etc). Shortly, Haferland is about being together, feeling good and building a sense of community. So, if you want to make plans for Saxon Transylvania, you’d better plan ahead not to miss this lively event!

Recommended by TTF:

  • Take a look at the fortified church
  • Take part in Haferland week to find out more about the Saxons
  • Spend at least 1 night in Casa Kraus, and delight your taste buds

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