Walking the Lost World of Saxon Transylvania
On this journey you will discover Saxon Transylvania, one of Europe’s last surviving medieval landscapes. You will travel through timeless Saxon villages where traditional farming is still in use, explore their fantastic fortified churches, enjoy the almost unspoiled countryside with its astonishing richness of wild-flower meadows, and forests teeming with wildlife which is extinct in other parts of Western Europe. Here the farmers don’t use artificial fertilisers and there is no intensive land-use. From May to July the wildflowers brighten the meadows untainted by chemicals. Here you will find an intact fragment of an older Europe. Your journey, mostly on foot, will pass through the Sighisoara-Tarnava Mare area, included in Natura 2000 - a network of designated sites across the EU where vulnerable plant and animal species and important habitats must be protected. Transylvania, or the "Land Beyond the Forest", is one of the three provinces forming Romania, a land of history and legend that has fascinated travellers for centuries. It is the most ethnically heterogeneous and culturally mixed of the three, populated predominantly by Romanians (who call it Ardeal), Hungarians (who call it Erdely) and Saxon Germans (who call it Siebenburgen, meaning “Seven Boroughs”, based on the seven towns they founded). Legend says that when the Pied Piper lured the children from Hamelin in Germany, they vanished underground and emerged in Transylvania. But history tells a different story: in the 12th century, Saxon traders and farmers were invited to help defend the eastern frontier of Transylvania against invaders.