CISNĂDIE, 12km south of Sibu, was known to the Saxons as Heltau and to the Turks as the Red Town, both for the colour of its walls and the blood that was shed attempting to breach them. Piaţa Revoluţiei (more a long wide street than a square) leads to the largely Romanesque church.
Continue reading to find out more about...
The church and museums
A formidable bulk protected by a double wall (1460–1530) and a moat, Cisnădie’s church is still home to an active Lutheran congregation. You can ascend the massive thirteenth-century tower, climbing through lofty vaults linked by creaking ladders to the belfry. The view of red rooftops and angular courtyards is superb, with the tiny Romanesque church (dating from 1223) overlooking the village of Cisnădioara just visible below the Cindrel mountains. The church grounds are the unlikely setting for a small Museum of Communism containing newspaper clippings, a calendar used for bread rationing, and objects belonging to former party members. Upstairs in the tower facing the church door is the new Museum of Ten Centuries, displaying a precious object from each century of the town’s history, such as a thirteenth-century processional cross, a fourteenth-century missal, a fifteenth-century chalice, a sixteenth-century Lutheran bible, and postcards sent home during World War I.