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Hamba Fortified Church

Hamba Fortified Church

Hamba, RO

Only the masonry of the tower of the hall church in Hamba originates from the Romanesque construction time. Most probably it was repaired after the destruction of the church in 1493 and it was strengthened with a wooden parapet walk. The church itself was not rebuilt, but surrounded by a ring wall. A new construction erected in 1749 survived only until 1830, being replaced by the actual church. The small neo-classical church of harmonious proportions stands empty today, as its inventory comprising the balconies, the pulpit and the pews has been moved to another location.

Cisnădioara Fortified Church

Cisnădioara Fortified Church

Cisnădioara, RO

The church on the hill, today part of the communal property, is one of the few unchanged testimonies of the Romanesque construction time in Transylvania. The small three-aisles basilica was probably built before 1223. The western funnel-shaped portal exhibits particularly beautiful stone masonry. The interior, which nowadays only contains a memorial dedicated to the soldiers fallen in the WWI, impresses by its contemplative style. From the former defence ensemble only rests of the ring wall and its towers are still preserved. Equally remarkable is the village parish church, whose fortification system did not last until today, except for the western tower and its defence level. The single-nave Baroque church was built in 1764 on the foundations of a former Gothic building. The interior furniture, as the pews and the gallery, originates from different Baroque times and are ornamented with rural floral paintings.

Pochayiv Lavra

Pochayiv Lavra

Pochayev, UA

Pochayiv Lavra is an Orthodox monastery of the sixteenth century located in the city of Pochaiv. It is the second largest Orthodox after the Lavra of Kiev-Pechersk, Ukraine.

Mediaş Fortified Church

Mediaş Fortified Church

Mediaş, RO

Among the town cathedrals of Transylvania, Mediaș stands out due to the fact that not only the church, but also the whole castle complex are entirely preserved. Today’s appearance of the church dedicated to St. Margaret traces back to two preceding buildings, which had to undergo many alterations until 1482. The western tower on the other hand reached its full height only in the middle of the 16th century. The interior of the church has an asymmetrical cross section, being a combination of basilica and hall church. By keeping the low height of the northern aisle, a series of outstanding medieval wall paintings were preserved on the wall of the nave above. The winged altar of 1485 is a masterpiece of the pre-reformation age. Furthermore there is a collection of important altars transferred from abandoned or endangered churches on display. Inside the ring wall with its five towers the ensemble of Old Town Hall, school and parish house is cuddling around the church. In the south tower St. Mary’s chapel shows its well preserved pre-reformation frescoes. The inner ward depicts the development of the civic life in a Saxon town shaped over centuries, featuring the elements of church and defence, education and administration. Even today the buildings of church, school and parish house serve their original functions.

St. Mary's Church

St. Mary's Church

Trakai, LT

The Basilica of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary, or simply the Church of St. Mary, was first built in 1409 under Vytautas the Great. The original Gothic style of the church derives from this first construction. The visible Baroque features came with later reconstructions in the 18th century, initiated after the church was damaged by the Great Northern War.

Guşteriţa Fortified Church

Guşteriţa Fortified Church

Sibiu, RO

The church’s architecture displays numerous characteristics of the Romanesque basilicas in the Sibiu area: a compact central nave, Gothic ribbed cross vaults at the side aisles, arcades with round arches resting on square pillars and arched windows at the clerestory, all dating back to the 13th century, same as the apsidal of the southern side aisle. The chancel was modified during the 15th century, when the pointed windows, the rib vault and a defence level were added. The defence wall was built in the same time and still features a small chapel on the eastern side. The penetrated barrel vault on transverse arches in the central nave was built in the 18th century. The interior preserves the 18th/19th century pew and the paintings, which were restored in 1988.

Ighişu Nou Fortified Church

Ighişu Nou Fortified Church

Ighișu Nou, RO

The fortified church in Ighişu Nou was built in the 14th/15th century as a hall tower-less Gothic church with narrow chancel. The chancel was heightened in the late 15th century with an additional defence level. A tower was constructed in the front hall, with the staircase built in the thickness of its walls. The small octagonal stair tower on the northern side has been built only later. Similar to many churches in the Mediaş area, this one also preserves some very valuable stone masonry: blooming roses on the impost of the tracery on the chancel windows and a very rich ornamentation on the profiled western portal. The massive western tower still maintains its original hip roof and the wooden defence level. The church is surrounded by a complete defence wall with the remains of a fortified granary on the north side, as well as a horseshoe-shaped bastion on the southern side, which closes the narrow outer bailey.

Kernavė Wooden Chapel

Kernavė Wooden Chapel

Kernavė, LT

The wooden chapel Kernavė, which is next to the Church of the Holy Virgin Mary, was built in 1820-1822. The chapel was transferred to the care of the church, and was for a long time used only for storing church furniture. Unattended, the chapel gradually deteriorated and finally collapsed after the Second World War. In 1959, the building was renovated and repaired externally with vertical boards.

Church of the Holy Virgin Mary

Church of the Holy Virgin Mary

Kernavė, LT

The Church of the Holy Virgin Mary was first built at the beginning of the 15th century as a wooden church. The present stone church was built in 1910-1920 in the neo-gothic style and consecrated in 1925. Between 1930-1934 and 1968-1979, Nikodemas Švogžlys-Milžinas (1899-1985), a public figure, writer, repaired the church.

Cisnădie Fortified Church

Cisnădie Fortified Church

Cisnădie, RO

Today the church still exhibits the basic characteristics of the three-aisle Romanesque basilica that originally had a six-level western tower. The ensemble was surrounded by a ring wall, which was fortified starting in 1430, when the Ottoman attacks occurred. A second fortification wall was built, as well as several defence towers and a moat. The church itself was also strengthened: defence towers were built above the chancel and its apse and above the two side entrances. The western Romanesque portal is ornamented with typical interlace. The spire roof with corner towers was built as early as 1591. Especially valuable are the altars from other village churches, which are displayed inside. These were brought to Cisnădie for safety reasons.

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What is Religiana?

Religiana, a project by Future for Religious Heritage, presents a catalogue of beatiful and inspiring buildings, helping you experience Europe's history, today!