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  • Views: 6859
  • Author: sveat
  • Date: 21-11-2014, 02:01
21-11-2014, 02:01

Biertan - the Largest Peasant Fortress in Transylvania

Category: History / Transylvania / Biertan

Biertan - the Largest Peasant Fortress in TransylvaniaAccording to some historians, the village of Biertan was attested in 1224, in a diploma issued by King Andrew of Hungary. Biertan was then a part of the Two Seats Saxon administrative unit. At that time, Biertan was competing with Medias and Moşna to claim the residence title for these seats. The Saxon inhabitants of Biertan were settlers from the Franconia area of Germany. Biertan had lined up houses built around a central square, with the church-fortress located in the middle. Biertan had suffered during the great Mongol Invasion of 1241. This prompted its inhabitants to become involved in the Christians’ efforts of constructing a series of stone fortresses to stave off Mongol invasions.

In Biertan, the locals raised three rows of walls, reinforced with 6 towers and 3 bastions, which turned the church-fortress into one of the strongest fortifications in southern Transylvania. The settlement prospered, and as a sign of their wealth, the Biertan Saxons decided to rebuild the church in the centre, and dedicate it to Saint Mary. The construction was carried out between 1486 and 1524, following a late Gothic style. The three naves church in Biertan is the last of its kind built in Transylvania. The Saxons had hoped that they would acquire their own ecclesiastical hierarchy, given the almost permanent state of conflict between the Saxon clergy and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Alba Iulia. The failure to receive a proper bishop from the Catholic Church only encouraged the Saxons to adopt the religious reform. Biertan took full advantage of this phenomenon.
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  • Views: 68097
  • Author: sveat
  • Date: 21-11-2014, 01:16
21-11-2014, 01:16

The Danube Delta –Paradise at the Shore of the Black Sea

Category: Biodiversity / Dobrogea / Danube Delta

The Danube Delta –Paradise at the Shore of the Black SeaThe Danube Delta is located precisely half way between the Equator and the North Pole. Among its trademark attractions are rare species of birds and animals, such as pelicans, sturgeons or the gone-wild horses of Letea, but also the ways of living of different ethnic communities such as the Russian Lipovans, the Ukrainian Hahols, Romanians, Machedons and so on, communities living among waters, surrounded by reeds and water lilies.

The Danube Delta is one of the Europe’s most spectacular location in terms of wetland. Included in UNESCO’s World Heritage sites in 1991, the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve is The place where the Danube River leaves Europe behind and flows into the Black Sea under constant transformation. Europe’s best preserved delta is far from being frozen in time, or a site that has remained still for millennia. On the contrary, the Danube Delta is perpetually changing, expanding every year with a few dozen square meters due to the 67 million tons of river deposits washed over half a continent.

Nevertheless, the ever-changing delta is the natural habitat for ancient fish species, such as sturgeons, a species as old as the dinosaurs managing to survive until present. The 45th North parallel crosses the Danube Delta, marking half the distance between the Equator and the North Pole, turning this site into a spring destination for birds migrating from tropical countries, in search of cooler summers and fish galore, while hosting the Northern species for the winter.