Saschiz (Keisd) is dominated by the magnificent defensive bell tower which is almost identical to the clock tower in Sighisoara. Today's church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was built between 1493 and 1525. The presence of the fortified citadel meant that this fortified church was built later than most in the area.
Inside the church is an Austrian Baroque style altar from 1735. The organ is also Baroque style and is one of the ten largest and most important such organs in Transylvania. At one time Saschiz was the regional seat of the Catholic Church and vied with Sighisoara for political superiority.
The walls of the tower are 3m thick. It was built in 1677 as a defensive tower and later extended to house the bell. After many fires the roof was fully restored in 1830. In the northwest upper level stands the wooden statue of 'Bogdanâ' who used to beat his drum every 15 minutes in unison to the chiming of the clock.
On the hill above Saschiz is the Peasant Citadel. This was built by the Saxons probably on the site of a former Roman fort which guarded the road between Rupea and Sighisoara. The citadel was intact and used by the community until after the Second World War when it was largely dismantled for building materials. The fortifications consist of six towers linked by a perimeter wall. Within the Citadel there were two fishponds and a 60m deep well, from which it is said that an underground tunnel led out of the Citadel. This would enable the communities that took refuge in it to withstand siege for quite a long time.
The Citadel can be reached on foot and provides an ideal spot for a picnic and an excellent vantage point commanding fine views of the surrounding area.
This artistic impression of Saschiz was drawn by Sue Prince of Beechenhill Artworks and shows the Church and the walking route to the Citadel.
Saschiz is situated on the European route E60 between Sighisoara and Brasov. If you follow the E60 west you will end up at the Atlantic, and eastwards you will arrive on the borders of China. You have to cross two bodies of water by ferry though and it is 8,200 km in length.