Apold (Romanian: Apold, German: Trappold) is a village in Transylvania, Romania, located in Maros County. It comprises the communes Segesd, Sasdálya and Volkány. It is situated 11 km south of Segesvár (Sighisoara), on the Segesd stream. Its German Saxon Gothic fortified Lutheran church stands on a small hill. It is surrounded by a double defensive wall with two towers on the inside and four towers on the outside.
The imposing Apold Fortified Church dominates the area from a hilltop in the center of the village. It was originally a towerless basilica built in the 13th century, which was converted into a late Gothic hall church in the 15th century. The bell tower was also built at this time.
This originally German-Saxon village lies in the valley of the Segesd stream (not to be confused with the villages of Nagy and Kisapold between Nagyszeben and Szászsebes). The name Apold first appeared in 1309 in the documents of the tithing dispute between the Bishopric of Segesvár and some Saxon parishes, in the name of the claimant Nikolaus von Apoldia. The church was definitely standing in 1309.
The population change also resulted in a different name for the settlement, which was already referred to as Trappold when Hunyadi János visited in 1446. In 1500, the settlement, which belonged to the bishopric of Segesvár, had its own school and mill. At that time it was inhabited by ninety-three people: eighty-nine farmers and four shepherds.
In the first half of the 16th century, between 1504 and 1529, the church was surrounded by a double ring of walls. The outer wall, reinforced with buttresses, was three to four meters high and had a rampart. The bell tower was also raised and provided with battlements, and the inner wall was reinforced with towers and bastions. On the bastion of its gate, you can see the date 1529.
The Haferturm, or Zabos Tower, the gate tower, and the Wisser Turm, or White Tower, were built at this time. The castle keeper lived in the so-called School Tower (Schulturm). The complex was renovated first in 1611 and then in 1634.
In 1658 Turkish troops garrisoned the prosperous Saxon settlement. A few decades later a fire destroyed most of the houses and in 1694 the village tax was abolished. A hundred years later, in 1797, another great fire destroyed Apold, leaving only the church and a few dwellings intact. The burnt houses were rebuilt and in 1830 the village, now a municipality, was granted the right to hold fairs twice a year by the Saxons.
The belfry clock was first mentioned in 1723. The organ, which is placed above the altar, was built in 1821 by Johann Theis, a famous organ builder of the time. The 1848-49 War of Independence did not affect Apold, but in 1872 another fire caused considerable damage. The real boom for Apold came with the opening of the narrow-gauge railway between Segesvár and Szászágota in 1898.
The roof of the church was rebuilt in 1910. In that year, Apold had 1207 inhabitants, mostly Germans, with a significant Romanian minority. Between 1977 and 1992, more than 400 Saxons left the village and were replaced by Romanians. In 1992, of the 691 inhabitants, 548 were Romanians, 60 Gypsies, 42 Saxons, and 41 Hungarians.
After the millennium, the restoration of the fortress church began again. Work is still in progress.
Source: Szász András, and the Hungarian Wikipedia
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Here are more pictures of Apold: