Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars between 1372-1699

Csíkkarcfalva

Photo: Jánoska Ferenc

Csíkkarcfalva is in Székelyföld (the land of the Hungarian Székelys), in Transylvania. It is in Romania and it is called Carta. The village was born by the union of three villages of Karcfalva, Ábrahámfalva, and Tóthfalva. It is 23 km from the town of Csíkszereda. It is famous for its gothic fortified church that was first mentioned in 1332 as „E(cclesia) B(eatae) Mariae Virginis„.

After 1396 the Turks began raiding Transylvania so the churches had to be fortified. We know that its priest was called Lőrinc in 1406. The church was rebuilt in 1444. We find the name of a priest called Bertalan twice, in 1482 and in 1495. The next priest we know was Bethleheni Mihály from 1592.

Thamási Gergely was the priest of the church in 1667, he was also the Archdeacon of Csík, Kászon, and Gyergyó. There had been many Turkish raids in the area in the 17th century, too. It was the time when Ábrahámfalva and Tóthfalva got depopulated. Only Karcfalva survived that age, due to the walls around its church.

In 1796 a new nave was built and only the sanctuary remained in its original Gothic style. From its arched ceiling, the arches run to guardrails adorned with ornamental works, on which the bas-reliefs we can see a human head, the moon, and the sun. Once one of its Gothic windows was left intact, the others were walled up from above. An engraving shows us Agnus Dei, it was carved on the middle capstone. The Gothic wall shrine is very beautiful.

Photo: Christo

A new sacristy is built at the beginning of the 20th century when the Gothic door frame of the old sacristy was walled in. It was brought to the surface during the 1958 renovation. The triumphal arch is semicircular.  The medieval relics of the church include a chalice from 1540, another chalice from the 1570s, a Gothic sanctuary contemporaneous with the sanctuary. The inscription on the back door is from a later period: „Ecce panis vitae 1653.” The Gothic baptismal basin is also from the age of the sanctuary.

Photo: Christo

The church is surrounded by the highest 7-meter castle wall of Csík district, with a covered parapet and loopholes. The tower rises from its eastern bastion, which was raised by two floors at the expense of Bishop Mártonffy György, a native of the village. The third floor of the tower has walled arched windows. During the demolition of the nave, interesting old objects (copper cups, copper knives, etc.) were found and put in the museum in Vienna. A special find was the human skeleton, which was walled up in a standing position with a pair of horseshoes in its hands.

The villagers have remained on the Roman Catholic faith, except for a small detour in the 16th century: a Protestant preacher called Kelemen came into the village during the reign of Prince Székely Mózes. However, Kelemen could stay only for a short time because the locals chased him away and pulled down the houses of those whom he had converted. 

Photo: Márton Ildikó

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Photo: Christo

 

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