Photo: Szász András

Csíkrákos (Racu) is in Transylvania, more exactly in Székelyföld, on the land of the Hungarian Székelys. It is in Romania, 10 km from Csíkszereda and it is famous for its fortified church. This area was the ancient gathering place of the Székelys in the time of King László. 

Photo: Andrei Kokelburg

Székely people (sometimes referred to as Szeklers in English) are ancient Hungarians, living in Transylvania in Székelyföld (Szeklerland). There live about one million Székely people on land that is bigger than Kosovo. The Székely people consider themselves “the most ancient Hungarians”, the remnants of Attila, the Hun, who had left them behind in Transylvania, according to their legends. In the early Hungarian chronicles, it is written that the “home taker” Prince Arpád found the Székely people there when he arrived with his “Magyar” (=Hungarian) tribes. The Székelys greeted him with great joy, as a kinsman would.

Photo: Andrei Kokelburg

Csíkrákos is also an ancient place of the Székelys, it was mentioned in writing first in 1337. The village had a castle called Pogányvár, built on a hilltop in the 13th century but it was destroyed in the 16th century by the Habsburgs. The church was dedicated to St. George and was built in 1270, mentioned first in 1433.

Photo: Andrei Kokelburg

It was enlarged in 1507 and in 1574, and its walls are from the 17th century. Now it can be seen as it was a bit rebuilt in 1758 in the Baroque style. Yet, this is the biggest late-Gothic church of the Székelys. Its tower is from the age of the first Hungarian kings’ age, from the Árpád dynasty’s time and it is decorated by figures from the zodiac. You can find the coat of arms of the Hont-Pázmány family and the Hunyadi family inside. The church suffered at the Crimean Tatars’ invasion in 1661.

Photo: Andrei Kokelburg
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Photo: Andrei Kokelburg

Here are a few more pictures of Csíkrákos: