Homoróddaróc (Draas, Drăușeni) is in Transylvania, it can be found in Romania. It is in the County of Brassó (Brasov, Kronstadt). It is north-east to the castle of Kőhalom, in the hills of Oltmellék. It is on a 484-meter-high hilltop. It used to be a significant settlement in the Middle Ages but it has been so much destroyed by the plagues and wars that it is just a simple village in our days.
Yet, we can still see its famous fortified church.
The place was first mentioned in 1224 as „terra Daraus”. King András invited the Saxons there and according to a Saxon legend, the site of the church was appointed at that place where the two incoming Saxon counts crossed their swords. The noblemen swore that they and their nation would keep the land until the end of time. The swords can be seen in the old Coat of Arms of the place.
During the first time, it was indeed a Saxon settlement but later the Hungarian Székelys took it over. It was mentioned as Daraws in 1468 and as Dravs in 1477. Later, we can meet with its name as Daursz in 1488 and in 1494 it was mentioned as Draws. The settlement has been destroyed twice by the Ottomans and the inhabitants suffered much in the age of the Kuruc freedom fight between 1703-1711. However, the church survived the hard times quite intact.
Indeed, Homoróddaróc is famous for its old church that was made of sandstone in 1280 in the place of an earlier church. The church was fortified after 1494. According to Orbán Balázs, there was a 5-feet-long sword with a wavy blade inside the church on display in the 19th century. Some say it was the symbol of the Saxons’ right to “jus gladii”, to execute people whom they judged. According to others, it was one of the two swords which were carried before the Saxon dignitaries as signs of power at the time of their first arrival in Transylvania.
The five towers and the outer walls were erected between 1611-21. The church still has some of the painted benches from the 17th century. Here is a video about it in the Hungarian language, with Romanian subs.:
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