Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars between 1372-1699

Jakabfalva

Jakabfalva

Jakabfalva (Iacobeni, Iacășdorf, Jakobsdorf bei Agnetheln, Saxon: Giukesdref) is a very nice village in Transylvania, Romania. It is halfway between Nagyszeben (Sibiu) and Segesvár (Sighisoara), in the valley of the River Hortobágy.

The Saxon priest called Miklós of Jakabfalva was mentioned in a document in 1309 but the first church had most likely been there a hundred years before that in the 12th century when the Saxons settled there. We can see a few remains of this early church in the southern wall: a tabernacle, a stone threshold and some parts of the chancel’s arches. Priest Miklós is presumed to have built the new church on the place of the earlier one and consecrated it to Saint Jakab (Jacob). It was a towerless church in Gothic style, with a flat ceiling and an ogival triumphal arch and a multi-angled cross-vaulting covered shrine. A late-Gothic style net of the vault was built above the nave at the end of the 15th century.

The church was fortified around the first years of the 16th century, a great tower was built for defensive purposes on the western side. Further towers and walls were built with ramparts and loopholes. In addition to it, a square-shaped castle wall surrounds the church with double loopholes. The walls can boast with a gate tower on the northern side and with another tower in the south-eastern corner. The latter’s paint has remained in good condition on the outside and we can read the number “1547” written on it.


 

There is a reinforced building on the north-western side of the fortified church which served as a storage house for food. It had two levels, with loopholes. There was one more tower standing in the south-eastern corner but it was pulled down. The tower gate used to be defended by a set of draw-bars and an extra fore-yard was created before it which was also defended by a wall.

According to a document from 1488, Jakabfalva, named after its patron saint, was the second-largest village beside Szentágota in the District of Nagysink. This list says there were 75 families owning a house and 3 families were called poor people; there were a mill and a school as well as four “deserted” households.

Until the 1930s more than half of the inhabitants had been Saxons. Many of them left the place around 1990 and according to the data of 2002, there were 2,100 Romanian, 505 Gypsy and 52 German people. 

You can watch this video and enjoy it about the village and the church if you can speak German:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6af4YeQPfsI


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