Photo: Diana Popescu

I’ve updated my page with another Saxon fortified church from Transylvania, it is Mese (Romanian: Meșendorf, German: Meschendorf, Saxon: Meschenderf), it can be found in Romania. It is on the bank of the Hanga aka Lauter Stream. There are many fortified churches in this area, Saxon and Hungarian ones alike, which had been reinforced due to the Ottoman peril as early as the 15th century. You can read more about the German Saxons of Transylvania here:

Mese used to be a settlement populated by Saxon people, it was first mentioned in 1332. During the Middle Ages, the village belonged to the Abbey of Kerz. The villagers embraced the Lutheran faith like many of the Saxon people.  The fortified church was built in the Gothic style about 1350, from sandstone. Its five-story-high tower was built at that time, too.

Photo: Benő Gyula

The church was surrounded by a five-meter-high stone wall in 1495. The walls were holding ramparts and its corners were defended by three-story-high bastions. The corridor of the bell tower was built at this time, too, it served defensive purposes. At this time, they additionally elevated the hall by two meters and created another level for the defense, with a corridor. They built a new wall around the fortified church in the 16th century, with loopholes.

Although the church was renovated in 1701, the second defense corridor was pulled down in 1817 and the outer walls were also removed in 1888, along with the tower on the southeast. There was a tower on the eastern side but it was pulled down in the 1950s when part of the fortified wall was also destroyed.

There were 523 Saxons living there in 1910, you could find 7 of them in 2002. The locals are very kind and they still speak German next to the Romanian language. You can find the key to the church in the second house to the left of the church gate.

Here is a video of the fortified church:

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Here are a few nice pictures of the small but beautiful fortified church of Mese: