szekelyderzs


2011

2013

2013

The village is situated on the plateau of the Sub-Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania, between the Târnava Mare and Homorodul Mic rivers. Its relief is fragmented with both mountain peaks and valleys.

The history of this community began after the Tatar invasion. For the first time the village was mentioned in 1334, in the Papal Tithe Register under the Latin name “Ers”. In the Middle Ages Dârjiu was a part of Odorhei Seat (Udvarhelyszék), one of the most important of the seven Szekler administrative territorial units of Transylvania. The Szekler were the descendants of colonized military troops which were in charge with the defense of the eastern borders of the Feudalist Kingdom of Hungary starting from the eleventh century.

The ensemble formed by the Unitarian fortified church and the wall of the fortress are the most dominant elements of the site and play an important role in the Szekler inhabitants’ historical identity. On the other hand, this church is an exception from the Szekler defensive architecture – it is a rare example of the typical Saxon fortified churches of Szeklerland.

The Gothic church is a typical hall church with a nave and a choir ending in a polygonal apse. It was built before the year 1419 in the place of a Romanesque chapel, of which a brick with runic inscription indicating the year 1274 was kept.

The present configuration of the building is due to a significant fortifying renovation carried out in late Gothic style (late sixteenth century). As a result of this renovation the church has got ample windows, the west stand on three arcades and the vaults in the structure of the nave and the choir.

The ribs of the vaults are supported by decorated corbels representing both Catholic and laic symbols.

The ensemble consisting of the eastern stand’s choir (1800), the organ (1837) and the pulpit (1759) in Provincial Baroque style are bearing the Unitarian symbols, which were adopted by the Szekler after 1568. The Gothic gates on the southern and on the western fronts are defended by porticos hosting the Renaissance styled tombstones.

Around the year 1520 the whole building was raised with a defensive level with a inverted keyhole embrasures. The unitary and high roof completes the monolithic appearance of the monument.

In 1887, during a renovation large mural paintings were discovered. On the northern wall, the paintings are telling the legend of Saint Ladislaus in five successive scenes. On the southern wall of the nave there are pictures of saint bishops, Michael Archangel wearing a coat of mail and holding a spear, and pair of scales for the Last Judgement.

The last scene is picturing the conversion of Paul the Apostle: Saul fallen off his horse has the revelation of Jesus. One of the three soldiers from the Saul’s group of has a flag bearing an inscription.

This church is the most impressive example of the dissemination of the fortified church model developed in Saschiz ever built on a Szekler territory. It is similar to the churches in Cloașterf and Dupuș and also to the churches located close to Beia and to Archita.

The similarity also shows that since the 18th century the inhabitants of Dârjiu have been keeping their grains inside the ensemble while their bacon, ham and sausages are kept in the larders of the bastions.

 

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