Fortified Church Cisnădie

Chancel

The chancel square (5.8 x 5.8 m) ends in the east with a semicircular apse. From Romanesque times, the cross vault is preserved, which rests on a massive round arch each in the east and west. The chancel and apse receive light through round-arched windows. Remains of Romanesque wall paintings can be seen on the north wall of the choir and especially in the reveal of the east window. Here is a representation of St. Walburga and St. Peter. In the 2nd half of the 15th century the reconstruction of the church into a fortified church takes place. Four more floors were added above the chancel, creating a chancel tower.

Bell tower

The bell tower of 12.6 m side length is connected to the side aisles by two semi-circular arched openings. The wall thickness is 3 m on the ground floor. This is spanned by a cross vault. The ascent to the first floor is via a gallery staircase in the western wall. The first floor is also vaulted. The other upper floors are separated by beam ceilings. The fifth floor is converted into a belfry and has eight tall twin windows.

West portal

The western portal has a single step, in which stands a pair of columns with Attic bases. The cylindrical shafts of the columns bear cube capitals with braided bands and palmette ornaments. The round arch of the portal has the same steps as the jamb.

Baroque pulpit

From a baroque pulpit from the 17th century, the richly decorated lid is preserved. The pulpit below was made in 1909 according to the design of architect Fritz Balthes.

Baptismal font

In the southern vestibule there is a Gothic baptismal font from the 15th century. It has the shape of a polygonal chalice.

Ancient tombstone

In the southern porch is a medieval tombstone, which was in the cemetery until 1862. The coffin-shaped stone is decorated by a St. Andrew's cross. A face mask can be seen between the upper arms of the cross. Similar archaic sculptures can be traced in the Rhineland and in Luxembourg, where the first Saxons originally came from.

Altar

The valuable pre-Reformation winged altar was erected in Braller/Bruiu in 1520. In the central shrine is a statue of Mary with Jesus. On the moveable and fixed wings: Annunciation, Nativity, Three Wise Men, Flight into Egypt and 16 Saints. In 1999 the altar was transferred to the evangelical church in Cisnădie and erected there as the high altar.

Processional cross

The church community owns a processional cross, which probably dates from the time of immigration (before 1200). It is made of embossed sheet copper and set with precious stones. The depiction of the crucifix shows characteristics of Romanesque art.

New organ

In 1942 the old organ was destroyed by fire and replaced in 1944 by a work by the organ builder Wegenstein (Timișoara). The organ has three manuals, pedal, 28 registers and 2100 pipes.

Tower clock

Around 1425 a tower clock is mentioned for the first time in Cisnădie. Today's tower clock was installed in 1868.

Defenses

The defences of Cisnădie were built in 1430-1530 on older foundation walls. The double wall is reinforced by fortified buildings, towers and bastions. The inner ring wall is 6 m high and the battlements inside are supported by brick arches. There used to be a canal between the walls. Two 15th-century iron bar doors have also survived. An old baptistery and ossuary were also part of the circular wall, but no longer exist today. The tower where gunpowder was stored exploded in 1494.

History

1150-1200 A medieval tombstone in the church, the possession cross and the contents of the 13th century parchment book (Missale of Cisnădie) can be linked to the 12th century Saxon immigration.
1280-1320 Construction of a three-nave basilica with a west tower.
1323 Cisnădie is mentioned for the first time in documents. Count Nicolae of Tălmaciu owns a house "in civitate Gyznoyo", since Cisnădie is called "civitas" (town), we must assume that it was an important town at that time.
1372 Dispute between Sibiu and Cisnădie, in which there is a brawl and manslaughter. The border between Cisnădie and Sibiu is redefined.
1383 A settlement is reached between the Saxons of Cisnădie and the Romanians living nearby.
1395 The king waives part of the tax for Cisnădie, as the place is devastated and in a desolate state.
1418 Michael, the prince of Muntenia, offers his friendship to the Cisnădie. He allows them to graze their herds in the mountains of his land.
1428 For the first time a school and a schoolmaster are mentioned in Cisnădie.
1430-1530 On older foundation walls the defensive fortifications are built.
1450-1500 The reconstruction of the church into a fortified church takes place. Four more floors are built above the choir, creating a choir tower.
1493 The Turks set fire to the place and abducted many inhabitants.
1494 A tower in which gunpowder was stored explodes.
1525 A winged altar with paintings by the painter Vincentius is acquired from Sibiu.
1591 The steeple of the bell tower is renewed, following the model of the Sibiu bell tower with four turrets at the corners.
1594 In Cisnădie 421 families live.
1601 General Basta's troops enter the castle and slay three people from Cisnădie in front of the church door.
1658 The fortified church is besieged. The people of Cisnădie have to pay ransom and give jewelry, chalices and other valuables to the enemy.
1660 Lightning burns the tower roof and 411 people from Cisnădie die of the plague.
1705 The kuruc leader Count Lorenz Pökri occupies Cisnădie. The town has to give 1500 guilders and food. After the Kurucs flee, the place is sacked by Imperials. In autumn the kuruc are in town again, and again 4000 guilders have to be paid. Before leaving, they burn the corn in the field.
1792 The church father Peter Gündisch reveals the secret of the church treasure hidden in the church. The bell tower receives its present eight-sided spire instead of the old roof with battlement. The costs of the construction work are covered from the church treasure.
1795 A lightning rod was mounted
1849 Cisnădie has to pay 8000 guilders fire tax to the Kossuthhussars.
1905-1909 Architect Fritz Balthes conducted large-scale consolidation and structural alteration work, during which the wall paintings where brought to light.
1911 Under the chapel was found an ossuary. It is a circular room 5 m in diameter with barrel vault supported by a strong central pillar. The height of the room is 2.6 m.
1914 The local history museum is established.
1942 On December 23, the organ and organ loft are destroyed by fire.
1985 Early mural paintings in the choir and in the apse were brought to light
1999 The pre-Reformation altar of Bruiu (1520) was mounted as high altar.