The town of Biertan was founded in the middle of the 13th century. The village gained special importance as a market place at the end of the 14th century. For several centuries the place suffered from heavy indebtedness which resulted in the departure of many citizens and the decline of the community. Biertan was the seat of the bishopric of the Evangelical Church in Transylvania from 1572 to 1867. In 1993 the place and the fortified church were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.