Criț - Deutsch Kreuz

Accommodation
Surroundings
satul Crit, cazare, de vazut
Crit: view from South
Accommodation at Crit no. 50, Romania
Accommodation at Casa cu zorele, Transylvania
Transylvania, guesthouse Casa cu zorele
"The Main Street" is a historical monument.
(The National List of the Historical Monuments, position BV-II-a-B-11660)




The old name Kreuz (cross) comes, by local tradition, from a large cross thrust into a promontory, visible from three neighboring villages away - Criţ, Cloaşterf and Meşendorf. Around the cross the first homes were built, as well as a stone church, dedicated to St. Cross.
...mai multe despre istoria satului...

Casa cu zorele, Criț nr. 189

The current brick houses along the Main Street indicate a period of development and prosperity in the history of Transylvania; they began to be built towards the end of the 18th century, gradually replacing the old wooden houses. But, especially in the last 20 years, these farmhouses have faced an uncertain future. Life in the countryside has changed, and all the Saxon traditional architectural heritage risks to be lost.

Casa cu zorele (the Morning Glory House) is an example of restoration, in order to reconstitute the atmosphere of a typical house and the emphasis has been put on conservation, repairs and authenticity. Many traditional materials and techniques have been widely used: sand and lime, both inside and outside, as well as lime paints and natural pigments are just one example.

In order to keep intimacy, only 4 guest rooms have been arranged. The thick brick walls keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The wood stoves provide comfort in cold weather.

Rooms respect the geometry of the original building, with original windows and wide doors; fortunately, it was possible to keep the original flooring in most of the rooms. The pavement of the wide courtyard, that had undergone modernization, were re-made at the original appearance using river stones.

The solid wood furniture is made by small Transylvanian craftsmen, the paintings being made in the house.

The house has a vegetable garden and a small meadow.

The authentic atmosphere is also preserved in the living room. The ceiling with wooden beams and wooden boxes is just a detail. The dinners served here are cooked according to recipes used in the family, using as much as possible ingredients from the garden, from the woods or from local producers.




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Surroundings

Crit village is excellent placed in the middle of everything, close to a main road (DN13/E65), but without the discomfort to be crossed by it. The possibilities are many and varied:

- For nature lovers, the the unic biodiversity of the meadows and surrounding woods are wonderful; can be explored by foot or by bicycle.

- Some of the most interesting fortified churches of Transylvania are very closed (within a radius of 14 km) and can be visited walking or cycling, or even by a horse cart.

-There are more than 80km of bike trails connecting the villages in the area:

- Crit - Mesendorf and back (12km)

- Crit - Mesendorf - Viscri - Bunesti - Crit (circular, 32km)

- Crit - Mesendorf - North Forest - Crit (circular, 20km)

- big tour Crit - Viscri - Bunesti - Crit (circular, 42km)

- Crit - Cloasterf - Saschiz and back



- Sighisoara with its old town (UNESCO site) is at 32 km; Rupea Fortress is 20 km away.

- In a 50 km radius you can visit a volcano and a stone-mine lake; a multisecular oak; other 2-3 beautiful fortified churches; an ornithological sanctuary.




A Little History (continuation)

...

From two documents, dated 1270 and 1272, we learn that King Stephen of Hungary, according to Szekler's law (Szeckler is the name of the local Hungarian population) confirms to Laurentius, the son of Hylyees and to his son, (), the possession of the lands next to Szederges (Moreni), with the church dedicated to St. Mary, and the lands of Scentkerest, with the stone church dedicated to St. Cross. Szeklers are recommended to accept Laurentius and his followers in their community, as the two above-mentioned villages cease to belong to the jurisdiction and power exercised by the Governor of Transylvania.

So, in the beginning, Criţ belonged to the upper class/ nobility.



In 1322, the villages of Criţ, Cloaşterf and Meşendorf were part of the property of the Abbey of Carta. When the abbey was closed down, on February 27th, 1474, the king Matthew Corvin gave all the church properties to the Abbey of St. Mary from Sibiu. And so, Criţ became a village under the authority and administration of the Magistrate of Sibiu.

Between 1496 and 1497, the three villages were at disagreement with the Magistrate of Sibiu for the "zeciuiala" (common tax) owed to their priests. The Bishop of Alba Iulia decided that the priests of these villages were to collect and keep the "zeciuiala", while he collected the tax due to his episcopate, and the Magistrate of Sibiu collected the fiscal tax.

Around 1500, Criţ was among the villages run by the Chair of Sighisoara. Unfortunately, the old church, demolished and re-built in 1810, did not preserve any documents that would graphically show the original construction.



Inside the new church, built between 1810 and 1813 in the same place as the old one by the same craftsman who built the church of Şaeş and the bell tower from Daneş, on two platforms along the western wall, old church pews, some from the 17th century, are preserved, together with tempera paintings, similar to the ones from Cloaşterf.

One of the pews located on the upper platform has a little church painted on one of its leaves. This painting appears to me an approximate representation of the old church. Inside the churches in Buneşti and Cloaşterf, on pews railings, there are also painted churches, which resemble the current churches in these villages, so the image in the Criţ painting may constitute a milestone for the image reconstitution of the first village church.

The low choir, the high vessel on the south wall above the arches of windows, forms what could be arches hiding defense holes. The bell tower, located on the western side, has a sharp steeple, but does not have a defense tunnel which, of course, must have existed in the 16th century.

In XV century were rised the walls surrounding the church in an irregular oval, adjusting the form of land, which explains their unequal height, between 6 and 8 m. The top of walls is equipped with battlements and defence holes, the last beeing present especially in the south-west where the wall is built on the edge of steep slope.




On the side of the south-west, where the defence wall is well preserved, it sets out, at half of its height, a step which used to the corridor as defence assistance.

In the eastern tower, seven stone steps leading to the narrow platform leaning the deffence corridor (which has not kept anything). Five square towers defended the fortress.

Tower of the south, above the old entries, has ruin in 1925. The actual entry to first floor is only 60 cm above the ground, of course after passed demolitions.

Tower of northeast has ruin three decades later, in 1955, but was rebuilded with two levels, bearing in a pyramid roof.

In the corner of the south-east of the castle we find the gate of the tower, defending-wall (cutina) starting in the east - from the corner of the north-east - and to west from the middle of its west side. The ground floor contains the entrance created later, flanked by strong buttresses. The third level is retreat against the tower's wall , to hide the defence holes, three of each sides of the south and east. Above and below them is a row of battlements for firearms.

Twin Towers to the west and north-west, with three floors, still have the original roofs, and under them, on the toll front and on the sides, defence holes. The entries in the three levels are not located on the same vertical shaft, but placed side-on, being defended by oblique roof supported by four pillars.



To the west and north-west, where the terrain that ascends towards the crown of the hill provides opportunities for attack, a second wall was built. This wall links the corners of the northwestern tower with the western and northeastern towers, resulting in a "Zwinger" wall with battlements.

In the nineteenth century, when "Zwinger" wall wasn't needed for defense any longer, the interior defense wall was demolished in the northwestern side, and replaced by a lower wall, with six large openings; this lower wall, together with the outside wall of the "Zwinger", provides support to a saddle-shaped roof which covers the shed where the peasants' barns were located. A second shed, with 4 wide openings, was built in the courtyard of the fortress between the southern and eastern towers.

In front of the former southern tower there is a deep stone fountain, with a small pyramid roof.

In 1908, near the western tower, a large gate, used for mortuary chariots was opened. This type of oval enclosure, as we find in Criţ and Viscri, is seldom found in the Rupea area, where rectangular shapes, characteristic of the 16th century architecture, prevail. This form of oval enclosure confirms that it was built in the 16th century.

On the southern side, a second courtyard was surrounded by the "Zwinger", with straight walls - this court was called " Parch", the word deriving from" Parcham", a designation used by the Teutonic Knights for the "Zwinger" courtyards.



[Source of information: Juliana Fabritius-Dancu - Cetăţi Ţărăneşti Săseşti Review Transylvania, Sibiu 1983