he old name Kreuz (cross) comes,
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.
From two documents, dated
1270 and 1272, we
learn that King Stephen of Hungary, according to
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
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
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.
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
Inside the new church, built
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 were rised the walls surrounding the church in an
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
the edge of
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.
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.
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.
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.
ground floor contains the entrance created later, flanked
by strong buttresses.
level is retreat against the tower's wall , to hide the defence holes,
three of each sides of the south and east.
and below them is a row of battlements for firearms.
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
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
"Zwingerï¿½ wall with
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 "Zwingerï¿½, with
straight walls - this
court was called" Parchï¿½, the word
deriving from" Parcham", a
designation used by the Teutonic Knights for the
of information: Juliana Fabritius-Dancu - Cetăţi Ţărăneşti Săseşti
Review Transylvania, Sibiu 1983>