The village and its surroundings
Viscri was originally a German speaking, so-called Saxon village, named Deutsch Weisskirch (”German White church”). Founded already by the initiative of the Hungarian king in the 13th century, the villagers exclusively lived from agriculture and cattle breeding.
After the exodus of the almost entire Saxon population in 1990 –after the execution of the couple Ceausescu- most of their houses and proprieties have been taken over by Romanians and (partly) Rom gypsies. Viscri is a typical, well kept Saxon village, characterized by a juxtaposition of analogous farmhouses, painted in all different natural colours which expresses the personality of the owners, being part of a common architectural typology.
The daily life continues to be inspired by the Saxon (agri)culture and you will feel as catapulted back into the former centuries.
More and more tourists come and visit the amazing village which results in the presenting and selling of local souvenirs in the street to the church. Women and children sell the typical slippers and other knitwear, originated from the wool of the many sheep in the village. We nevertheless advise you, if you are interested, we advise you to buy the authentic guaranteed slippers in the cooperative of Café Artizanat, behind the fortified church, which financially sustains the poor families of the village. The fortified church is anyway one of the most remarkable and impressive ones of Transylvania and you will be delighted visiting the church and its adjacent museum of village life.
In front of the entrance to the church on the hill is the holiday house of the famous German singer Peter Maffay (“Du bist Alles...”), who was born in Brasov and is now sustaining different social initiatives in favour of the poor population.
And in the main street, in front of nr 13, the blue painted house belongs to Charles, the prince of Wales, who always was an enthusiastic visitor of the village and the region.
The direct environment
We recommend you to make the tour of the village with a peasants cart, pulled by two horses. Some villagers are prepared to take you on a tour for a small amount of Romanian Lei, which nevertheless is helpful in their difficult life. The housekeeper shall be glad to organise a reservation the day before. Some villagers are prepared as well to accompany fervent walkers on a captivating trip to nearby villages (as for instance to Meschendorf) over the hills and through the forests.
In the B&B of Mihai Grigore, in the main street 125, mountain bikes can be rented to explore the wider environment and more villages. You can even try to follow the mountain bike path, experiencing the numerous aspects of the fauna and flora on your way. Mihai organizes different activities for his guests, dependent of the season. You can always join them, after contacting Mihai.
For those who like to ride, there is a possibility to make an appointment with Roman, a former German citizen, now living with his wife Annette in house 63. Roman has different horses and will join you as a guide in the amazing landscape to be observed from a horseback.
When you take your car, you may discover many surprising and amazing spots. First of all, you will be confronted with many historic villages where the time still stays on hold. In spite of the tremendous need of restoration, most of them are picturesque settings in the shadow of their remarkable fortified churches. The ‘Atlas der Siebenbürgischen-Sächsischen Kirchenburgen und Dorfkirchen‘, created by the architect and researcher Hermann Fabini is an excellent signpost to your visits.
Other to do’s are visits to UNESCO World Heritage villages or small towns as for instance Sachiz, Sighisoara and Biertan to the North and the impressive fortified church of Prejmer to the South.
Cities as Brasov and its mountainous surroundings in the Carpathians and as the cosy historic centre of Sibiu are an indispensable part of your stay.
And all they who are looking forward to a spectacular run in the Carpathians, leaving a lasting impression, have to drive to Fagaras, following from there the E68 in the direction of Sibiu and taking at the left the ‘Transfagarasan’ road to Cartea de Arges. At the summit, you continue to the other side of the mountain through a dark tunnel until the Vidraru lake, which may be the turning point, back to Viscri.
This spectacular road is officially only open from the 1st of July, but with warm weather it is sometimes accessible earlier.
Guides and maps are at your disposal in the small kitchen library. Please don’t forget to put them at their original place after your visits.