“It is not down in any map; true places never are.”
— Herman Melville
Okay, Viscri is on pretty much every map now since it is a UNESCO site and has Prince Charles’ home there. But the real Viscri, not the place or the village, but the atmosphere is not on any map. You have to get there by yourself, traveling through the dusty roads of the soul so in the end it will unravel in front of you, just like magic.
They have blue houses, dusty streets and a white fortified church that steals your heart away from the very first sight. We got there early on Sunday morning, after stopping in a close-by village named Dacia, where we found another fortified church, that unfortunately was closed.
The huge walls of the Dacia church was all we could photograph. I bet it is a wonderful church inside it, maybe next time we can take a closer look. Reading a little bit about it, I found out that the place is under an extensive restoration process, which makes me happy.
From Dacia to Viscri there are 8km, a beautiful scenic road, but without asphalt, maybe especially made so you can slow down and enjoy the small hills covered with trees.
From the first look you can see this is not the usual Romanian lost village, the care they had while restoring the old houses and the unity of colors and tradition is just amazing.
They wait you with home made fruit cake, coffee and elder-flower juice, knitted socks and hats, beaded jewelry and paintings, jams and so many smiles it is impossible not to feel welcomed.
Read here something that broke my heart, that it is but a step from loneliness to death, and the Romanian village is lonelier, more forgotten and emptier. Empty because we lost the traditions, we lost the spirit. And I know that it is true for many of the villages… we have old villages with only a couple of elders living in them, where everything is decaying, and no one does anything to awaken them. And there are places like this. Where from the little they had they managed to built, to restore, to make it alive again. And it is not just because someone from outside came to shake us to see our beauties, there are villages where the spirit is still alive, is still proud and has a meaning. But there’s a long way to rebuild these places. We’ve got so far, we’ve lost ourselves so long ago, it will be hard.
But when we will, we’ll have places like this. And like a few others that can be found on this blog also.
Inside the church everything is so beautifully preserved, the little song books are spread around the tiny benches, the altar is sparkling clean and the details of the paintings are so vivid, it takes you back in time, back in time when the morning church bell would call you at the Sunday mass from every corner of the village.
And after a moment of peace – early that morning we got the church for ourselves, it was such a welcomed moment of peace and intimacy with God, willing to ease your soul, to make you a lighter person… we got outside again, to look upon the high towers of the fortress.
Until next time [Saschiz-Sighisoara-Saros pe Tarnave- Biertan] much love,