Calnic an UNESCO world heritage monument from Transylvania

The Fortress of Calnic (Kelling) plays a particular role in Transylvanian Saxon history. The combination between a Saxon noble residence (marked by the keep of the fortress) and the fortifications built up by community’s villagers (marked by the stores attached to the wall) makes it different among the other fortified churches.
The fortified church from Calnic, Transylvania
The two contributions (of the noble family and the Saxon community) were successive. Count Chyl by Kelling built the fortress by the middle of the 12th century. He built massive walls around a big rectangular inhabited keep; an oval precinct with a tower on the southern side and a gate-tower on the northern side. He completed the defense-system with a moat.

The last descendant of the noble family sold the fortress to the Saxon peasant’s community of the village. They started to build a new wall, to fortify the gate-tower by a barbican and to build a chapel in the courtyard, on the ruins of the former construction.
The old church from Calnic, Transylvania
Inside the church you find valuable fragments of a fresco from the beginning of the 16th century, a wooden stand (from 1733) decorated with panels. The panels were painted in the floral Renaissance style, inspired from folk art.

Not far from the fortress there is a former parish built in the 15th century. Just follow the alley uphill, pass by the parish and you’ll find the Evangelic Church in the middle of a graveyard.

The oldest tower from Calnic fortifications
The church on the hill was built in the 15th century by the Saxon community and was changed many times during the 19th century. Nowadays the church has a neo-gothic look. Still, it keeps a lot of elements from the original construction: two tabernacles and the sacristy’s portal in the Baroque style and two painted baroque pews from the second half of the 18th century.

Stay for a minute and look around. Calnic village is at your feet. It reveals you the whole structure of a Saxon village together with a beautiful landscape.


  • by trainThe nearest rail station is Sebes. Almost all trains stop here.

    From here you have about 15 km to Calnic. About 10 km on European road E68 and 3-4 km on a less asphalted county road. But I really don’t know if you’ll find a bus. I didn’t. In the meantime, maybe they thought the tourist would need it. And a simple question is for free. Just try it to the rail station.

  • by car
    • E 68 (European road): Sibiu – Cristian – Sacel – Miercurea Sibiului (32 km) – and about 10 km take the road on your left hand
      From this crossroad you have 3-4 km of bad less asphalted road till to Calnic
    • E68: Sebes (about 10 km) then turn right on the first crossroad
      From this crossroad you have 3-4 km of bad less asphalted road till to Calnic