Places of interest18 May 2024

Biertan – the village where a single divorce was registered in 300 years

In addition to its inclusion to the UNESCO heritage list, the Saxon village of Biertan can also pride itself with a unique achievement, that of having a single registered divorce in 300 years

Biertan - an UNESCO village in Transylvania

Biertan - an UNESCO village in Transylvania

The beauty of rural Transylvania is recognized worldwide. The landscapes  that resemble the atmosphere of medieval stories, the settlements that seem to intertwine with nature, the customs preserved and passed down over the centuries and the authentic life style of the villagers that still live in the area have convinced almost every tourist that the region is special, unique, different from any other in the world. The attraction of these lands did not leave indifferent even Unesco members, who did not hesitate to include many parts of Transylvania under its patrimony.

With this priviledge, touristic success is basically ensured, and villages like Biertan have come to enjoy as many tourists as the big cities of Romania. However, in order to forever remain in the minds and hearts of tourists, any destination needs something extra: a story that accompanies the visual elements perceived by the tourist during the visit. Obviously, any story is welcome, but the most successful ones are the stories that contain a sufficient dose uniqueness, of mistery even. In other words, the most appreciated are the curiosities, semi-hidden things that cannot always be read in a tourist guide.

In this sense, it seems that the village of Biertan has found the right story, namely that in the already famous fortified church from the village there is a cell where couples which were no longer in agreement were forced to live until they solved their problems. Those concerned had to share the cell for 6 weeks, as well as each object inside as they had only one pillow, one blanket, or one chair at their disposal. The interesting part of this story is that in the approximately 300 years in which this cell was functional, there was only one divorce registered in the village. Although simple and short, this story put Biertan on the European map, testament to this being a BBC reportage in the village particularly on this subject.  


Claudiu Bolcu




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