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About Mălâncrav

The village Mălâncrav is located in the Mălâncrav Valley, south of the village Laslea and 17 kilometres from the national road (DN) connecting Sighişoara to Sibiu. The history of this village extends over more than 700 years, during the time it was also known under the names Malamcrav, Malemkref or Malenkrag. Evidence that this territory has been inhabited since ancient times was brought by several archeological findings: a settlement of the Coţofeni culture (discovered on the Târnava Mare River),  Roman treasure consisting of Roman imperial coins, from Augustus to Valentinian (discovered in 1968), a Celtic tomb (discovered in 1971 in the Târnava Mare meadow).

The village was first documented in 1305 under the name “possessiones Almakerk et Ujfalu”. Several years later it became the possession of the noble family Apafi which brought forth two princes of Transylvania: Michael Apafi I (1632-1690) and Michael Apafi II (1676-1713). In 1775, by royal decree, the village and other properties of the Apafi family become property of the noble family Bethlen. Later it enters into possession of the Haller family, its last owner being countess Susanne Haller.

Today, in the village today exists one of the largest Saxon communities in south-east Transylvania. More than one tenth of the 1100 inhabitants recorded at the last census are Saxons, the others being Romanians, Roma and Hungarians. Today, it is one of the most important touristique destinations in south-east Transylvania, well-known for the preservation of its built heritage, for the idyllic landscapes, for the customs and traditions and for the biodiversity of the area.

Here some important historical monuments can be visited, such:

·           The Evangelical Fortified Church – built in the 14th century decorated with frescos, unique in the Transylvanian cultural scenery, which are largely preserved until today. Under the sacristy there is the tomb of Michael Apafi II, prince of Transylvania.

·           The Orthodox Church – erected under the patronage of „The Presentation of Blessed Virgin Mary” at the end of the 1600-ies and built of brick and stone at the beginning of the 1700-ies

·           The Roman Catholic Church was built in 1865 by order of Countess Susanna Haller and served the Hungarian community of the village until 2010, when the last Roman-Catholic parishioner died. Its value consists in its very existence, an evidence of the religious tolerance and multicultural diversity of Transylvania.

·           The Apafi Manor was built in the 15th century by the noble family Apafi. With the support of architect Jan Hülsemann and the local craftsmen Fritz Klusch and Ernst Linzing with his team, the manor was restored according to the building plans of the 18th century. The restoration process was not easy but was achieved at high standards. Local artisans and craftsmen have been also involved for the embroideries and interior and exterior furniture. The awarding of the prestigious Europa Nostra Prize in 2007 is a recognition of the efforts of the Mihai Eminescu Trust.