The 14th-century Black Church is a soulful Saxon touch to the Romanian countryside.
Spectacularly daunting at first glance, the largest Gothic church in Romania is unmistakably catchy. The final period of Gothic architecture in the middle ages is the driving force behind the Black Church. A dramatic addition to its gloomy appearance, the dark shade looming over the church is not due to the famous 1689 fire. It is a result of air pollution. Still, Black Church is best remembered for its eerie connotations. It continues to capture the imagination of visitors to this day.
The church’s painstakingly neat three-nave basilica design has set an example to countless religious sanctuaries. Its bell tower is almost a calling card for the city, while the detailed masonry is perfect for photographs. But, the indisputable centerpieces of the church are the myriad sculptures decorating it inside and outside. Over the centuries, they aged like wine and became exalted in beauty. A decrepit bust of John the Baptist is the most valuable, sitting inside the church as an example of Bohemian Gothic Art. Among the outer murals and paintings that are Rennaissance influences, the church’s facade bears scrape marks thought to be the traces of swords.
If you are lucky, you will experience the church at its best: filled with the evocative tunes of the pipe organ in its weekly concerts. The interior of the church is nothing like its foreboding exterior. A colorful collection of Anatolian rugs cover the walls, creating the perfect environment to enjoy its holy ambiance.
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