The Fortified Church of Crit (Deutsch-Kreuz), Brasov County

This destination guide covers a visit to the Transylvanian village of Crit (Deutsch-Kreuz) and its Saxon fortified church.

The road to Criț

After my visit to the beautiful village of Meșendorf and its Saxon fortified church it was time to head back to the main road.

However, there was still one fortified church for me to admire in this area.

At the junction of the main DN13 road and the small country lane to Meșendorf lies the village of Criț.

As Crit has a Saxon fortified church as well, I of course had to stop in this village as well for a quick look.

romania transylvania road
On the road from Meșendorf to Criț. ©Paliparan
crit romania
Entering the town of Criț. ©Paliparan

A look around Criț

Crit, which is known as Deutsch-Kreuz in German and Detschkrets in the local Transylvanian Saxon dialect, is a much larger village than Meșendorf.

Just like the other Saxon towns and villages in the nearby environment, there aren’t however many Transylvanian Saxons left as most of them went to Germany as soon as they could get a passport after the fall of communism.

In 1977, more than half of the 729 village inhabitants were Transylvanian Saxons.

However, according to the latest census data, only 13 of the 657 people who live in the village today are Transylvanian Saxons with Romanians forming the majority of the people now.

Crit did however feel like a lively village for its relatively small size.

There were quite a few locals wandering through the village streets, there are a number of guesthouses for tourists and there is a village shop which doubles as the local bar.

crit deutsch-kreuz
Crit village street. ©Paliparan
tractor village
Tractor pulling a cart through the village. ©Paliparan
crit deutsch-kreuz
The village of Crit. ©Paliparan
village houses
Village houses. ©Paliparan
unpaved village street
Unpaved village street. ©Paliparan
crit deutsch-kreuz
Walking through the village of Crit. ©Paliparan

Crit fortified church

The Saxon fortified church of Crit is located on a hill in the north-west corner of the village.

You will instantly notice the big defensive wall, which is up to 8 metres high and has four defensive towers (there used to be five towers, but the fifth tower has not survived to the present date).

It is estimated that construction of the fortified church began in the 16th century.

The mediaeval church inside the fortified walls was however demolished in the year 1810 and replaced by a classical hall church.

Outside of the defensive walls you can also find a ruined building which once was the Saxon village school of Crit.

crit deutsch-kreuz saxon fortified church
The outer walls of the fortified church. ©Paliparan
crit deutsch-kreuz saxon fortified church
The Saxon fortified church of Crit. ©Paliparan
crit deutsch-kreuz saxon fortified church
Crit’s Saxon fortified church. ©Paliparan
ruins saxon school crit fortified church deutsch-kreuz
Ruins of the old Saxon school of Deutsch-Kreuz (Criț). ©Paliparan

Visiting the church

Just like most of the other smaller fortified churches in the area, the Saxon fortified church of Criț is usually closed which means you need to find the keyholder in order to visit it.

The phone number of the keyholder is posted at the entrance of the church.

I managed to call the keyholder, who said there would be someone at the church entrance within five minutes.

However, after 20 minutes of waiting nobody had showed up at all.

When I tried to call the number again it just kept on ringing without an answer.

Unfortunately, I had no choice but to give up and to press on my road trip through Transylvania as I still had quite some miles to cover.

village street romania deutsch-kreuz
Driving out of the village on my way to the next destination. ©Paliparan

Conclusion

The village of Crit and its Saxon fortified church make for an interesting stop if you your this part of Transylvania.

As the village of Criț is located just off the main DN13 road between Brașov and Sighișoara, it’s easy enough to include its fortified church on your road trip.

Criț can be easily combined with the nearby village of Meșendorf, which also has a fortified church and is just a few miles further away down the road.

Trip report index

This article is part of the ‘Visiting the Saxon Fortified Churches of Transylvania‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:

1. The Fortified Church of Harman (Honigberg), Brasov County
2. The Fortified Church of Prejmer (Tartlau), Brasov County
3. The Fortified Church of Feldioara (Marienburg), Brasov County
4. A Visit to Rupea Fortress
5. The Fortified Church of Homorod (Hamruden), Brasov County
6. Racoș: Exploring an Extinct Volcano and Abandoned Castle
7. In the Footsteps of Prince Charles: A Visit to Viscri, Romania
8. A Visit to the Fortified Church of Viscri, Brasov County
9. A Night Walk Around the Citadel and Old Town of Sighisoara
10. Review: Hotel Casa Wagner, Sighisoara, Romania
11. The Fortified Church of Saschiz (Keisd), Mureș County
12. The Fortified Church of Cloasterf (Klosdorf), Mureș County
13. The Fortified Church of Mesendorf (Meschendorf), Brasov County
14. The Fortified Church of Crit (Deutsch-Kreuz), Brasov County (current chapter)

** rest of the chapters to follow soon **

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Koen

Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

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