The city of Medias is one of the Seven Citadels of Transylvania, the seven fortified towns built by the Saxons in the Middle Ages, when they settled in the area spurred by the economic and political privileges conferred on them by the Hungarian kingdom.
Located in the middle basin of the Tarnava Mare River, on the northern slopes of the Carpathians, Medias is the second largest city in Sibiu County.
History of the place
Though there are reasons to believe that the area was inhabited since the Neolithic, the city of Medias was first documented during the Roman occupation.
Names of the settlement
The Romans called the site Per Medias, which means “the town at the crossroads”, but later, in the 13th century, it was called Sacerdos de Medias by the Saxons, German colonists that settled in the area. The city was once again renamed in the 14th century when Saxons called the settlement Villa Medies.
Saint Margaret Church
An Evangelical church, St. Margaret was built in the 15th century and has been ever since an important landmark of the city.
One of the towers that surround the church served as a prison for Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Tepes), the Wallach prince who was the inspiration for the fictional Dracula in Bram Stoker’s novel.
The Franciscan Church
Another fine example of medieval architecture in Medias is the Franciscan Church and Monastery, built in the 15th century in the Gothic style and later reconditioned in the Baroque style with Rococo elements.
The Buglers’ Tower is a well preserved medieval construction, part of the fortification system that protected the city.
Those eager to discover traditional out-of-sight villages and hidden natural treasures, can rent a bike and explore the surroundings of Medias, with stops at Motis Lake and the fortified churches of Alma Vii and Nemsa.
The Bazna Resort
If you are looking for a place to relax, the Bazna resort is just 16 kilometres northwest of Medias. The resort is best known for its mineral waters and mud that have health benefits, as well as for the Bazna salt, a special type of salt that is a potent treatment for rheumatism.
In the area
While in Medias, tourists should not miss the opportunity to explore the spectacular surroundings of the town, and especially the beautiful Saxon fortified churches, which were inducted in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites patrimony.
About eight kilometres south of Medias you can visit the fortified church from Valea Viilor (Vineyards Valley).
20 kilometres to the east, you can visit the UNESCO World Heritage fortified church at Biertan, the best preserved in the country.
How to get there: You can get to Medias by bus, train or car, from the nearby cities Sibiu, Cluj-Napoca, and Targu Mures. These three cities are also the closest cities with international airports.