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About Székelyderzs

Dârjiu or Székelyderzs (Romanian: Dârjiu; Hungarian: Székelyderzs) is a commune in Harghita County, Romania comprising of 2 villages:

  • Dârjiu/Székelyderzs
  • Mujna/Székelymuzsna

The commune has an absolute Székely (Hungarian) majority. According to the 2002 census it has a population of 1,177 of which 98.3% or 1,157 are Hungarian.

Darjiu was first mentioned in writing in 1334, but on its present territory have been discovered early human traces dating from the neolithic age.

The village is home to a 13th century fortified Unitarian Church, which is on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The church is registered among the historic monuments of Harghita county (1992) as one of the most significant monuments of Udvarhelyszék. It is the oldest fortified church of this region and the one most frequently mentioned in the art history literature. They started the construction of the church in Romanic style. Then it was transformed in Gothic style. The fortifications (with five bastions and towers) were built during the 16th century. The church tower is the oldest part of them. Five bastions and a bell-tower belong to it. Its mediaeval church surrounded by a high stone-wall still stands today. As a church fortress it has preserved some very peculiar architectural forms in a good condition. Saxon influence in style can also be mentioned with it. The architectural complex of Darjiu is one of the most beautiful Gothic monument of the former Tinutul Odorheiului, and it is one of the most significant values of our art history at the same time. The inner frescos illustrating the legend of king St. László were painted in 1419. The style suggests the transition from Gothic to Romanticism. The old chapel built in Roman style (13-14th century) was enlarged and rebuilt in late Gothic style in the second half of the 15th century when it actually got its present form. The 5 m high castle wall was built after 1521. Four of the bastions stand on the corners and the fifth one rises at the middle of the western wall. The fortress was probably finished by the 1630s'.

You'll see that villagers keep their grains in the fortress even today. The same with the ham, bacon, lard and smoked pork products, which are kept in the bastions. As concerns the grains, they can take them home every morning but the pork products only once a week.

More: szekelyderzs.com

Photo: Biás Ákos

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