August 24, 2015

1847 ROMANIA (Sibiu) - Mălâncrav fortified church

The history of Mălâncrav fortified church, as also of the commune, is related to the Apafi family, upper class noble landowners from Transylvania . Because it was a latifundium placed in the midst of the Transylvanian Saxon Seats of Schassburg (Sighişoara), Mediasch (Mediaş) and Grossschenk (Cincu), it was assigned by the Hungarian king to the Apafi family. The first acknowledgment of Mălâncrav (German: Malmkrog) dates from the 14th century in a series of documents related to some disputes over property, which will continue until the 18th century.

The Romanesque church, which has three naves and a belfry, was built as a catholic church dedicated to St Mary in the 14th century by Gregor, son of Nikolaus Apafi. The sanctuary was rebuilt in gothic style around 1400. After the Reformation in 1550 it became a Protestant church but was still used as a church of pilgrimage up to the 17th century. Its present aspect is due to a major intervention at the beginning of the 20th century. Little has been preserved from the mantle wall that once surrounded the premises. All that remains is a simple surrounding rampart and the first levels of the gate tower.

The real treasure of Mălâncrav is the mural painting, one of the best preserved specimens of 14th century linear-narrative gothic painting. Most of the frescoes are on the north wall of the main nave and were painted around 1350. The painting of the choir was done later, after its reconstruction in the1400s. The 53 scenes are ordered on five tiers and embody a real synthesis of redemption, based on the Old and the New Testament.

About the stamp
The first stamp, depicting Jimson weed (Datura stramonium), is part of the series Flowers’ Clock (II), about which I wrote here.

Malancrav / Malmkrog - Fortified Churches
Malmkrog / Mălâncrav / Almakerék - Evangelische Kirche A.B. in Rumänien

Sender: Roxana şi Mircea Ivănescu
Sent from Eforie Sud (Constanţa / Romania), on 13.08.2015
Photo: Mioritics

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