December 3, 2016

2891 ROMANIA (Bistriţa-Năsăud) - Evangelical Church in Bistriţa

Located at the foot of the Bârgău Mountains, not far from the Tihuţa Pass, which connects Transylvania and Bukovina, the city of Bistriţa is one of the oldest around. Saxon colonists, who settled here in 1206, helped develop the town into a flourishing medieval trading post. The greatest attraction of city's Main Square is the Evangelical Church built by Transylvanian Saxons centuries ago. The first mentioned parish in official documents was Johannis plebanus de Bystricia, noted in the papal tax registers of 1332-1333.

Construction of the Gothic church began in 1470 and was completed almost 100 years later by Petrus Italus de Lugano, who added Renaissance elements to the structure. A 76.5m high steeple (Saxons' Tower) overlooking the city was added later, making it the highest stone church tower in Romania. In the first step was erected a Roman basilica with three naves, having a polygonal choir and two towers flanking the main entrance of the northern wall of the choir, which will be expanded in mid 16th century.

In a second step, the church was rebuilt as a Gothic basilica, with naves separated by octagonal pillars, which were taken when the church was restored in the 16th century. A third phase of construction started in 1475 and ended in 1520, when it became a Gothic-style hall church. In start 1487 started the building of a defense tower, included later in the church body after the lifting of a turret with spiral staircase. Between them were kept two windows of the old facade (10th century).

The tower was built in several stages, between 1487 and 1544. Simultaneously it was mounted a watch which in 1570 was covered with gold better visibility. In 1857 the top of the tower burned, then was then rebuilt and in 1861 was installed the clock in use today. The church was restored several times, in 1897, 1901 and 1927. Completed in 1563, as recorded in the inscription on the western portal, the works of the Swiss master have incorporated also elements of the new Renaissance visual language.

Inside the church one can admire a collection of 23 flags which belonged to the town's former craft guilds, valuable renaissance-style pews designed by Johannes Begler in 1516, and a 500-year old organ. The statues decorating the belfry (St. Nicholas, the Holy Virgin with Child and Knight Roland) are representative of 15th century Transylvanian art and are similar to those found in the Black Church in Braşov and the Church on the Hill in Sighişoara.

About the stamp

The stamp is part of the series Love Nature! Ceahlău National Park, designed by Mihail Vămăşescu and issued on September 1, 2016. The uniqueness of this park is given not only by the great diversity of plants and animals, but also by their rarity. It is worth mentioning that from the ice age, plants survived on the mountain that are not found anywhere else. Rare birds can be found that are adapted to the alpine environment. Over thirty species of orchids, among three are protected by law are the jewel of the Ceahlău.
Edelweiss / Leontopodium alpinum (0.80 RON) - It's on the postcard 2950
Red crossbill / Loxia curvirostra (0.90 RON) - It's on the postcard 2952
Anemone transsilvanica / Hepatica transsilvanica Fuss (1.10 RON) - It's on the postcard 3107
Chamois / Rupicapra rupicapra (1.20 RON)
Arnica / Arnica montana (1.30 RON) - It's on the postcard 2891
Brown bear / Ursus arctos (1.40 RON) - It's on the postcard 3091
European Robin / Erithacus rubecula (1.50 RON) - It's on the postcard 3245
Great yellow gentian / Gentiana lutea (1.60 RON)
Water pipit / Anthus spinoletta (1.70 RON)
Lady's slipper orchid / Cypripedium calceolus (1.80 RON)
Eurasian kingfisher / Alcedo atthis (2.70 RON)
Tuirk's cap lily / Lilium martagon (16.00 RON)

The sheets of 80 stamps has a label with Ceahlău National Park.

Evangelical Church in Bistriţa - True Romania

Sender: Iulia Gîţ
Sent from Bistriţa (Bistriţa-Năsăud / Romania) on 29.11.2016

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