Cârța is a locality situated in Sibiu county, with a population of 887 inhabitants.

Cârța

The Cistercian monastery of Carta (Kerz)

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GPS Coordinates:
45,79214 N, 24,56896 E

The Cistercian monastery first occurs in documents from 1216, but researches demonstrated that the first wooden buildings were raised between 1202-1206. The first stone chapel was built between 1210-1215, the first fencing wall between 1230-1241. Following the invasion of the Tatars (1242), the works became more intense, and all the buildings were rebuilt. At first, the monastery demanded strict discipline, they were working on the spreading of Christianity, but also taught the local people to cultivate the land and to grow wine.

In the fights against the Turks(1421-1432) the walls of the monastery got damaged, but in the course of time the discipline also began to become lax. So king Matei Corvin closed the monastery in 1474, and donated its possessions to the Catholic Church of Sibiu. In the XVI century the greatest part of the church and of the monastery became ruins. It survived many hundreds of years, and the western wall of the monastery, in two floors height is still visible nowadays. The western wall of the Church is also standing, on which one can see the traces of an immense rose-window, and the tower, built in 1495 is also visible.

Some outside walls are also standing, the main nave of the church has no roof, there is a graveyard of a German soldier killed in the first World War. In 1418, King Sigismund said, he remembers that one of his ancestors was buried in the Church, but the excavations could not prove this statement, because the tombstones were removed from the interior, during the renovation of the floor. It is most likely, that in the 1550s, the Saxons who lived here and became Evangelical developed a church from the remains of the monastery, which is still standing nowadays. Its interior conveys the same simplicity and coldness of those days, the architecture of the building remained the same, so the atmosphere of the Cistercian abbey is still alive.

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