The Lutheran Cathedral of Saint Mary(German: Evangelische Stadtpfarrkirche in Hermannstadt, Romanian: Biserica Evanghelică din Sibiu) is the most famous Gothic-style church in Sibiu, Transylvania,Romania. Its massive 73.34 m high steeple is a landmark of the city. The four turrets situated on top of the steeple were a sign to let foreigners know that the town had the right to sentence to death.
The Sibiu Lutheran Cathedral was built in the 14th century on the location of another 12th-century church. For three centuries it served as a burial place for the mayors, earls and other personalities from Sibiu. This practice was banned in 1796 but one exception was made in 1803 when baron Samuel von Brukenthal was laid to rest in the crypt.
In 1671 a Slovakian craftsman built an organ to replace the previous one that was built in 1585. Today the newer organ is the largest in the southeastern region of Europe. During the summer, there are concerts every Wednesday night. (Source: Wikipedia)
Ground view of the Evangelical Cathedral
View of the Cathedral from the Councils Tower
The Evangelic Church is one of the most impressive buildings in Sibiu. It was raised in the 14th century on the location of an old Roman church dating from the 12th century. The building is dominated by the seven level tower with the four towers on the corners, a mark showing that the city had the right of condemnation. With a height of 73.34 meters, the tower is the tallest in Transylvania.
The cathedral’s tower is situated at the balcony on the southern wing and includes a Baroque style organ made by a Slovak craftsman in 1671 which replaced the first organ brought in Sibiu in 1585. The new organ was built by the Wilhelm Sauer Company (Frankfurt/Oder) and installed in this church in Sibiu in 1915. At the present there exist two other organs made by this company (in Berlin – Tempelhof and in Talin – Dom). In 1997 the organ undergoes complex renovation works, nowadays being the largest in the South-Eastern Europe.
The mobile inventory of the Evangelic Church in Sibiu, one of the most impressive gothic halidoms in Romania, is particularly valuable. Even though a series of cult pots, made in gilded silver by famous craftsmen in Sibiu such as Sebastian Hann, are not accessible to the public, other valuable pieces can be admired by the visitors inside the church. In the choir, in the church axis, one can find one of the most beautiful bronze fonts existing in our country. It has the shape of a calyx with a sole, foot, knot and basin, being decorated with a series of gothic inscriptions. Also, 228 booklets in relief adorn its surface, most of them being figurative representations of Byzantine influence. The font dates back from 1438 being the work of master Leonhardus. It is supposed that it was cast in the bronze resulting from the Turkish cannons captured by the inhabitants of Sibiu in 1437.
Starting with 1496, for a period of 300 years, the Church served as a burial place for mayors, county administrative leaders or other personalities in Sibiu. In 1796 burials in the church are prohibited, but an exception was made in 1803, when baron Samuel von Brukenthal’s body will be laid for eternal sleep in the vault built near the pulpit. The tombstones that covered the graves were dismantled from the church nave in 1853 and incorporated in the walls of the church ferula, thus obtaining a gallery of 67 tombstones, unique in Romania.
The bells in the tower
View over Sibiu and the Councils tower from the Evangelical Tower
View over Sibiu
The inside of the tallest tower of Sibiu
The inside of the Cathedral at sunset