Cristian, located in Brasov County, is a town in Tara Barsei and it is representative for this region, because of its original village settlements: a Romanian one, settled around the Orthodox Church and a Saxon one around the Evangelical Church. It is not by chance that the Emperor of Austria, Joseph 2nd, during his short visit through Cristian, in 1773, exclaimed: "What a nice village!" You can reach Cristian by taking the old commercial route which once linked Transylvania to Tara Romaneasca. Tourists may visit the Evangelical Church, with the tower of the church-fortress, the Neolithic-style Orthodox Church, and can admire the historical buildings, one of which is the Town Hall itself.
The Evangelical Church from Cristian has a few things in common with the Transylvanian Evangelical worship places from Tara Barsei. It is dedicated to Saint Nicolas and serves the Saxon community. The construction and architecture elements of the church have survived through time. This proves that the Roman church was probably built around 1250-1270. The portal and the big rose window on the Western facade of the tower stand as proof. The gravestone of Priestess Ana May, deceased on April 22nd 1631, is kept here. The mass is still performed in the church and annual gatherings of the local Transylvanian Saxon people with those settled in Germany are organized here.
Come and light your candle with the holy fire!
The Romanian people come and light their candles with the holy fire on the night of Christ?s Resurrection at the Orthodox Church from Cristian. It was built in Neolithic style in 1795, being dedicated to the Assumption of Virgin Mary. The church hosts imperial icons painted in 1770, as well as a chalice made in the silversmith workshop of Constantin Brancoveanu, namely Beckner (dating to 1793). "Come and see Cristian and you will not regret it! The town has welcomed a lot of tourists at Easter time, who had came especially to light their candles with the holy fire in Resurrection night. We have prepared in advance, we have cleaned and we have planted 180 roses and several birch trees and sycamore maple trees. We have waited for Easter with our souls in peace, feeling like children and we brought the holy fire from church into our houses," said Mr. Dragos Serafim, Mayor of Cristian.
Promotion of traditions
Among the annual events we mention: "The Bread Route" ? a show promoting old farming customs when the Wheat Crown is made, which is one of the oldest Romanian traditions; "The Days of Cristian" ? an occasion to have a good time and to enjoy good music and folk dances, a parade of the Romanian, German and Hungarian costumes and a lot of funny moments; "Maial of the people in Cristian" ? a rustic party set outdoors; and the Pentecost on the fiftieth Sunday after Easter Sunday, or the Descent of the Holy Spirit, which is considered a celebration of the foundation of the Christian Church.