Church Archaeology in Transylvania (ca. 950 to ca. 1450)


Transylvania has some of the most valuable monuments of medieval architecture in Europe. The oldest church was built in the 10th century, but most others came into being only after 1200. Later changes have considerably modified the appearance of still-standing buildings. Written sources are lacking for answers to questions about the identity of the builders and patrons. Countering the idea that only standing structures can reflect the history of medieval churches in Transylvania, this book uses archaeological sources in order to answer some of those questions and to bring to light the hidden past of many monuments.

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Daniela Marcu-Istrate, Ph.D. (2000), Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, is senior researcher at the Vasile Pârvan Institute of Archaeology, Bucharest. She has long experience and many publications in church archaeology, being noted especially for exceptional finds related to medieval Transylvania and Hungary.
List of Maps and Figures


Part 1: Resources and Historical Background

1 Resources
 1.1 The Heritage
 1.2 Historiographical Overview
 1.3 The Archaeological Record: Excavations and Publications
 1.4 Summary of the Chapter

2 Introduction to the Historical and Administrative Background
 2.1 General Historical Background
 2.2 Administration
 2.3 Religious Organization
 2.4 Summary of the Chapter

Part 2: Shaping the Religious Landscape

3 Christianisation and the Emergence of Religious Architecture
 3.1 General Background
 3.2 Preliminaries to Early Religious Architecture
 3.3 Cemeteries and Churches
 3.4 Summary of the Chapter

4 The Formative Period: Byzantine and Romanesque Churches before 1200
 4.1 Byzantine Style Churches
 4.2 A Glimpse into the Beginnings of Catholic Architecture
 4.3 Summary of the Chapter

5 The Major Religious Site of Alba Iulia
 5.1 General Historical Background
 5.2 The Rotunda
 5.3 The Pillared Church (10th–11th Centuries)
 5.4 The First Roman-Catholic Cathedral (11th–12th Centuries)
 5.5 The Second, St Michael Cathedral
 5.6 Summary of the Chapter

Part 3: The Catholic Churches

6 The Shaping of the Religious Landscape: Mid-12th Century – Early 14th Century
 6.1 General Background
 6.2 Stylistic Considerations and Heritage
 6.3 The Single-Nave Church in Eastern Transylvania
 6.4 Romanesque Basilicas in the Saxon Colonization Area
 6.5 Round-Planned Churches
 6.6 Summary of the Chapter

7 The Romanesque-Gothic Architecture: Cistercian Gothic
 7.1 The Cistercian Monastery in Cârța
 7.2 The Spread of Early Gothic: General Considerations
 7.3 Ground Plan Considerations
 7.4 Summary of the Chapter

8 Gothic Architecture up to Mid-15th Century
 8.1 General Historical Background
 8.2 Making the Gothic Churches
 8.3 Summary of the Chapter

9 The Major Religious Site of Sibiu
 9.1 General Historical Background and Religious Heritage
 9.2 The Parish Site
 9.3 Small Churches and Other Features within the Parish Site
 9.4 Summary of the Chapter

10 The Fortified Churches
 10.1 General Considerations
 10.2 The Emergence and Development of Fortified Churches
 10.3 General Planimetric Considerations
 10.4 The Fortress
 10.5 Building, Living, and Fighting within the Cemetery: The Impact of the Fortress on the Religious Site
 10.6 Summary of the Chapter

Part 4: The Orthodox Churches

11 The Archaeology of Orthodox Churches
 11.1 General Consideration and the State-of-the-Art
 11.2 Early Development: Social and Cultural Context
 11.3 Architectural Features
 11.4 Church Construction Sites: Craftsmen, Materials, Technical Features
 11.5 Lights and Shadows: Looking to the Interior
 11.6 Summary of the Chapter

12 Conclusions
Scholars and students interested in the medieval religious heritage of Transylvania and east-central Europe more widely, and in church archaeology and the history of ecclesiastical building.
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