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The Saxon villages of Transylvania appeared in the 13th century when the Kings of Hungary settled German colonists in the area. They had a special status among nations in the province and their civilisation managed to survive and thrive, forming a very strong community of farmers, artisans and merchants. Being situated in a region constantly under the threat of the Ottoman and Tatar invasions, they built fortifications of different sizes. The most important towns were fully fortified, and the smaller communities created fortifications centered around the church, where they added defensive towers and storehouses to keep their most valuable goods and to help them withstand long sieges.Text from Wikipedia Lexikon.