Turcheș (Türkös)

Türkös, Villa Turcica, Türkeschdorf, Turcheş is part today of Săcele Municipality, until 1950 being a commune located at 7 km south-east of Brașov. At the time of the Second World War, it had 3154 inhabitants, out of whom 1695 Hungarian and 1380 Romanian. The Catholic Church community was reorganized here in Seven Villages and the ethnographical museum and also the only medium autonomous school teaching in Hungarian language from Săcele are found here today.


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It was Holy Thursday. The gate from Blumena was abandoned by heavy carriages to cover the road of 4.5 miles in the morning, in the pouring rain. The City Hall’s tower was covered by fog and the rush lights were lit here and there by those who got up early in the houses on Kapu (Gate) street. The fortifications were covered with dense clouds and the the chains that lifted the bridge were reflected with rumble in the zwinger[1] of goldsmiths. The carriages were passing slowly on humid rocks, then reaching the mudded cross-country field path. After a short while, the morning silence of the streets was disturbed again by heavy wheels. A Berline shiny black coach with 4 horses rushed to the city gate. A coat of arms was found on the coach door and below it an inscription with golden letters: Judex Coronensis et Districtus Barcensis[2]. The four men from the coach were discussing shivering. It was a dark April weather. The old Gate of Brașov opened almost exactly at the same time. A simple, dusty and old batár (coach)[3] left the Jesuitic church on Kolostor (Monastery) street. The monks were not happy that it was cold, they were silently wrapped in their black talar[4]. They were also heading to Turcheș. Galloping, the horses were leaving behind Tâmpa, the Hill of hanged ones, the neighborhood lived by the Hungarians from Brașov, Scheii Brașovului, and on the road that became muddy due to the drizzly rain[5], they started to guide the animals at a gallop to get to Dârste, at Batca as soon as possible, then to Baciu, crossing the bridge over Timiș. The sun already came up somewhere above the clouds but the houses from Turcheș were still covered by dark, white strips of smoke were coming from the houses, interweaving with the blue mountains and the tired horses were pulling up the weight on Bara hill, which was standing as a pre-scout between the field and the mountains. Among the people gathered there, a few managed to unload the huge painted oak cross from the carriage and the far away bells were already announcing the noontime, until they managed to place it in a timbered base, they also fixed the inscriptions according to which the cross was built by the head of justice from Brașov Seewald Kristóf for the glory of Jesus – for fear that a heretic removes the cross with an axe. The prudence was beneficial because it was not yet sanctified by the Hungarian Jesuitic missionary priest when a schismatic Romanian used shameful words for the cross – he was fined on the spot. The cross erected on a heavy rain had an important significance: the counter-reform started in Burzenland, which was Protestant …


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From geographical, historical and ethnographical point of view, Turcheș belongs to Seven Villages.

Seven Villages (Siebendörfer, Septemvillae, Şapte sate) is the general name of those seven Csango villages from Burzenland, in which the Hungarians, Transylvanian Saxons and Romanians were gathered together by rivers Bârsa, Olt, Black Rover, Tărlung and Curvature Carphatians. The first written memory of this locality, together with the other three villages – which were found between Timiș and Tărlung rivers “in Brassovienski province” and with which they united later and became a city – dates from May 16th 1366, when Louis I of Hungary, by donation letter issued for count Ztanislaw, donated him the fields under his royal jurisdiction, Satulung, Cernat, Turcheș and Baciu. The territorial network was probably much older and according to one of the theories, the Szekler border guards hovered up to here, where they mixed with the Cumanians, Pechenegs and Transylvanian Saxons. Their free royal status did not last long because in 1498, the King Ulászló II pawned the free Hungarian villages from Burzenland to Brașov city.

Until the Protestant reform, the mother Gothic church, Saint Michael, existed in Cernat but the Csango from Seven Villages, influenced by Honterus, passed to the Evangelical religion between 1542-1544 and for a period of more than 200 years, the Catholic religion disappeared completely.

In the 18th century, the inhabitants from Seven Villages were decimated many times by cholera and plague but the repopulation from the Szekler region was necessary due to the many foreign destructions. Thus, a large number of Szekler Roman-Catholics reached Seven Villages and thanks to it, Stäber Xavier Ferenc, the Jesuitic priest from Brașov received in 1750 from the archbishop of Esztergom the task to found the parish from Turcheș. In 1751, Maria Therea approved the construction of the church from Turcheș and the foundation of the cemetery and on the Holy Thursday, Seewald Kristóf, the governor of Brașov, marked the place of the church with a cross (45.6117° N; 25.6750° E; 669 m).

In 1752, the Jesuitic recorded in their Historica Relatio[6]the moment in which a child of 4 years, coming from an Evangelical family, looked at the erected cross and saw Jesus hanging on the cross, started to cry, to whine, ran to her mother, crying and whining, lamented about the fact that Jesus was crucified, came back many times to the cross and shed floods of innocent tears.

In 1752, a wooden church was already on the hill, in 1754, baron Sztoyka, the bishop of Transylvania, took Turcheș from the Jesuitic, subordinated it to its jurisdiction and appointed Fekete Károly as administrator, the praesidens from Brașov who left the church to the Franciscans from Brașov.

In 1766, the chapel was destroyed by a storm. Until 1770, the religious services were held in the parish room. In that year, during the time of the parish priest Eresztevényi Ferenc, with the help of the bishop Batthyani, a church made of stone was built. The church style is simple, with semi-circle windows and straight ceiling.

Brașov mansion from Turcheș was renovated in 1804 (45.6150° N; 25.6776° E; 650 m). According to Orbán Balázs, the tithe was collected here and “it is the nest of sins of arbitrary procedures of authorities”. In 1964, the ethnographical museum from Săcele was founded in this building, where although the collections of Dr. Kiss Béla and Bálint András were the basis of exhibitions, it did not have many connections with the Csango from Seven Villages until 1990.

In 1848, the priest Molnár József recorded for the first time in the Civil Status Registry – which until then was written in Latin language – the births, marriages and deaths in Hungarian language. He wrote as follows: “Long live Hungarian freedom, brotherhood and equality in our free Country!!! Long live the True Hungarian!! Blessing, peace and understanding between patriots!”. During the fight for freedom, 2 Catholics and 10 Evangelists from Turcheș innocently lost their lives. 31 soldiers enrolled as Hungarian soldiers in battalion 126/140, out of whom 11 had a heroic death.

In 1860, the school in the parish found a new home, not far from the church and it occupied its final place in 1885.

The priest Pál Kálmán, who served between the years 1881-1893, modified the church and built a basement.

In 1913, on Easter’s day, the two bells hit each other and the small one fell. Then, the old tower built from planks was demolished and a new tower made of stone was built. The works were finished on June 22nd 1914. The professor of the Roman-Catholic gymnasium from Brașov, Kollár Gusztáv (Nyíregyháza, March 25th 1879 – Brașov, November 17th 1970) painted the four evangelists on the new pulpit. Electricity was introduced in 1920.

The church, which obtained its actual shape in 1931 after a wide restoration, has approximately 150–200 seats and three bells: two big bells and a smaller one. This inscription is found on one of the bigger bells: “Cast in 1908 by the Roman-Catholic church from Turcheș”, on the other: “By donation of worshipers from Turcheș in the honor of Archangel Saint Michael 1931” and on the small bell is the following inscription: “In the memory of the deceased in 1931”. The bells made in 1931 were cast in Sibiu locality by Fritz Ramnutz.

After 1931, the statue of Jesus was placed in the main altar, and after the demolition of the pulpit, the statue of Jesus and Mary was placed on the two parts of the vestibule and the new painting of the altar represents the Archangel Saint Michael.

In 1956, a secondary altar was mounted in the church, near the statute of Saint Anton, on which the youth placed two statues – the statue of Saint Emeric and the statue of Saint Theresa – ordered by them.

A house for youth bearing the name Márton Áron is found in the yard of the parish built between 1987–1989 at the initiative of the priest Gajdó Zoltán (Săsăuși, January 25th 1940 – Sfântu Gheorghe, February 8th 2013).

In 1993, the sanctuary was tiled with marble, the sculpted altar, a stand and a candlestick were built. The gas was also introduced then.

Both the interior and electrical installation were renovated in 2008.

The Evangelical church (45.6147° N; 25.6771° E; 652 m) of 343 m2, built from tile placed on carved lime, was sanctified on April 6th 1885, on the second day of Easter, after the parish separated from Cernat. The altar in neo-gothic style was built by Kupcsay János, the famous professor of wood sculpture school, from Satulung and the altar painting was made by Mişu Popp. Nowadays, the monument of the fight for freedom and the monument erected for the victims of the two world wars from Turcheș are found in the church yard.

The Evangelical church house was sanctified on September 14th 1893. The roses bloomed in the parish garden, which were later dried and placed by Sipos Jánosné Berencki Anna in the pillow with which Kossuth Lajos was buried, this lady also embroidering the shroud of the great statesman. An interesting addition is the fact that “the Matriarch of Csango” did not manage to complete the shroud on time and hired a Transylvanian Saxon woman from Brașov to make the last finishing of the embroidery.

The Evangelical school was opened in 1835 by the teacher Geréb András and instead of this school functions in the present the only medium autonomous school from Săcele, with teaching in Hungarian language (45.6170° N; 25.6803° E; 640 m), bearing the name of the Csango poet Zajzoni Rab István.

The famous personalities born in Turcheș locality are the poet Tórthpál Dániel (1907–1936) and the journalist, specialized writer Bakó Géza (1924–1983).

Along the history, this village with Turkish name united the Catholics and Evangelists in this way, as Csango from Seven Villages, to take care of the mountains, to burn coal, to cultivate flax and hemp, to exploit the mills and after refreshing themselves with the water from the spring called Seven springs, to seed and plow the fields of Burzenland.

Kovács Lehel István: Térben és időben… Barangolás a Barcaságon
Hétfalusi Magyar Művelődési Társaság, Négyfalu, 2017.
ISBN 978-973-0-25878-3


[1]  Zwinger: keys between walls – the limitation area with two stone walls of medieval castles and fortifications.

[2] Head of justice from Brașov and Brașov area.

[3] Coach: a large gawk vehicle.

[4]  Costume of Jesuitic monks.

[5] Rain with small drops, dense, which lasts long.

[6] Historical handbook.


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