“Dear visitor of this site, if you are tired of the uproar of the city and if you need to spend a few days in a quiet and fascinating place, then be sure that Richiş is the perfect place. A wonderful place where you’ll discover interesting historical facts and funny stories told by elders from Richiș.

Here you always find good traditional tasting food and wine that you will remember all of your life. You can visit the fortified church and then you can go hiking and biking to villages nearby Richiş and many other surprises prepared for you. I can assure you that you will leave the Comune of Biertan fully charged with positive energy.”

Mihai Mircea Dragomir

Richiş village – in the past Richişul, Richişdorf, Râchişdorf, Rechişdorf (in Saxon dialect Rechesdref, Reχestref, in German Reichesdorf, Reichersdorf, in Magyar Riomfalva), is localised in the Northern part of Sibiu County, in Podisul Tarnavelor (Tarnave Plateau), under the jurisdiction of Biertan commune. The first documentary attestation of the village is since 1283, among the important landmarks remaining from the Saxons being the 500 hundred year-old Gothic Church.

Before Richiş becoming one of the most prosperous communes of the region of Medias and before hard-working people establishing the locality, the place was rough and marshy. Among reed, willows and thorns, there were only savage animals. In memory of those times, it was created the elegant blazon of the commune, a heron pacing gracefully in an infinite pond, guided by Venus under red skies.

The pond birds frequently are illustrated on European blazons, maybe due to the pelican’s allegory, which is used in iconography as a symbol of the Redeemer, of the Saviour. It is muttered that the pelican disrupted its brisket, letting its blood flushing amidst its white plumage in order to reanimate its lifeless progenies. Inside the church of Richiş, this mythic bird has a honoured place on the keystone of the choir, being just one of the precious works of art of the halidom. Apart from these works of art, the church is decorated with plenty of other sculptures and special features, that the curator Johann Schaas presents wittily on the occasion of the tours provided to tourists.

The Evangelic Church of Richiş is a totally unique appearance in the landscape of fortified churches, also because it sheltered for a while a monastic order. The monks had been banished by the villagers during the Reform, and the church came back to the community. The 3 aisle and no tower basilica, built in the 14th century, was protected by a boundary wall with two defence towers and a guard road.
This church is unique amidst other churches of the village by the plentiful adornment: the west portal has five successive hideaways, the nervures of the arches are staying on small columns and cap pilasters, the key stones are decorated with masks, and the windows’ mouldings are treated differently. Another particularity is represented by the doubled triumphal arch, which indicates that the construction of a tower was intended here.