carta monastery

Former Cistercian Monastery In The Village of Carta

Published on June 16, 2020 by Zoltan Nyaradi

The Carta Monastery or Carta Abbey is another important tourist attraction in Transylvania. Located in the picturesque village of Carta which is about 43 km away from Sibiu and about 73 km away from the medieval citadel of Sighisoara. Today among the old ruins, you will find an interesting Evangelical Lutheran church that belongs to the local Saxon community.

Right behind the village of Carta, you will find the beautiful Fagaras Mountains. If you visit this place in early spring or in autumn then the scenery becomes even more beautiful especially if you are lucky enough to find snow on the peaks of the mountains.

Before you go, you should know:

Before visiting this place you should know that it is open from Monday to Sunday, from 11:00 to 20:00. You also have to pay a fee, 5 RON for children and 10 RON for adults.

Short story of the monastery

The building date of the Carta Monastery is unknown, however, according to some old documents, it is believed that it was built in the 12th century by the Cistercian monks. After the Mongol invasion from 1241, the Carta Monastery unfortunately was left in ruins. During the reign of King Matthias Corvinus, on his orders, the abbey was closed in 1474, and the Cistercian monks had to leave because the order’s properties were confiscated.

The Monastery Tower

To visit the cemetery and the Evangelical Lutheran church, you will have to go through the wooden door located next to the Monastery Tower.

The Monastery Tower and a part of the old abbey.
The Monastery Tower

The cemetery

In the small churchyard, you will find a small cemetery where are buried fallen German soldiers from World War I.

Cemetery where German soldiers are buried.
The small cemetery.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church

In the back of the churchyard, there is the Evangelical Lutheran Church that was built for the local Saxon community. As you enter the church it feels like you are traveling back in time. The altar is the main focus. It’s lit up with a warm, golden light, and it’s detailed with carvings and small statues showing stories from the Bible. Right above the entrance, you will find an old pipe organ.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Carta.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Carta.
The altar in the church.
The altar in the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
The pipe organ.
The pipe organ.

Visit the old ruins

Next to the Lutheran church, you will find the old ruins that once belonged to the nave of a much larger church. Today only a part of the wall remained.

Old ruins that belonged to the former abbey.
Part of the ruins.
Path between the ruins in Carta.
A path through the ruins.
The monastery tower as seen between the old ruins.
The Monastery Tower seen through the ruins.

How to reach the village of Carta

In order to reach the village and of course the former Cistercian Monastery, if you are coming from Sibiu on E68, you will have to make a left turn after the village of Scoreiu and drive towards Carta.

Other places to visit that are close to Carta

The southern part of Transylvania offers you a lot of interesting places to discover. The closest objectives to the former Cistercian Monastery in Carta are the following:

Balea Waterfall – This is a popular waterfall up in the Fagaras mountains. To reach this place you will have to drive a portion on the famous Transfagaras road which links the historical region of Transylvania to Muntenia.

The Clay Castle From The Valley Of Fairies – It’s a very popular place located in Porumbacu de Sus which is not far from Carta. Over there you will find an interesting castle made out of natural materials.

The Brukenthal Summer Palace in Avrig – In Avrig you will find the Summer Palace of Samuel von Brukenthal.