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In practice, the ‘marital prison’ involves locking up couples whose marriages were on the rocks for a couple of weeks so that they could sort out their problems for themselves. Strange as it may sound, this method has been particularly effective - it seems that even today some couples have requested to use the ‘marital prison’ in an attempt to save their marriages.
Biertan is a small village located in the central Romanian region of Transylvania. During the 12th century, the Hungarian king, Géza II, invited the Saxons to settle in Transylvania in order to protect it from the Tatars and Ottomans, as well as to bring economic development to the region. Biertan was one of the settlements the Saxons founded, and the first written account attesting to the settlement’s existence dates to 1283. During the 15th century, Biertan developed into a significant market town, with a population of about 5000 in 1510. After the Medieval period, however, the town began to decline. Today, Biertan has been reduced to a small village with a population of less than 2000.
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Biertan’a best-known attraction is its fortified church. It is due to this structure that Biertan is today a UNESCO World Heritage site, as part of the ‘Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania’, along with six other similar sites in the country. Biertan’s fortified church dates back to the 15th century, and it is strategically situated on a high hill in the center of the village. Within this formidable structure meant to defend both the bodies and souls of Biertan’s inhabitants is a small ‘marital prison’.
Prison - Room - Bare - Table - Chair
This prison was essentially a small room with the bare necessities – a table, a chair, a storage chest, and a small, traditional Saxon bed. There was only one of...
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