One can not get to the village of Alma Vii by chance as the winding road, passing through fields and forest patches, stops there. Alma Vii is blessed not to be just a stop on the way to another destination: the village is untouched by pollution, wildlife shows up on the side of the road, and the people managed to preserve the local traditions and customs unchanged. Here, far from the rest of the world, where no one is in a hurry, you can breathe fresh air and take a well deserved break. The village hosed a Transylvanian Brunch, proof that it’s worth travelling there just to taste the local cuisine. There are even places for staying overnight. The Experience Transylvania guest houses at numbers 103 and 104, and guest house Reveria are waiting for tourists with vine canopies where evenings can be enjoyed accompanied by crickets’ songs or in deep silence.
The village Alma Vii has a documented history since 1298, the historical context however reveals that there must have been a settlement on this site as early as the beginning of the 13th century. Invited by the Hungarian kings to colonize this area, German settlers, the forefathers of the Transylvanian Saxons, came to these fertile land to begin a new life and to defend it in times of danger. The fortified church watching the whole village from its height is the emblem of the village; erected in the 14th century, it was extended and fortified in the 16th century. The baroque organ, installed in 1721 and still to be admired today, used to accompany every Sunday service. The fact that the fortified church is so well-preserved is one of the main reasons for visiting Alma Vii. Throughout the centuries the church served the Saxons as shelter against the frequent attacks of the Turks and Tatars and as the place that kept their community together. Today, 390 inhabitants live in the 200 houses of Alma Vii.
The Mihai Eminescu Trust (MET) began working here ever since 2008. It started supporting the revival of the village by investing both in the facades of the old Saxon houses and in the development of the local people. Thus, slowly, they repaired the wooden bridges and other needful things for the village, they renovated the dispensary and rehabilitated the village shop. The villagers have been trained in agri-tourism, traditional construction techniques and they learned English. They have been encouraged and advised in opening and managing small local business. The biggest and the most complex project done in Alma Vii, currently being implemented, is the “Centre for the interpretation of traditional culture Alma Vii – Rehabilitation and functional conversion of the fortification”. This project was made possible by a previous study conducted by the MET. The study revealed what the residents of Alma Vii wished for: the restoration of the beautiful citadel in the village. Once the restoration work is finished, the evangelical church in Alma Vii will become a meeting place for the locals and a space for artistic expression and for the promotion of the local culture.