The village of Alma Vii is surrounded by breath-taking nature, its attraction being both the beauty of the surroundings as well as the village architecture, preserved almost intact over the centuries. Once famous for its vines and fruit orchards, the village suffered massively from emigration and unemployment, especially after the exodus of the Saxon population in the early 1990s. Today there are 200 properties and 390 inhabitants in Alma Vii.
Each house and its courtyard wall is painted in a different color, and each façade decorates the family coat of arms, a saying or a significant year for the history of the house. The village square is paved, the grass in front of the houses is traversed by a deep moat through which a small stream flows, and by numerous small bridges carved out of oak wood. The streets are lined with fruit trees or pastures, in the shade of which geese, ducks, chicken or dogs like to nap. Streets are never empty, constantly animated by people and animals, especially in the morning and evening hours.
Agriculture is still strongly influenced by traditional elements. The most common means of transport is still the horse cart, even if you can see more and more tractors. The cows are taken daily to the pasture. At dawn they find their way back into the stables all by themselves and want to be milked. The grassy pastures on the hills are dotted with grazing sheep. Throughout the summer, the sheep with their herdsmen live in the sheepfolds, where white soft cheese is produced from the fresh milk. Hay is still mowed and dried in the fields, and then transported by cart to the households where it’s stored outside in haystacks or in barns. Just outside the village there are orchards and pastures with fruit trees scattered here and there. The fruits harvested every year are turned into tasty jams. The fields on the hills are cultivated with corn, wheat, oats, barley, beans, potatoes and other crops. In the house gardens one plants above all vegetables, medicinal plants and flowers.
The surrounding landscape was designed by several generations of villagers. Wide deciduous forests cover the ridges and peaks, predominantly oak, red and white beech and linden tree. They used to be shrubbery, but they’ve grown wild and into high forests, traversed by shady paths leading from village to village. The tidy fields at the base of the valley are either cultivated with grains or mowed pastures while on the banks of the stream willows and alders are orderly aligned. Between the forests and fields, most of the land is pasture. Wooded grassland scattered among the hills and forests, diminish the distinction between forest and pasture.
The landscape surrounding the village of Alma Vii is particularly valuable and rich in biodiversity. The variety consists of about 100 bird species, 70 butterfly species, 50 mammal species, 10 amphibian species, 6 reptile species and hundreds of plant species. The area has recently been included in the European Nature 2000 network.