The leaning tower of Transylvania
Between Stolzenburg and Marktschelken lies the small village of Reußen. On the way from Mediasch to Sibiu you can admire the leaning tower of Transylvania from the National Road 14. It lies on a hill in the east of the village and offers passers-by a “Pisa in miniature”.
The village was first mentioned in a document in 1424, and the poor subsoil led to the collapse of the church in the 17th century and the construction of a new – today’s Protestant – church. Despite much effort around the building, it collapsed again in 1780 and had to be rebuilt in the following years. The church is surrounded by a circular wall which originally had several fortified towers; however, only the bell tower to the west has survived. This tower also suffered from unsafe ground conditions and tilted northeast in the 19th century because of a landslide. In 1858 the engineer Karl Gärtner attested that the bell tower was inclined by 18 degrees, but that there was no danger of collapse. In the sixties of the 20th century two concrete belts had to be drawn into the tower to stabilize it. Also, in the 90s and 2000s repair work on the tower became necessary.
Despite all the adversities, the tower of Reußen, which according to some experts is slower than the tower of Mediasch and also slower than the tower of Pisa, is not in danger of collapsing: it can be climbed, the church can be visited.
Today, the tower enjoys a certain popularity among the villagers: A group of volunteers recently carried out minor work and clean-ups on the fortified church: The “Clubul Cavalerilor Turnului” has made the maintenance of the tower its programme and would like to make the fortified church more attractive to visitors.