Saxon villages included in an European wildflower festival

Peisaj zona Viscri

Typical landscape with meadows, form the Transylvanian Saxon area

The beauty and fragrance of summers in the Transylvanian Saxon grasslands ​​will be celebrated in the Festival of Wildflowers, a May event which includes Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Scotland areas.

This festival is held this year for the first time, and it aims to highlight the beauty of the flora, the richness of landscapes and the local cultural diversity in five areas that have preserved almost intact their natural and cultural landscape. So, the places in question are the mountain meadows around Lake Bohinj (Slovenia), the ancient agricultural systems of the Hvar area (Croatia), the “Garden of Orpheus” in the Rhodope Mountains (Bulgaria), the Saxon villages in southern Transylvania and the northern coasts of Scotland (UK).

So, tours with local guides, traditional food tasting, organized visits in markets with local products and participation in artistic, musical and cultural events will be held in these places. In Romania, the festival is run by Adept Foundation.
The hilly area of ​​the Saxon villages of Transylvania was chosen for the Festival of Wildflowers because it is among the most well preserved medieval landscapes in Europe. “It is a region where agriculture is practiced on a small scale with meadows, orchards, woods and seedlings near Transylvanian Saxon villages with their fortified churches. The area is now the centerpiece of attempts to develop a strong rural economy, able to preserve the cultural richness and the landscape “, the organizers say on wildflowereurope.org.

“There is a great number of orchid plants like sage, sainfoin and several types of clover and vetch. The presence of these species in great numbers and the diversity in which they occur, creates a spectacular flower show, which rarely can be seen in other parts of Europe”, the site states.

Viscri, într-un tablou de Eduard Morres

Viscri village, in a romantic painting by Eduard Morres

The first edition of the festival will take place with the involvement of local people and local institutions but will include tours and trekking to find out more about wild flowers, fairs, cultural and musical events.
Also, thematic seminars such as those about dyeing with natural colors will take place. A detailed program of events will be published as soon as ready, according to organizers.

The target audience of the festival consists of both local tourists and especially foreign ones. There are going to be family activities, activities for plant lovers, but also for those who want to enjoy the beautiful and interesting surroundings. Many of the activities are free or have a small charge.

Each of the festivals will take place in areas of exceptional botanical and cultural interest. They are recognized as “Important Plant Areas” by the Convention on Biological Diversity and are Natura 2000 sites or National Parks. The purpose of the Festival of Wildflowers is to raise awareness of how special these areas are and to bring  economic benefits to local people, no matter if natural or legal persons (local food, craft products or tourist services), in order to allow preservation of these landscapes for the future.