A story of the most international place in Romania

A story of the most international place in Romania


The village of Richis, located in a beautiful valley, in the commune of Biertan, in central Romania’s Sibiu County has become the most international place in the country as residents of twelve nationalities, among which Austrian, Dutch, German, Lithuanian, Swiss, UK and US citizens, live in this 700-inhabitant village.

Credit to Richis Village Gallery

It is known as Rechesdref in the Saxon dialect, as Reichersdorf in German and as Riomfalva in Hungarian and the local people are very proud of their village, the region and the cultural heritage including the old Saxon church from the 12th century.

Richis is surrounded by terraced hills where in the old days people used to grow vines which has brought welfare to this dwelling and has also given it its name which means “the village of the rich”.

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The noble wine brought affluence to the inhabitants of Richiş. There were three conditions that this wine had to fulfil: it had to be noble, to have a rough, strong taste and to be white. They cultivated Feteasca Regală, Pinot Gris, Riesling or Neuberger. When the Saxons left in the early 1990’s, the village got depopulated and the vineyards were abandoned. 

Several years later, the village was brought to life again due to the initiative of Paul Hemerth, a Transylvanian Saxon who campaigned for the traditional houses’ rehabilitation and increased publicity of the village that attracted foreigners for its peace, surrounding nature and culinary offer, next to very favorable real estate investment conditions.

Today, the village accommodates many foreigners who renovated the local Saxon houses, established bread-and-breakfast accommodations and cherish a simpler lifestyle. The well prospering village has gained on popularity again and offers plenty of options for tourism as well as traditional food products.

One of the local activities that is worthwhile to experience is a wine tasting with the local family that owns the last big remaining wine yard in the village. During the wine tasting in a very family-like set up, you can talk about local life and hear stories from the history of the village and the region.

And if you are looking to stay for a while in the area, there is more to experience.


Biertan has been on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1993. According to data compiled by the Romanian Evangelical Church, the Saxon church in Biertan was the third most visited such church in Romania, after the Black Church in Brasov and the Evangelical Cathedral in Sibiu.

In addition, the area of Sibiu also stands out with its gastronomy. The region was designated a European Region of Gastronomy in 2019. Transylvanian region is one that preserves the very authentic traditions and local food that is irresistible.  Why not to try on your own?

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