The village of Biertan is located in central Romania in the historical region called Transylvania. In the past the region was inhabited by the Transylvanian Saxons, who were endangered by aggressive representatives of other states and nations. For that reason the Saxons fortified stone churches, turning them into fortresses, in which they could take shelter and repel the attack. The Gothic church in Biertan is situated on a hill, it has defensive towers and is surrounded by three rings of walls. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the Saxons built fortified churches in many Transylvanian villages. Seven of them have been enlisted on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.