Round Church of Geoagiu – Geoagiu, Romania - Atlas Obscura

Round Church of Geoagiu

Geoagiu, Romania

This 11th-century structure is one of the oldest churches in Romania. 


This quaint church is believed to be the oldest church in Romania. It was built in the 11th century, during the reign of King László. Amazingly, the medieval structure still stands today. It’s both a historical and archaeological treasure.

Initially, the church was Catholic. The building has belonged to the Reformed Church since the 17th century, and is still used by the organization for cultural activities.

About 200 graves are scattered around the church. Archaeological excavations have also revealed coins featuring an image of King László scattered around the grounds. Other excavations discovered young children buried inside the church. They were likely interred within the church’s walls because they were believed to be pure.

At the end of the Second Crusade, members of the Knights Templar stopped by this church and left their marks. Etched onto a bell are several crosses, as well as two papal keys. Their visit also spawned an intriguing legend: according to local lore, a ray of sun will pass through the two round windows and illuminate a place where the knights hid a treasure.

The church walls were built with bricks from Germisara, an old Roman fort near Geoagiu. Some stones from the river were also used as building materials.

Know Before You Go

You can walk by the church at any time. The complex has a large wooden gate that may be closed. There is a small red pedestrian gate that may also be open. People live inside the gate so be respectful of their home near the round church.

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