The commune Axente Sever is located in the north part of Sibiu county, in centre of Romania, in the heart of Transylvania, in an area loaded with history, traditions and customs. The commune of Axente Sever includes other two villages, Agarbiciu and Soala.
Located on the right shore of Visa river, at its confluence with Tarnava Mare river, the commune was officially documented in 1350 in a Latin written document, in Alba Iulia. During the colonization of Transylvania by Germans [Transylvania Saxons], about XII – XIII century, the settlements were called Villa and Axente Sever appeared in the documents of that time as Villa possesio Asszonyfalva. The village appears documented in the Vatican registers under the name of “Georgius plebanus eclasiae Villae Dominarium” during 1322-1323 and under the name of Fraundorf in 1447. Other documentary mentions were kept from years 1733 (Frua), 1750 (Friuoa), between 1760-1762 Freiendorf, 1850 Assonyfalva, Frâua, 1854 Assonyfalva, Frauendorf, Frâua. The village name seems to come from a church having Virgin Mary as Patron Saint. This church had existed on the site of the present evangelic church. Starting with 22nd November 1933, the village bears the name Axente Sever, as is evidenced by address no. 18713 issued by Tarnava Mare County Prefecture, where the village is mentioned as Axente Sever. After the Great Unification from 1st December 1918, the village appears under the name Fraua.
As the German army suffered more and more defeats in the Soviet Union, German troops came to Axente Sever in the middle of 1943 and built a base for maintenance and parking of war machines.
The atmosphere became more peaceful in the middle of October 1944 and the people returned to their houses and continued their usual work in the household.
A commemorative monument was erected in 1950 in the village centre. The names of the four heroes who died fighting on the anti-Nazi battle front are engraved on its bronze plate.
The village is situated in a hilly area, known for its vineyards and wines, being once one of the most important wine centres of the county. The landscape is dominated by hills with height ranging from 444 to 445 meters, separated by deep valleys, out of which Dealul Curmătura (478m), towards North – East, Vovorţi (485m) and Dorului Şes Peak (444m) can be mentioned. Tarnava Mare and Visa meadows provide the most fertile agricultural lands and are the most accessible areas of the commune. The main geomorphologic unit is the versant with the usually wavy, rarely flat, inclined slopes varying between 15 ° and 40 °, the average being 20 °, with a wavy microrelief, often favoring the formation of ravines and landslides. The high hills with narrow ridges occupy the northern part of the territory which is dominated by the confluence of Visa and Tarnava Mare rivers, and the smaller hills with large height occupy the south – eastern part.
At the last census in 2011, the population of Axente Sever commune was of 3690 inhabitants, out of which 2114 were inhabitants of Axente Sever, 1269 inhabitants of Agârbiciu and 307 inhabitants of Şoala. More than 90% of the population is of Romanian ethnicity, followed by Hungarian, Roma and German.
Although today there are very few Germans (Saxons) living in Axente Sever, we have to mention the importance of the Saxon community in the spiritual, cultural and economic development of the commune. The Saxons community was organized in neighbourhoods [vecinătăţi], similar with the majority of Transylvanian Saxons. These neighbourhoods had very strict and well established rules which thoroughly determined how the public activities had to be conducted. The neighbourhoods were church associations whose aim was to make neighbours help each other, to cultivate understanding and to observe the customs and traditions of the community.
The Brotherhood was a form of organization patronized by the Evangelical Church addressing the youth. Similarly as in the case of Neighbourhoods, the Brotherhood rules were clearly established and its members attended the religious sermons in festive costumes, planted trees, took care of fountains and cemeteries.
The main economic activities carried out in the commune are: agriculture, viticulture, fruit farming, zooculture and services. There are more than 50 economic agents in the commune.
Culture and traditions
The earliest data on cultural activity relates to the Saxon school choir in 1891. A brass band was established in the early twentieth century and it took part at all cultural manifestations of the community.
The cultural and artistic activity most appreciated by the locals was the amateur theatre, which had performed in theatre shows since the beginning of the twentieth century. The most intense cultural activity took place between 1952 and 1979 when 40 theatre plays had been performed for the audience.
Romanian and Saxon folk dance groups were initiated in the mid 60s. An important role in shaping the reputation of the village Axente Sever had the “Grapes Ball” [“Balul strugurilor”] which was organized every autumn after harvest. The folk costumes from Axente Sever is characterized by sobriety and elegance and it fits the typology of the Romanian folk costumes from Târnavelor area. The cultural manifestation “The sons of the village” [“Fiii satului”] is of high importance in the community. This is the day when all those who left their homes return to their homeland, regardless of where they are. Because Axente Sever has proven to be a “source of great men”, people of culture and people who bear the commune in their heart visit it with great pleasure.
The commune has an important touristic potential as it is positioned in a culturally rich and naturally beautiful area. In the menu you can find links to descriptions of the main touristic points and ways of spending the free time if you choose a short holiday in Axente Sever.