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13th Century UNESCO World Heritage fortified Unitarian Church, and some geese
13th Century UNESCO World Heritage fortified Unitarian Church, and some geese
Location of Dârjiu
Location of Dârjiu
Dârjiu is located in Romania
Location of Dârjiu
Coordinates: 46°12′N 25°12′E / 46.200°N 25.200°E / 46.200; 25.200Coordinates: 46°12′N 25°12′E / 46.200°N 25.200°E / 46.200; 25.200
Country Romania
CountyHarghita County
 • MayorCsaba Zoltáni (MPP)
 • Total41.96 km2 (16.20 sq mi)
 • Total1,036
 • Density24.7/km2 (64/sq mi)
 • Hungarians92.9%
 • Roma5.8%
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)

Dârjiu (Hungarian: Székelyderzs, Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈseːkɛjdɛrʒ]) is a commune in Harghita County, Romania. It lies in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania[1].

The toponym "Székelyderzs" was first mentioned as "De ers" in a papal list of tithes taken in 1334. In 1525, it was recorded as Ders, while in 1760, it was already mentioned by its modern Hungarian name as Székely Derzs.

The first written mention of the toponym Székelyderzs as De Ers is from a list of papal tithes taken in 1334. In 1525, it was mentioned as Ders, while in 1760, the modern form of its Hungarian name was already used as Székely Derzs. The name Derzs is thought to be from the Old Bulgar.[2]

The commune is composed of two villages:

  • Dârjiu / Székelyderzs
  • Mujna / Székelymuzsna


The commune has an absolute Székely (Hungarian) majority. At the 2011 census, it had a population of 1,036. Of those for whom data are available, 92.9% are Hungarian, 5.8% Roma and 1.4% Romanians.


The Unitarian Church

The village is home to the Dârjiu fortified church, a 13th-century fortified Unitarian Church, which is on UNESCO's World Heritage List.

Unitariansm was an official religion in Transylvania from the 1583 Medgyes parliament. The first bishop was Ferenc Dávid, a local Hungarian-speaking Saxon. The first appointed ruler of Transylvania was the Unitarian John II Sigismund Zápolya,[3] son of the Hungarian king John Zápolya (1526-1541).

The villages were historically part of the Székely Land region of Transylvania province. They belonged to Udvarhelyszék district until the administrative reform of Transylvania in 1876, when they fell within the Udvarhely County in the Kingdom of Hungary. After the Treaty of Trianon of 1920, they became part of Romania and fell within Odorhei County during the interwar period. In 1940, the second Vienna Award granted the Northern Transylvania to Hungary and the villages were held by Hungary until 1944. After Soviet occupation, the Romanian administration returned and the commune became officially part of Romania in 1947. Between 1952 and 1960, the commune fell within the Magyar Autonomous Region, between 1960 and 1968 the Mureș-Magyar Autonomous Region. In 1968, the province was abolished, and since then, the commune has been part of Harghita County.

Heartland of Unitarianism[edit]

Between 80,000 and 100,000 Unitarians live in the geographical region of Transylvania, mostly between Sighişoara and Odorheiu Secuiesc, more or less around Dârjiu. Further east, Hungarians are Roman Catholics with Calvinist enclaves e.g. in the former Háromszék County while the former Csík County is solidly Roman Catholic.

The murals of the Unitarian church show the legend of Ladislaus I of Hungary. When the Cumans broke into Kingdom of Hungary, Ladislaus, still a Duke, along with his cousin (King Salamon I) rode against them and freed a girl believed to be daughter of an aristocrat from a Cuman. Unhappily enough, the girl did not support this act of the future Saint.

Further murals in the region are to be found at Unitarian churches in Mugeni, Crăciunel (Karácsonyfalva) and smaller ones in Rugăneşti (Rugonfalva) and Cristuru Secuiesc (Székelykeresztúr). Saxon murals are most significant in Mălâncrav (Szászszentlászló).


Hungary Darány, Hungary

The local Unitarian community has relationship with the Unitarian Universalist Church in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]



  1. ^ "Darjiu Fortified Church - Castles and Fortresses in Transylvania, Romania. Romania UNESCO World Heritage Sites". romaniatourism.com. Retrieved 2019-06-17.
  2. ^ János András Vistai. "Tekintő – Erdélyi Helynévkönyv". Missing or empty |url= (help)Transylvanian Toponym Book Archived 2011-07-10 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Queen Isabella and King John Archived 2012-09-09 at Archive.today