The Transylvanian Saxons are a people of German ethnicity who settled in Transylvania from the 12th century onwards. Most colonists to this era came from Luxembourg and the Moselle River region. A second phase of German settlement came during the early 13th century consisting of settlers primarily from the Rhineland, Southern Low Countries, and the Moselle region, with others from Thuringia, Bavaria, and even from France. Their heritage is best seen in South-eastern Transylvania region which has one of the highest numbers of existing fortified churches from the 13th to 16th centuries. More than 150 villages in the area count various types of fortified churches, seven of them being included in the UNESCO World Heritage under the name of Villages with fortified churches in Transylvania. These Transylvanian villages with their fortified churches provide a vivid picture of the landscape of southern Transylvania. The seven villages inscribed, founded by the Transylvanian Saxons, are characterized by a specific land-use system, settlement pattern and organization of the cultural family farmstead that have been preserved since the late Middle Ages.