Sighisoara

Sighisoara, Schassburg in German, is one of the seven Transylvanian fortified towns, considered to be the best preserved one. Now its population is about 40,000 with a percentage of Germans and Hungarians.

It’s a well known place among Romanians and foreigners alike, proudly reminding us that Vlad Tepes, better known as Dracula was born here. A nice and lively summer Medieval Art Festival is also a good way of attracting the young and restless crowd.

The town is situated in central Transylvania, on Tarnava Mare River, surrounded by green hills, on the route linking Brasov with the northern part of the country.

Traces from the Stone Age and Bronze Age, as well as from the Dacian and Roman times were found in the surrounding area. The place was continuously inhabited before the first German colonists arrived, in 13th century. After the 1241 Mongol invasion the survivors rebuilt the town and started to built a stronger defensive system, enlarged during the next centuries to a nearly one km long wall surrounding the upper part of the hill, with 14 towers, from which 9 are still standing. The town was the capital of the region in 14th century, growing steady until it suffered destructions from the Hungarians, in 17th and 18th century, later the plague, floods and fire slowed down the development of the place. Fortunately, after the end of the 17th century reconstruction, the citadel survived the last centuries, the wars and the communism almost unchanged, retaining its medieval atmosphere and charm.

Sites:

  • the fortifications, including the Clock Tower, a symbol of the town, the strongest and highest of all. It served as a council hall, later being transformed into a history museum. The clock was added in 17th century and the glazed shingles in 19th century.
  • the Church of the Dominican Monastery, built in 15th century, in Gothic style. A valuable collection of old Turkish rugs and a 1440 baptize font can be admire inside
  • Vlad Dracul house, where the price and the future Walachian ruler was born in 1431, one of the few buildings that survived the great fire of 1676
  • the Church on the Hill, built on the highest spot, to replace a smaller church, probably built by the first German colonists. It was finished at the end of the 15th century, but the interior suffered during the Reformation, the frescoes being covered. Parts of them were revealed during the last restoration

Along with these are a lot of beautiful preserved private houses, the rest of the towers, the central square, the wooden covered staircase, the fire arms museum, and many others to be discovered and enjoyed.