Sighișoara is a medieval citadel in the Transylvanian region of Romania. It’s one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe and with it’s charm became a UNESCO world heritage site. This small fortified city was built by the Saxons in the 12th century. The old town is situated in the hilltop citadel and is mainly pedestrianised, with ice cream coloured houses which are full of history, cafes and other amazing places to visit. One day will probably suffice for exploring the cobbled streets by foot.
The Citadel History:
From a total of 14 towers, 9 are still left standing around the citadel. These are the Clock Tower, Tanners Tower, Shoemakers Tower, Tinsmiths’ Tower, Butchers’ Tower, Tailors’ Tower, Furriers’ Tower, Ironsmiths’ Tower and Ropemakers’ Tower. Although all of these had the role of defending the citadel, nowadays they have been converted to serve different purposes, from a museum to housing the local radio station and the home of the cemetery caretaker.
This is the symbol of Sighișoara and the most visited place in Mures county. The Clock Tower is the most impressive of the 9 towers and it can be seen from almost every corner of the citadel. The main purpose of this tower was to defend the main gate against enemies. Until 1556 this also served as the City Hall. The clock was made in Switzerland and is decorated with 7 sculptures made out of linden wood which represent the week days. In 1964 the tower was upgraded to use an electric motor but it’s charm remains unchanged. On each level as you climb to the top, there are different bits of the town’s history making up the History Musem of Sighișoara.
Church on The Hill – Covered Stairway
One option to get to the Church on the Hill is walking through the covered stairway which is also known as the “Scholars’ stairway”. This stairway was built in 1662 and it had initially 300 stairs after witch it was modified in 1849 to 175 stairs. The foundation of this stairway is made of stone, the walls are made of wood and the top is made of shingle. The children used this route to get to school and for their protection the stairway was covered. During the night, walking through this stairway can be a bit spooky but that did not stop us from exploring.
The Birthplace of Vlad Dracul
Vlad the Impelar, aka Dracula is known among tourists due to Bram Stoker’s novel. Even if he didn’t lived in Bran, this castle is one of the top most visited destinations in Romania. It may came as a surprise for you that Sighișoara is the birthplace of Vlad, his house being exactly in the town square.
Being really well preserved and a prime example of Carpathian medieval fortifications, Sighișoara is a citadel worth visiting during your Transylvanian excursions.