"Sighisoara" Sighisoara by johnsakura

Sighisoara Travel Guide: 401 reviews and 1,092 photos

Medieval Citadel

Sighisoara is situated in the center of Romania at 121 km (75 mi) nothwest of Brasov, 328 km (154 mi) northwest of Bucharest.
Long before you reach this enchating place, you can see Sighisoara's towers and spires from a distance. Towering above the modern town is a medieval citadel that must be among the loveliest and least spoiled in Europe. Walking up from the city center of Sighisoara, one enters the citadel through the 60-meter-tall clock tower, which dates from the 14th century. The clock still works, complete with rotating painted wooden figures, one for each day of the week. The tower houses the town's History Museum, which includes some moving photographs of the 1989 revolution that led to the execution of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, From the wooden gallery at the top of the tower you can look out over the town with its terra-cotta roofs and painted houses. Opposite the clock tower is a small ocher-colored house where the father of Vlad Tepes, better known as Dracula, once lived. It is now a pleasant restaurant. Walking uphill form the home of Dracula's father, along narrow, cobbled streets lined with faded pink, green, and ocher houses, you'll come to a covered staircase. This leads to a 14th-century Gothic church and a German cemetery.

In Eastern Europe Sighisoara is one of the few and in Romania the only fortified town wich is still inhabited. Its aspect, characteristic for the German towns of the late Middle Ages, as well as the good positioning on the T?rnava Mare river has brought fer name in the surname of "Pearl of Transylvania".
First mention in documents of the town was made as early as 1280, but there is archeological evidedce of successive settlements for over 4000 years. Dacian, Roman and earky Romanian dwelling places werw in this area. Nevertheless the town as it is known today was founded by German colonists. Beginning with the second half of the 12th century German settlers were brought to Transylvania by the Hungarian kings. They founded many villages and towns among which Sighisoara is most outstanding.
An early settlement was most likely a village with a fortified refuge on the Castle Hill of today, it was destroyed by a Tatar invasion in 1241, rebuilt, and in 1280 documanted as Castrum Sex. Soon the Dominicans took interest in this place-in 1289 Schespurch (Scassburg) is indicated as seat of their monastery-and later the Franciscans.
The other German settlers to follow in the 14th century are mainly craftsmen and thus in 1367 Sighisoara is already known as town-Civitas de Segusvar. Under the threat of the Otoman invasions the town was fortified wall and towers were raised to sorround the whole town, about the year 1490.
The 15th and 16th century are the time of the town's great prosperity. The craftsmen, well-organized in guilds, and traders, taking advantage of the major commercial routes passing through the town were the agents of this progress. Thus, the number of the crafts (25) equal Sighisoara to the main German towns of the time, and trade contacts went as far as the Netherlands and Persia. This makes Sighisoara to be the first of the settlements in Transylvania to gain the status of a town in 1517, and even legal autonomy.
Besides having a history of their own, the townspeople of Sighisoara were involved in the major events concerning Transylvania and Romania. Thus they gave shelter (1431-1435) and support to Vlad Dracul in his attempt to get to the Romanian throne. It is one of his writings that the Romanian name of Sighisoara was first mentioned. Later the town supports the great Romanian Prince Viteazuul (the Brave) to conquer Transylvania. The citizens of Sighisoara were also involved in the Peasant's Rising of 1514, and in 1849 they are witness of the Hungarian revolutionary army's defeatt in the battle of Albesti, a place in the neighbourhood of the town.

The town itself had several times been besieged, for tha last time in 1704, but never taken in. There were other hardships that affected the citizens, recorded as "the worst" in the town's history: a flood (1777), an earthquake (1738), the plague (1709), causing the death of 1300 out of 3000 inhabitants, a fire (1676) destroying 3/4 of the houses, later rebuilt of brick and stone.

Domo Arigato watachi-no tomodachi!! Romania segoi desu arigato arigato Hideki San. Keokskete, watachi wa totemoi uarui hehehe Sayonara

  • Last visit to Sighisoara: Jun 2001
  • Intro Updated Jun 15, 2003
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Reviews (26)

Comments (5)

  • zlatiq's Profile Photo
    Jan 30, 2005 at 11:20 AM

    hm, i ran into you again; that's a good advice for getting into the tower' i'll remeber that'thanks

  • May 23, 2004 at 9:09 AM

    uhhhhhh transilvania, scary...

  • Andraf's Profile Photo
    Dec 12, 2003 at 8:55 AM

    Nice page. Sighisoara is lovely town.

  • ExGuyParis's Profile Photo
    Jul 24, 2003 at 1:06 AM

    Extremely interesting, beautiful photos... a great view of a remarkable place. I really enjoy your take on this town!

  • dabuwan's Profile Photo
    Jul 22, 2003 at 9:23 AM

    Cookie or restaurant?!?:-) Great pictures of this fascinating town and lots of good info.


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