"The Citadel" Sighisoara Travelogue by Tom1971
Sighisoara Travel Guide: 397 reviews and 1,090 photos
Work on Sighisoara's impressive citadel in its present state was begun by Saxon migrants in the 12th century. They built on the site of a 3rd century Daco-Roman settlement, which in turn was constructed over the site of a Dacian village, Sandova, dating from the 3rd century BC. It's strategic position, perched ontop of a steep sided hill in the middle of a wide valley, lends the citadel a dramatic aspect.
The surrounding wall was added in the 14th century. Of the 14 towers originally incorporated in the wall, 9 remain in excellent condition. Each of these towers represented one of the guilds of merchants and craftsmen who built and maintained the life of the Burg, once an important town on one of Europe's major trading routes.
The largest and most striking building is the 64m high 'turnul cu ceas', or clock tower. This also houses a museum documenting the town's history and the lives of some of it's most famous citizens. There is also a great view of the town and surrounding countryside from a walkway at the top.
The citadel is built on 2 levels; the bottom level centres around the main square (pictured), and there are several hotels/hostels in the vicinity. A covered stairway leads up to the higher level, from where a Lutheran church looks down over the town.
Pictured here is the 'turnul cizmarilor', or bootmaker's tower, one of 9 surviving towers from the 14th century.
Sighisoara's is Europe's only inhabited medieval citadel. The sedate pace of life makes for a relaxing visit.
Chilling out, Sigisoara style. The citadel in its present state was originally constructed by Saxon migrants. Many remained and joined the mix of Romanian and Hungarian peoples inhabiting Transilvania. Some of the ethnic German Romanian population left during the Ceasuscu years, and many more left in the 1990's. Some however have now returned, with German Euros to invest in the town.
German and a regional dialect that developed out of Saxon, Saseshte, are spoken in Sighisoara alongside the national language.
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