I have to get to Sighisoara at least once a year – it’s one of those places where my soul is laughing, where I keep on having a huge smile all over my heart. This old XII-th century citadel, last medieval citadel still inhabited from south-eastern Europe, UNESCO heritage, will surely have a place in your heart – it’s enough to see it once and you will want to come again and again. It has history, legends, charm, stories, places to stop the time, to laugh, to embrace with heart, to feel, to remember and to tell about them. Give yourself time to discover a small piece of heaven – and to enjoy every moment spent here.
I recommand you to visit it in summer – although everybody goes then and you will most probably find the small citadel full of tourists. I also visited it in other seasons and it’s not the same – it seems to me that summer is the best time to feel its heart beating, for sure.
It’s located in central Romania – aproximately 90 kilometers from the city of Sibiu and 120 kilometers from Brasov. You can leave your car at the base of the old citadel, and before you go up just stop and admire the old Clock Tower – it’s the symbol of the old town and so beautiful no matter what side you are looking from. Once you are up, forget about your watch, and just enjoy every moment spent there.
The Clock Tower and Dracula’s House
Start your trip visiting The Clock Tower – once you are up it’s right at the entrance, on the left side. It’s hosting The History Museum – you can admire here an archeology exhibition, one of medieval pharmacy, also medieval furniture. But the main attraction is at the 5-th floor, you can see there the big mechanism of the clock tower – it’s absolutely spectacular. It’s working continuously since 1906 and the big clock perfectly works nowadays. And the view from the top of the tower – simply magnificent, that’s the word.
On the right side of the Tower there is a collection of medieval weapons and the old torture chamber – and both can be visited.
And right nearby there’s a house where the famous prince Vlad Dracul had lived for 4 years, between 1431 and 1435. He is the one who had inspired Bram Stoker’s famous character Dracula. Today, the house hosts a restaurant, and an old mural painting with the portrait of the prince is still kept in the saloon from the 1-st floor.
From the house, just a few more steps and you are in the central square of the old citadel. You will find here cozy terraces, perfect for a good coffe with the people you love or some traditional romanian food.
„Stairs of the schoolchildren” and the old church
„Stairs of the schoolchildren” is another attraction you can’t miss. It was built between 1660-1662, for children to get to town’s school. Today, you get to the town’s high school using it. Initially, it had 300 stairs, and had been modified in 1842, when 178 stairs remained. Today, it has 175 stairs, and you also get to the Chruch from the Hill using it.
The church is also a symbol of the old citadel. It was built between 1345-1525, and it is one of the representative monuments of gothic style in charming region of Transylvania.
The towers of the old guilds
After visiting the church, just give yourself time to surrender the old citadel – and admire the towers of the old guilds. They are actually named after them – Tower of Butchers, of Tailors, of Shoemakers or of Smiths are just some of them. Each has beautiful stories to discover, and between them the wall of the old citadel, covered with ivy and field flowers, tells a story itself – just stop and feel the history, the legend and the magic.
After visiting the towers, simply walk through the small cobbled streets, admire old houses with geraniums, stay on an old bench, enjoy the silence and the simple, pure beauty. Do not bypass antiques and souvenirs shops – you will certainly find something you will love.
And do not leave without visiting beautiful churches – not the Church from the Hill, only. Also in the citadel you will find Romano-Catholic Church, and The Monastery Church. The first one dates from 1894 and can be found in north-western part of the citadel. The second one, an architectural monument in gothic style, can be found near the Clock Tower and dates from the XIII-th century.
In the town, not in the citadel, also worth seeing The Orthodox Cathedral, the small „Church of leppers”, gothic monument dating from the XV-th century, or the old Synagogue – it’s extremely beautiful.
What to see around
Charming cities of Sibiu and Brasov are 90 and 120 kilometers away from Sighisoara. Beautiful old fortified german churches all around Transylvania are also wonderful – some of them are UNESCO heritage, also.
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