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Sighisoara

The Historic Centre of Sighisoara is a well preserved small medieval city built by Saxon settlers. It was strategically placed on a hill, City Hill, as protection against Tatars and other invaders from the steppes in the East.

The city played an important commercial role due to its guilds of craftsmen and its position on the trade routes between Central Europe and the Ottoman Empire. It is estimated that during the 16th and the 17th centuries Sighisoara had as many as 15 guilds and 20 handicraft branches.

Both the Upper Town (Citadel) and Lower Town are included. The Citadel is surrounded by a wall with watchtowers, of which 9 out of the original 14 are still standing. A Clock Tower guards the stairway that connects the Lower with the Upper Town.

Map

Visit September 2010

The author of the Bradt Guide for Transylvania goes on and on in her praise for Sighisoara: “… like taking a trip back in time, to an era crowded with vampires, evil counts, wolves, peasants riding through the untamed countryside on horse-drawn carts and tipsy old men tottering along the narrow, winding streets”.

After having visited the site myself, my conclusion is that she must have been living under a stone all her life, or just spent too many years in Romania. It’s a nice town to visit for half a day, but is it any better than similar medieval city WHS? San Marino (much bigger and more spectacular location), Assisi or Toledo (both more impressive individual structures) come to my mind. Only these cities were not on the route between Central Europe and the Ottoman Empire… (a regional aspect is what distinguishes it the most).

What I liked best of Sighisoara was the long covered wooden staircase that leads up to the very top of the hill. It was built to cover schoolchildren and churchgoers from the rain. It reminded me of a similar one at Biertan Church that I visited earlier that day.

Community Reviews


john booth - December 2012

The citadel of Sighisoara compares well with other medieval hilltop towns. Surrounded by defensive walls and towers its colourful streets and squares are full of interest. The covered bridge to the summit is of interest, but the views from the pathway were spectacular.

The town's association with Vlad Dracul (Vlad the Impaler) is another drawcard.


John S. - November 2011

Sighisoara is a great little town, best not necessarily for the sights but for just feeling that small town, rural atmosphere cranked a couple of centuries back (especially if you also find your way in the areas around it). It may not be as monumental or as impressive as San Marino, but in terms of real life San Marino has long died and gone to heaven. At least locals still go in the Sighisoara citadel on weekends to have fun.


Joao Leitao

Dear Simona Bejenariu, like i wrote on my last comments, I did enjoy those lovely places you said... Sighisoara is in fact one of my travel marks in all my past traveling history. Actually I wish to visit it again and its on my future travel plans... :o)


Simona Bejenariu

I was really dissapointed to read João Leitão's reviw to Sighisoara. It is a place that means more than the dirty trainstation, the gilrs trying to eran their existance and jipsies selling girls. Too bad he did not get to feel as in another world, in another time when walking on the narrow and incredibly beautiful stone paves streets, dating back the 16th-17th century, he did not enjoy sun on the mural paintings on the Clock Tower, too bad he didn't get to know the real history of the citadel,and why not, feel TRue Sighisoara, in fact true Romania is behind all these bad sights. But it's not hard to get over them, and it's defenetly worth it. Sighisoara is one of the most beautiful palces I have ever seen, and i can say i have seen plenty. So, if you have the chance, don't miss visiting Romania. you know what they say: "romania, always surprising"


João Leitão

first time i got out in sighisoara train station i had a guy that frightned me a lot that actually made me go into the train again and forget about my visit to this wonderful city. i don't quit that easily so i went there again. no prob. it's a wonderful city with really nice people. train station is not near the city center, walking relaxed it would take 20 minutes. the wonderful tower with the sighsoara museum is just great. on top panoramic view of the city can be seen. small iron plates are stuck on top of the towers balcone with letters saying how many km are world capital far from there. interesting.

vlad draculs house also can be seen. he lived there for a couple of years. restaurants are cheap. i'm vegetarian and had no problems with that actually. instead of going in the normal turist road to the castle top, just try to climb the hill, jump over bushes and castle walls. much better cos you'll always have citys panorama on your back. by the other way (the bridge way) you'l not see this.

also a good thing to do is to go to the hills the other side of the citys palace and tower and enjoy the view of the old city of sighisoara instead of the new (or at least relatively new one) part. don't be scared of the neighborhood. pople are poor and don't look that nice. but just keep on going and smile. they are not going to bit your neck or anything.

after the new church (orthodox) and the bridje theres a small store selling fresh oven cookies (they are freezed ones, but ver nice). pity of the girls they work there: they work 16 hours a day 7 days a week for a monthly wage of 90 euros. incredible but true.

in the center town i tried to change some money after banks closed. i somehow took from the atm machine 1,000,000 leo, instead of 100,000. last day in the country and had no need of that money and couldn't also changed it in hungary. remember romanian leo is not good out side the country and can't excanche it anywhere. just know one place (main train station in budapest). like i was saying i tryed to change some money, i talked with a taxi driver that took me to a hotel to speak with a jipsy guy. he wanted me to go inside a room with a very young girl...pity pity. i end up exchanging some money with an australian guy that was going to stay there for some days...good luck and enjoy a hard country but very nice!!


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Site Info

Full name: Historic Centre of Sighisoara

Site History

Locations

The site has 1 locations.

  • Sighisoara

Connections

The site has 12 connections.

Architecture

Constructions

History

  • Tatars "Following incursions by the Tatars in 1241, the fortified settlement on City Hill was reinforced with walls, guarded by towers" AB

Human Activity

Religion and Belief

Timeline

  • Built in the 13th century "Criterion (iii): Sighisoara is an outstanding testimony to the culture of the Transylvanian Saxons, a culture that is coming to a close after 850 years... In the 13th century, German craftsmen and merchants, known as Saxons, were ordered by the Hungarian sovereigns to colonize Transylvania and protect the border of the Carpathians against the steppe peoples. They settled on a hill, called the City Hill" (AB)

Trivia

  • Built or owned by Germans Built by Saxonian settlers
  • Minority communities Sighisoara is an outstanding testimony to the culture of the Transylvanian Saxons, a culture that is coming to a close after 850 years and will continue to exist only through its architectural and urban monuments. (AB evaluation)