Sighisoara - The Medieval City


Situated in Mures County, in the valley of the Tarnava Mare river, Sighisoara (a former Dacian settlement called „the pearl of Transylvania“) was founded by the German immigrants in the second half of the 12th century and became a city in 1407. The Medieval Fortress situated „high up on a hill“ 425 m. above sea level dates from the 12th century. The first fortress was built in 1280 on a high plateau, around the church on the hill, and it was widened and fortified in the following centuries.

It finally had three parts and fourteen towers (out of which only nine still remain), as well as a defensive wall 930 m. long and 4 m. high, initially made of stone and then of brick. Over time, this wall was heightened to 14 - 15 m. in some places.

Sighisoara Medieval Festival
Sighisoara
Sighisoara

Due to its excellent position and exquisite medieval aspect, Sighisoara attracts many tourists every year, being declared a valuable historical monument. Its medieval remains may be found both in the centre of the city and inside the Fortress of Sighisoara. In this area, houses are built very close to one another, giving a sense of “crowdedness” (in order to occupy the least space possible).

The historical age of these houses is not that great, because in 1668, the city suffered a terrible earthquake and then burnt completely in 1676, and the was afterwards rebuilt. The „ancient“ part of the city is given by the later discoveries: objects dating from the Bronze Age (discovered in DealulTurcului), cremation monuments dating from the Daco-Roman period, money coined after the death of the Roman Emperor Aurelian, but the most important architectural monuments date from the 15th and 16th centuries.

Sighisoara - Clock Tower One should also mention that Vlad Dracul (Vlad Tepes’ father) was a guest at the city between 1431 and 1435. Vlad Dracul - Voievode of Wallachia - was a member of the Order of Dragons, commanded by the German Emperor. Another famous guest in the city was the king of Hungary Sigismund of Luxemburg.
Vlad Dracul occupied a house situated close to the Clock Tower which is well marked so you can’t miss it.

In the fortress you can visit everything but only 3 things are really important: The Church on the Hill - the only one in Europe which has a special representation of the Holy Trinity and a very powerful symbol in the central painting of the altar. Also it is the only church in Transylvania which has a crypt. Situated under the altar.

The second is The Clock Tower with its mechanism and historical museum and The Church of the Dominican Monastery. Also you can walk round the bastions and the tower from a city which still has the medieval scents.