Sighisoara

If you ever get to the heart of Romania, you don’t have to miss Sighisoara. Located at a distance of 300 km from Bucharest, Sighisoara is a place where you can charge your batteries and where history is written on every narrow lane of this citadel. Sighisoara is the birthplace of Vlad Tepes, also known as Dracula and there is a connection between the name of the city and that of Hermann Oberth, known as the forefathers of astronomy and of the rocket. It is still from here that comes the name of Architect Anca Petrescu, the one who created the People’s House in Bucharest.

Set up by the German settlers, today’s Sighisoara, city whose historic centre is included in the UNESCO world patrimony, does not exceed 25,000 inhabitants. Building the citadel walls with a length of 950 m started in 1350 and its initial height was of 4 metres. Subsequently, in the 15th century, the height of the walls was increased by 3 to 4 metres higher. The citadel at Sighisoara had a total of 14 towers (that belonged one to each gild) and 4 bastions. Currently, there are only 9 towers and 3 bastions, of which the most representative is the Clock Tower (Tower of Hours).

Here are the main tourist points that you must see in Sighisoara:

  • The Clock Tower was built in the 14th century with the role to protect the main gate of the city and it is the most massive of the nine protection towers of Sighisoara Citadel that have been preserved to the date. The monument with a height of 64 metres is located to the South-East side of the citadel and it is visible from any point of the city centre. Today, it is one of the main points of attraction of the Citadel.

  • The Student Stairs (the Covered Stairs) were built in 1654 to facilitate students access during difficult winter time, to the school located next to the Hill Church. If it was initially built in wood and had 300 steps, today it still has 175 steps, disrupted by several broad platforms. Similar to a tunnel, these wonderful stairs climb up to the hill top, where there is an old Gothic church and also the Evangelic school.

  • The Saxon Cemetery – once passed the wrought iron gate, you shall enter another world, the bygone Saxon Gothic world. In the cemetery there is a large number of tombstones, hundreds of years old, of Saxons more or less important, from mayors, doctors, scientists to commoners.

  • The Hill Church, deemed the most valuable architectural monument in Sighisoara, is an Evangelic church built in several stages between 1345 and 1525. Size-wise, it is the fourth Gothic church in Transylvania and it has a 42-metre high bell tower. It has the only known crypt in Transylvania located beneath the choir and contains tombs from the 16th and 18th centuries.

  • The Venetian House is also a tourist objective worth visiting in Sighisoara. It was built in the 16th century by the mayor of those times, Stephanus Mann and it is inspired by the Venetian Gothic style. The house served as residence to Mann, and today, following a full interior refurbishment, is turned into an area meant for trading facilities.

Did you know that:

  • The Clock Tower received at the beginning of the 17th century an horologe, remade in 1648 by Johann Kirschel, that is foreseen with Linde wood statues with a height of 0.80 metres depicting the pagan gods impersonating the days of the week: Diana, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and the Sun.

  • The first newspaper of Sighisoara issued in 1869 and was printed in German.

  • Up until the Second World War, Sighisoara had a symphonic orchestra and composer Johannes Brahms was among its members, on the occasion of his visit to Sighisoara on a concert tour.