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Sighisoara

medieval Old Town

sighisoaraOne of the most picturesque towns of Romania, Sighisoara is located on the Tarnava Mare river valley, both on the right side which is very steep, and on the lest side which formes an amphiteatre guarded by the hilltop on which the medieval fortification is build. The region was inhabited since ancient times, as archeological discoveries proof: settlements of the local population between the 2nd and the 13th century; the fortification with mould from Albesti; the Roman settlement from the 4th-7th century on Dealul Viilor hill; remains of a Roman fortification from the 3rd century in just across the river.

Colonized by the Saxons in the 12th century, the settlement is mentioned in 1280 under the name of Castrum Sex. Due to it's strategic position on the medieval trade route towards the Orient, Sighisoara became already in the 14th century an important economical and commercial center, documents of the time mentioning not less than 25 guilds. But the city was not spared of disasters: 1438 the Turks destroy almost all the houses, then again the Hungarians in 1601, 1611, 1676, 1736, 1788; it was haunted by plagues in 1603, 1641, 1709; and not to mention the numerous wars which did not spare Sighisoara either. Though, the city managed to survive and to remain one of the most important towns in Transylvania. It's glory days were shadowed after 1848 and it is only now when we try to rediscover the roots and the beauty of the city and of the region.

Due to the strategic location on top of the hill, the fortification remained barely unchanged from architectural point of view and was constantly inhabited for over 800 years. That is why the Upper City (or Old City) was declared a historical monument and UNESCO listed it as World Cultural Heritage site.

Indeed, while walking through the cobbled streets or passing through the narrow and sinuous connection passages, one might just wait for a knight in shining armor to appear around the corner. The Clock Tower offers you a very nice view upon the whole fortification and the valley below. Also, while walking up you might admire at every level different artifacts proving the rich cultural, commercial and historical importance of the region. One of the most interesting elements of this local History Museum is the medieval clock with wooden figures and the medicinal exhibition with tools and medical books already from the 15th century. And if you did not know, Sighisoara had one of the few leper colonies of Europe, which was closed just over 100 years ago.

Just across the Clock Tower, the birth house of Vlad the Impeller, the famous Dracula, opens it's doors with a beautiful restaurant. A Torture Chamber and an exhibition of medieval weapons are also open for visits. And in the central square numerous merchants await you with their souvenirs from this unique site indeed.

sighisoara sighisoara

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