Our journey through Romania took us today to Sighisoara, a beautiful medieval city, protected by World Heritage since 1999.
What to see in Sighisoara
We walked from our hostel to the center (10 minutes), passing through a photogenic alley that leads you into the heart of the historic center, next to the Clock Tower. We had breakfast at the Piața Cetății, in the International Cafe which has decent sandwiches and delicious cakes.
To begin to visit Sighisoara I recommend you to locate the Clock Tower (Turnul cu Ceas) from the XIV century, great icon of the city. Its 64 meters of height and its peculiar roof – polished and finished in the form of a needle with four turrets in the corners. In fact, it can be seen from almost anywhere in the city, which is very convenient as a reference. As for its exterior, apart from the roof, it is necessary to look at the clocks that adorn both the south and the north facades, as well as the wooden figures, which change according to the day of the week, and the weather rooster rising on a huge Golden ball.
The Clock Tower houses the Museum of History (15 RON = 3.3 €) and the possibility to access the viewpoint of the roof, from where you have an unbeatable view of the citadel of Sighisoara.
As we continued, we contemplated the wonderful civil architecture of the city, with several houses from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, eight small towers Defense (in addition to the Clock Tower), the huge City Hall and the church next to it (Biserica Mănăstirii).
It is possible to visit the House of Dracula. Or rather, the birthplace of Vlad Tepes. Of the original only the structure is preserved, which is said to be the oldest in the city. Its place is occupied today by the restaurant “Casa Vlad Dracul”. If you want to be a real tourist you can pay 3 € to see Dracula’s room, but the reviews are terrible. Instead, we decided to continue the Biserica Din Deal (Church on the Hill).
The easiest way to get to this church is by taking the “Scara Şcolarilor”, a covered staircase built-in 1642 that linked the lower part of the citadel with the upper part, where the old schools were. The original resource of the wooden covering allowed the children to shelter from the cold and the snow in winter time.
Fortunately, the effort has its reward and at the top of the hill there are several things to see. Taking a short walk you will arrive at Biserica Din Deal (Church on the Hill), from the end of the 15th century. It’s not that it’s interesting, but you can enter for less than 1€ and even have a brochure in your language. There is also the Saxon cemetery (remember that the founders of Sighisoara were German), located in the slope of the hill, in front of the church.
We had burgers and papanaşi (traditional Romanian dessert) for lunch in La Perla restaurant (36 RON = 8 € each), which is located in a square (Piața Hermann Oberth) where you can find lots of restaurants. Of course, after this strong dessert we went to take a nap for a while.
Once we went back to the city center, we also visit the Catholic Church that is located next to a small park where the statue of the poet Sándor Petőfi and the Tower Cizmarilor are. After enjoying this view while having a beer in Casa Georgius Krauss, we decided to walk around the wall. It was very quiet and also had good views.
Our dinner was a little lighter (yeah right!) in an Italian restaurant called Al Forno (33 RON = 7 € including wine) very close to Piața Hermann Oberth.
Brief history of Sighisoara
Sighisoara, like so many other cities and towns of Transylvania, was founded by Transylvanian Saxons, who between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries were invited to populate the southeast of what was then the Kingdom of Hungary in exchange for defending the frontier. In 1260 Segesvár was no more than a small castle, but by 1367 it had already reached the status of “urban settlement” and proudly displayed its great symbol: the Clock Tower. During the following centuries it was known for its strategic value at the defensive level (today there are still 9 towers of the citadel), but also for its famous craftsmen, highly valued in the Holy Roman Empire.
A new remarkable chapter occurred in 1849, when it was the scene of the “Battle of Segesvár”, in the context of the Hungarian revolution. It is believed that in that battle the poet and national hero Sándor Petőfi died. The last great event for Sighisoara, and for all of Transylvania, was the annexation to Romania after the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire as a result of its defeat in World War I.
Here is the map of our road trip again. Remember each day is in one colour 🙂
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