Sighisoara is the oldest citadel still inhabited in Europe. “Transylvania’s Pearl” as it is named dates back since 1191.

It was first mentioned in 1280 under the name Castrum Sex and then in 1598 under the German name Schespurch. The citadel’s walls protect the 164 houses first mentioned more than 300 years ago which nowadays are declared historical monuments.

Here were found traces of inhabitants from Iron Age. The first settlement was meant to be a place of refuge. As a town it was a settlement of craftsmen organized in guilds. In the citadel had fourteen towers each one for a different guild and four bastions, but today only nine towers and three bastions are visible. One of the towers is the Clock Tower, a tower that has on the top a golden globe which it is believed to be placed there by a giant.

Not many know that Sighisoara is the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler. His father hid in this citadel until he was able to claim the Walachian throne. The house where he was born is included in a tour from which are part the Church on the Hill with 500 years old frescoes, the Venetian House built in the 13th century and the Church of the Dominican Monastery. The last one has a mixture of styles – the altarpiece is carved in Transylvanian Renaissance, the pulpit is Baroque, the carpets are Oriental and so is the organ from the 17th century which is still used today. Because during the Reformation the painting inside the church was forbidden the monument has been adorned with pews and balconies richly decorated with sculptures and Oriental carpets. There are 35 carpets from 16th and 17th of a great artistic value.

The Church on the Hill has received the Grand Prix Europa Nostra for restoration and structural consolidation and EU prize for Heritage.

For its tourists Sighisoara has a lot to offer besides history and beautiful monuments. Here takes place a medieval festival each year. People dress like centuries ago and remake battles for damsels in distress and plays. The festival is divided in sections like: theatre, music, arts, exhibits, dance, street concerts, medieval costumes exhibit and even a medieval dance lesson.

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A Pure Romania Tour to Sighisoara

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Article: Andreea Andrei

Photo: Pure Romania

Enjoy below Sighisoara photos