Why you should visit Sighisoara
Some might believe that including Sighisoara in a Romanian tour is such a cliché. Well, if I usually disagree about clichés, when it comes to Sighisoara, I agree to disagree. There cannot be Romanian tour without Sighisoara!
Sighisoara is for Dracula funs, Sighisoara is for people who hate (like I do) the Dracula myth and loving the strong character of Vlad Tepes, the real ruler who inspired the fictional character of Bram Stoker; Sighisoara is for medieval towns’ admirers, Sighisoara is for middle town settlers, in the end, Sighisoara is suitable for weekend escapes, Sighisoara is for everybody and everybody should love Sighisoara.
Even if it was long time ago since I first saw the medieval town, it seems like yesterday and I will always remember the day with cows and sheep on the hills of the villages along the way and pigeons flying above the citadel, how hilarious it might sound, the image is story-like, believe me.
As you drive from Bucharest, once you passed Brasov and the Carpathians you believe you crossed the border into another world, story like. Actually, long time ago, there was a border, the border between Wallachia and Transylvania, a border who miraculously seems to split two world in the same country : the Orient and the Occident.
Now, back again: once you passed Brasov, citadels and fortified churches pass one by one: Feldioara, Rupea, Viscri and Cloasterf (the last two are not visible for the main road tourists), Saschiz, Sighisoara… Even the house of count Teleki, almost a ruin nowdays, can be seized by the tourists who want to surprise the spectacular along the road. Then you notice Sighisoara.
Settled on the top of an upright hill, Sighisoara is like a beautiful fairy bringing kindness and happiness in everybody’s life. Even if it was years ago, I still remember entering the old citadel, one of the fewest inhabited citadels in Europe, shy and still curious. The street I entered was named Oberman Herman, just to remember to the world that Romania can be also associated to global science development, as Oberman Herman figure is highly associated to the astronomy development . Just google it !
Once you entered the old city you will love the long string of houses, Saxon houses, some of them twith with Venetian influence, beautiful colored. The doorsteps are so low that you might easily imagine yourself in Lilliput world. The windows looked like indiscreet eyes, still, beautifully colored eyes!:) The image of houses with eyes is strongly following you, the amazed tourist, once you got in the main square place. All around the square, the curios eyes- like windows show on the attic of the medieval houses. You only have to watch up-straight into their eyes, surely, you’ll be mesmerized.
When you come from the main road, you meet first the torture place and the “Dracul” house. I am not a Dracula, lover so, actually, this is the house of Vlad Teped where the character who inspired the Dracula character born. The square, all around is beautiful. You have to visit the entire citadel and towers, to understand the jobs of that period. The Evangelical fortified church is impressive and the orga sound echo- like over the square. Shy, in corner, there is the old stair case. Go up on them and you meet the giant medieval beauty : the church upstairs. Visit it and necessarily speak to the guide in the church.. He knows the number of people praying, visiting and, if you ask me, he might even know he story behind the entire medieval Sighisoara, even “the life” (if any) behind the combs downhill. You are ok, visit the cemetery and imagine the families there. Even if there are combs in the cemetery, there are no vampires around. Just a beautiful impressive Romanian citadel.
Sighisoara facts and figures:”During the 12th century, German craftsmen and merchants known as the Transylvanian Saxons were invited to Transylvania by the King of Hungary to settle and defend the frontier of his realm. The chronicler Krauss lists a Saxon settlement in present-day Sighiṣoara by 1191. A document of 1280 records a town built on the site of a Roman fort as Castrum Sex or “six-sided camp”, referring to the fort’s shape of an irregular hexagon. Other names recorded include Schaäsburg (1282), Schespurg (1298) and Segusvar (1300). By 1337 Sighişoara had become a royal center for the kings, who awarded the settlement urban status in 1367 as the Civitas de Segusvar.”