Sighişoara, the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler
Sighişoara ( one of the 7 medieval towns of Transylvania) is located on the Tarnava River in Mures county,Romania, in the historic region of Transylvania. German craftsmen and merchants, The Transylvanian Saxons, were invited here by the King of Hungary during the 12th century, to settle and defend the frontier. Central Sighisoara has preserved in an exemplary way the features of a small medieval fortified city and it has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Each year a Medieval Festival takes place in the old citadel in July. Sighisoara is a popular tourist destination due to its well preserved walled old town. The landmark of the city is The Clock Tower, a 64 meter high tower build in 1556. It is presently a Museum of History.
Things to see in Sighisoara
- Clock Tower (“Turnul cu Ceas”)- Built in 1360 and standing at 60 meters tall atop the citadel hill. History museum inside, balcony with a great view on the top.
- Monastery Church (“Biserica Mânăstirii”) – Lutheran church in late Gothic style, located next to the Clock Tower, built starting with 1291 by the Dominican Order
- Weapon Museum – next to Vlad’s birthplace. Very small, but it contains an interesting selection of medieval weapons (swords, arrows, etc.).
- Covered Staircase (“Scara Şcolarilor”) – an old stone staircase with a wooden roof along the whole span. This leads up to the Church on the Hill, the cemetery and the Joseph Haltrich High School (a.k.a. “School from the Hill”).
- Church on the Hill (“Biserica din Deal”)- Lutheran church in late Gothic style, contains many frescoes and a crypt. Close to the cemetery on the side of the hill, which contains many German tombstones.
- Vlad Dracul House (“Casa Vlad Dracul”) – allegedly the place where Vlad Tepes “The Impaler” (a.k.a. “Draculea”) was born.
- Bust of Vlad Tepes – located around the corner from his birthplace, within sight of the Clock Tower.
- Orthodox Cathedral – located across the Târnava river
- Corneşti Church (“Biserica din Corneşti”) – oldest Orthodox church in town, built in 1797, located in the “Corneşti” neighbourhood
- Vila Franka – a restaurant on a hill surveying the Târnava valley, offers an outstanding panorama point. Can be reached by car or on foot (~1 hour walk/hike from the Citadel
Sighişoara Medieval Festival
- Sighişoara Medieval Festival: During the annual event ( which will be held between the 20th to 29th of July 2012), the town receives around ~30,000 tourists, doubling its population. Numerous cultural events take place during the festival – theatre, indoor and outdoor music concerts, handicraft demonstrations and exhibitions, painting, sculpture, seminars, film projections etc.
- Pro Etnica annual interethnic music and art festival, with indoor and outdoor performances (music, dance, film) of representatives of most ethnic groups living in Romania.
Sighişoara is considered to be the most beautiful and well preserved inhabited citadel in Europe, with an authentic medieval architecture. In Eastern Europe, Sighişoara is one of the few fortified towns which are still inhabited. The town is made up of two parts. The medieval stronghold was built on top of a hill and is known as the “Citadel” (Cetate).The lower town lies in the valley of Târnava Mare river.
The houses inside Sighişoara Citadel show the main features of a craftsmen’s town. However, there are some houses which belonged to the former patriciate, like the Venetian House and the House with Antlers.
In 2001-2003 the construction of a Dracula theme park in the ‘Breite’ nature preserve near Sighişoara was considered but ultimately rejected, due to the strong opposition of local civil society groups and national and international media as well as politically influential persons, as the theme park would have detracted from the medieval style of the city and would have destroyed the nature preserve.
|If you would like to take part at the Sighisoara medieval festival, the Lodge is the perfect base from which to explore this unique event. Contact us today with your travel dates.