The mention of Sighisoara immediately invokes sensations of horror. It is, after all, the hometown of Count Dracula, the notorious impaler of the 18th century who was immortalized in Bram Stoker’s impressive saga of terror. You can visit his castle during your visit to this medieval German town. However, it is not the only attraction of the site. Sighisoara, or Castrum Sex in Latin, is the best-preserved medieval town in the whole of Europe. Visiting Sighisoara is like taking a walk in the murky lanes of medieval Europe. It is a favorite of all travelers with a love of history and a fascination for the past.
History of Sighisoara
The history of Sighisoara goes back to ancient times. The city was named Castrum Sex (or Six Forts) by the Roman settlers. The construction was developed, extended and strengthened in the 15th century. By that time, the city was already a major economic center largely because of the presence of skilled craftsmen. The growing prosperity of the city led to the development of a well-fortified citadel with as many as fourteen towers in the 14th and 15th centuries. It was already one of the richest Saxon cities in the Transylvania region. A walk through the city’s by-lanes clearly betrays the rich past of this city.
Major Attractions of Sighisoara
The medieval constructions of Sighisoara are better maintained than most other centers in Europe. There are old buildings, historic mansions, and commercial centers at every turn of the road. The major attractions are as follows:
Sighisoara’s Citadel: This is the most popular attraction of Sighisoara. Built to protect the growing riches of the city from Turkish invaders by the Saxon and the Magyar guilds who lived and worked in the city, the citadel is laid out in two to four levels. The towers were built to reserve reinforcements as well as necessary arms and ammunition to protect them. Although the entire construct does not continue to exist in its entirety, a substantial part of it remains that gives great insight to its once great heritage and power.
The Clock Tower: This the main point of the city’s attraction. The tower was built in the 14th century and further developed in the 16th century. It is the symbol of the city’s judicial autonomy and is also known as the Council Tower. It is a living repository of many significant events of the city’s history. The Church of the Dominican Monastery, a building dating back to the 13th century is located close to this structure. The church itself is a great example of the late Gothic style of architecture. Towards the north of the Clock Tower stands the impressive Church on the Hill.
Major Towers in Sighisoara: Sighisoara is home to a large number of impressive towers, all of them dating to the medieval and the early modern period. Some of the most popular towers of Sighisoara are the Citadel Towers, the Ropemaker’s Tower, the Tailor’s Tower, The Cobbler’s Tower and the Lower Tower.
Churches and Historic Buildings of Sighisoara: Like most major medieval cities of Europe, Sighisoara is home to a large number of magnificent churches and cathedrals. The architectural styles of the churches in Sighisoara display not only characteristic gothic styles but Byzantine and Romanesque styles as well. The Leper’s Church, the Orthodox Cathedral, and the eclectically built St. Joseph’s Church are the major religious houses of the city.
Museums of Sighisoara: It is imperative that a historic town like Sighisoara will have a wealth of museums. The History Museum presents a great collection that clearly tracks the development of various crafts in this German city. The Torture Room displays the dark underbelly of medieval European civilization. You get a glimpse of some of the most innovative torture instruments and methods in this small but very interesting museum. Equally curious and historically significant is the Weapon’s Collection.
Where to Stay in Sighisoara
Sighisoara, thanks to its unique charm and great history, attracts a large number of tourists every year. Some of the most popular hotels in Sighisoara are Hotel Casa Wagner, Hotel Sighisoara, Stag House, Hotel Steaua, and Hotel Korona. Hotel Rex is also extremely popular among tourists.
Eating Out in Sighisoara
Sighisoara has a number of excellent theme restaurants. The hotels try to recreate the typically quaint atmosphere of the city, and the food is simply great. Vlad Dracula House is one of the most popular restaurants among tourists. Pizzeria Perla provides you with pizzas cooked in the true traditional style on a wood fire. For authentic Romanian food, visit Hotel Sighisoara. Pizzeria JO and Rustic are also wonderful places to eat out.