©Sunset over the medieval city of Sighișoara, Romania (copyright: creative commons)
Sighisoara is located in the heart of the historic region of Transylvania.
Sighisoara has a population of over 26.000 inhabitants, the majority of them being Romanians 75%, followed by the Hungarians and Germans
History of the settlement
Built in the 12th century by the Saxons, the town has been later fortified with twelve towers and five bastions. Nine towers and two bastions still flank the citadel, dominating the city with their imposing figure.
History and legend
The historic town of Sighisoara is the birthplace of Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler), also known as Vlad Dracula, who inspired Bram Stocker to create the fictional character of Count Dracula. The Citadel Square of Sighisoara is, therefore, the best place to start a tour of the historic land of Dracula.
The Clock Tower
One of the most interesting landmarks of Sighisoara is the Clock Tower. Built in 1280, to protect the main entrance in the citadel and also to house the Town Council, the edifice features four smaller towers that symbolize the Peace, the Justice, the Law and the Executioner. Today, the Clock Tower houses the History Museum, where you can see, among others, an impressive collection of medical instruments, medieval furniture, and documents. A gruesome attraction is the torture chamber, located on the first floor of the tower, where confessions were extracted from prisoners by force centuries ago.
Vlad Dracul’s House
In the vicinity of the Clock Tower is Vlad Dracul’s house, where Vlad Tepes was born and lived together with his father, until 1435, when they moved to Targoviste. On the first floor of the house, which now functions as a museum, visitors can admire the extensive Weapons Collection, consisting of a large number of swords, shields, armor, muskets, and other pieces of weaponry representative for medieval Transylvania.
The Church of the Dominican Monastery
Home to a collection of carpets from the 16th and 17th centuries, as well as other historic artifacts, the church is another historical edifice worth visiting in Sighisoara. Dating back from 1298, the church has been restored several times, the last major one happening in 1928.
The Church on the Hill
Dating from the 17th century, the Church on the Hill is the highest point of the city. A historic German cemetery is situated nearby the church’s entrance facing the Scholar’s Stairs, which is the sloped street that connects the Church on the Hill to the Citadel.
Only 16 kilometers away from Sighisoara in the Prod village you can find a horse riding center that offers lessons and other activities.
Rent a bike for only 10 euros/day, for the opportunity to spend a day in nature and explore the outstanding surroundings of Sighisoara.
Families can enjoy a nice picnic nearby Vila Franca, on a hill that will offer you a panoramic view over Sighisoara and the surroundings.
One of the best times to visit Sighisoara is the end of July, when the town is teaming with people participating to the Medieval Festival. The old streets of the citadel fill with costume parades, troubadours, knights and princesses, and reenactments of medieval ceremonies.
Nearby medieval towns
Those eager to learn more about the history of these places, can take a daytrip to other medieval towns located relatively close to Sighisoara, such as Brasov, Sibiu and Medias.
Tourists can also visit the UNESCO World Site fortified churches at Viscri and Biertan.
For the fans of the legendary Dracula, the Bran Castle, an imposing mountain fortress owned by Vlad Tepes, is just two hours of driving from Sighisoara.
How to get there:
Sighisoara is located nearby Sibiu and Targu Mures, from where you can travel by bus, car, or train. Both cities have international airports.