Sighişoara is a medieval town located inside the Carpathian arch, in the historical region Transylvania. Sighişoara’s charm is given by its narrow cobblestone streets, the historic buildings, the defence walls and towers of the old citadel and the medieval festivals. Discover Sighişoara, one of the most beautiful fortified towns, included on the UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
History and Culture
The Clock Tower (Turnul cu ceas), one of the symbols of Sighişoara, guards the main entrance in the citadel. It is the only tower which did not belong to the craft guilds and hosted, in the course of time, the town council, the courthouse, and later the prison and an arms dump. Inside the tower you can visit the History Museum, the Torture Chamber in the building’s underground and a small museum of medieval weapons.
Stroll through the Citadel Square (Piaţa Cetăţii), the civic and commercial centre of the community, the spot where the trials and public executions used to take place in the past. Spend your afternoon here, in the lively atmosphere of the open air cafes.
Admire the sumptuous houses which border the Citadel Square (Piaţa Cetăţii) and the Museum Square (Piaţa Muzeului) – the Venetian House (Casa Veneţiană) with its Venetian gothic windows, the Stag House (Casa cu Cerb), which belonged to one of the mayors of Sighişoara, Duldner House (Casa Duldner) or Vlad Dracul House (Casa Vlad Dracul). Find out Vlad Dracul House’s history, the place where Vlad Ţepeş, also known as Count Dracula, was born in 1431. You can have lunch in this house, recently transformed in a medieval restaurant.
The Church on the Hill (Biserica de pe deal) and the Church of the Dominican Monastery (Biserica Mănăstirii Dominicane) are the most important religious monuments in Sighişoara. Attend the organ recitals, held every Thursday at the Church of the Dominican Monastery and admire the murals of the Church on the Hill.
If you want to see a curiosity of Sighişoara, walk to the end of the School Street (Strada Şcolii) to see the Scholars’ Stair (Scara Şcolarilor). This staircase, consisting of 175 steps, was built in 1642 in order to ease pupils’ access to the school on the Citadel Hill’s upper plateau.
You could also visit the nine well-preserved defence towers. Each of them tells the story of the craft guild it hosted.
Have dinner in the Lower Town, outside the medieval citadel. In Hermann Oberth Square (Piaţa Hermann Oberth) you can find cafes, pubs and restaurants full of tourists.
Participate in the Medieval Art Festival (Festivalul Artei Medievale), held in the last weekend of July, which transforms Sighişoara in an outdoor stage. You will be surprised by the medieval atmosphere, by the vintage costumes’ parade, but also by the cultural manifestations organized on this occasion.
Sighişoara’s surroundings – Top 3 Attractions
- The Saxon fortified church and citadel in Saschiz offers a complex image of the Transylvanian architecture. If you travel on the national road between Sighişoara and Braşov, stop at Saschiz, located 21km of Sighişoara. The church was built in the 15th century in Gothic style. On the hill which borders the village, you can also find one of the few preserved Saxon citadels.
- Bethlen Castle in Criş is one of the most beautiful medieval castles in Romania. You can reach it on the national road which links Sighişoara and Mediaş, 9km from Sighişoara. When it was built, the castle included modern baths, a kitchen, a wine cellar, a chapel and even a sauna. The castle is now being renovated in order to be transformed in a museum and a hotel.
- After the halt at Bethlen Castle in Criş, continue for 6km more, until you reach Mălâncrav. Discover the Mălâncrav Church, considered to be Transylvania’s “Sistine Chapel”. Admire the outstanding murals inside the church, the frescoes that describe scenes of the Old and New Testament being realized around 1350.