The Council Tower is one of the most important monuments in Sibiu, once the gateway to the city. Built between 1224 and 1241, it was initially used as the entrance gate in the second fortified enclosure of the town. In its immediate vicinity, there was the building housing the Town Hall, first mentioned in 1324.
The tower was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt over the years. From the initial construction, the actual tower preserves only a small part. The tower’s superior floors collapsed in 1585 and restoration works lasted until 1588, as it is stated on a stone plate situated above the passage arcade. The tower was restored several times in the 18th century. At that time, the roof was pyramidal, having four small towers at the corners. It also suffered some changes in 1826, when the last floor was added and the roof was rebuilt in the actual bulb shape. After its complete restoration in 1962, it housed a section of medieval objects of Brukenthal Museum until 1998.
Over the years, the tower was used as gate tower, for grain storage, as fire tower, jail and even, for some time, as a natural sciences museum (in the 18th century). At the moment, the tower is used as exhibition space and as a belvedere point, as from its superior floor visitors can enjoy a beautiful view of Sibiu and the cliffs of Făgăraș Mountains. Climb the 111 stairs of the Council Tower and you will enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of the city.
The seven storey tower shows marks of a military architecture, decorated with Renaissance elements. It has seven floors, each one of a smaller surface than the one below. The edifice is supported by high counterforts, the ones on the southern side showing two embossed lions. It is thought that they belonged to the tower’s original structure, but they actually seem to have been sculpted during the Renaissance (the last third of the 16th century). Under the Tower there is a passage arcade which link the Big Square with the Small Square.
How to get there:
The Council Tower is located in Sibiu city centre, in the Small Square.
By bus: From Sibiu train station take buses #13, #17 or #22 to the city centre.