Sighisoara
 
Sighisoara is a city in central Romania in the historic Transylvania region. It was founded by the Saxon settlers who built a citadel here called Schessburg. Sighisoara is considered one of the most beautiful and best preserved medieval cities in Europe. Its historic center is a completely unique 16th century pearl and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sighisoara's Old Town is famous for its towers, charming cobbled streets, ancient burgher houses and ornate churches. The historic center has a wonderful medieval atmosphere that is not inferior to the charm of old Prague and Vienna. Sighisoara is also considered the birthplace of the legendary ruler of Wallachia Prince Vlad Tepes who is a prototype of Count Dracula.

Sighisoara is located in the heart of Romania in Mures County 170 km northwest of Bucharest . The city is located on a hill above the river Tirnava Mare. It has a temperate continental climate with warm summers and rather cold winters.
History
The origin of Sighisoara dates back to Roman times. In the 1st century AD. Here a settlement of the Dacians was  called Sandava. The Romans renamed the settlement to Castrum Stenarum. Sighisoara was founded in the 12th century by German settlers (Transylvanian Saxons). In 1280 the Saxon settlement was granted city status.

German settlers built a powerful fortress and several churches. In the 14th century Schlesburg was given the status of a free city. In the 16th century Sighisoara became one of the major trade and craft centers of Southeastern Europe.
Notable sights
The most important attraction of Sighisoara is the citadel which is considered to be the last inhabited medieval fortress in Europe and included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This building was started in the 12th century. In the 14th-15th centuries Sighisoara became an important craft center. This contributed to the prosperity of the city and provided funding for the construction of powerful fortifications.

Most of the citadel's towers and bastions were built between the 14th and 16th centuries. Saxon Craft Guilds built towers around the walls of a medieval fortress to protect the city from Turkish raids. Of the original fourteen towers and five artillery bastions, nine towers and two bastions have stood the test of time. Saved towers: Turnul Fierarilor Tower, Butchers Tower (Turnul Macelarilor), Shellers Tower (Turnul Cizmarilor), Turnul Cojocarilor Tower, Turnul Franghierilor Tower, Turnul Croilorilors Tower Turnul Tabacarilor, the tulip tower (Turnul Cositorilor) and the famous Turnul cu ceas tower.

The heart of the citadel is the small square (Piata Cetatii), which was the center of urban life. In the Middle Ages, street markets, craft fairs, public executions, and witch trials were held here.

The clock tower is the symbol of Sighisoara. It was built in the 14th century and expanded in the 16th century. Four small corner towers at the top symbolized the judicial autonomy of the city council which could execute and caress. After the fire in 1676 when the powder was blown up in the tailors' tower, the Austrian masters rebuilt the baroque clock tower. Clocks were added in the 17th century. From the top of the tower there is a beautiful landscape over the red tiled roofs of the Old Town the pristine 16th-century Saxon houses and narrow paved streets.

The Motuzynyk Tower is one of the oldest Sighisoara structures dating from the 13th century.

The tailors' tower is a significant 14th century medieval structure built by the richest Sighisoara artisan guild. Initially the tower was as tall as the clock. Its upper part was destroyed during the explosion of gunpowder in 1676.

The shoemakers' tower located in the northeast part of the city, was first mentioned in documents dating from the mid-16th century. It bears the influence of early Baroque architecture.

The Dominican Church is a medieval religious building that was part of a 13th-century Dominican monastery that was destroyed in the late 19th century. A town hall was built on the site of the monastery. The church has healed. It is a late-gothic two-nave building.

The Church on the Hill is one of the most representative Gothic-style buildings in Transylvania, just north of the clock tower. This building was first mentioned in 1345. The current building was built on the site of an older Romanesque basilica. The church is famous for its frescoes and the Gothic altar.

Scientists' stairs are an interesting example of medieval architecture. It is a covered staircase built in 1642 which connected the square of the citadel with the Church on the hill.

Dracula's House is a medieval ocher-colored building in which, in 1431 Prince Vlad Tepes the future ruler of Wallachia was born and lived until 1435 and received the Dragon Order and his nickname Dracula for his actions.

A deer house built in the 17th century in the style of the Transylvanian Renaissance. Known for the deer antlers mounted on one of the corners of its facade.

The Venetian House is a historic 16th-century building in the Venetian Gothic style that is rare for these places.

Leper Church is a small 15th-century Gothic church located in the Lower Town on the bank of the Tirnava River.
How to visit
The nearest  airport is Transilvania. The distance  from  the airport to  Sighisoara - 61  km

To get by car from Bucharest to Sighisoara it is best to use companion search service. Everything can be negotiated on the spot with the driver. The cost will be from 45 to 60 lei (10-13,5 euros). Travel time is 5-6 hours.
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