Sighisoara, Romania
400AD-1400AD-Middle Ages Europe Romania

Full travel guide to Sighisoara

on
July 20, 2020

This post is also available in: Română

TypeCity, Citadel
First documented1280
Getting thereCar, Bus, Train
The nearest airport: Targu Mures Transilvania AirportTGM (60 km)
LocationSighisoara, Targu Mures, Romania
What to see

Sighisoara Citadel is still inhabited, the citadel is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You can easily explore Sighisoara Citadel on foot in one afternoon.

Sighisoara, Romania
Photo: Jacek Czerwieniec / Pixabay

Sighisoara is the birthplace of Vlad Tepes (also known as Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Dracul or Vlad Dracula)

Sighisoara Citadel has colorful buildings, nine towers, and stone streets. The perfect setting for a fairytale walk.

Some historians say that in the past there were 16 towers, of which 15 were defense towers of the fortress. Other sources say there were only 14 towers.

The towers that no longer exist are: The Masons’ and Carpenters’ Tower, The Coopers’ Tower, The Weavers’ Tower, The Jewelers’ or Goldsmiths’ Tower, The Locksmiths’ Tower and The Fishermen’s Tower (it was not part of the fortress, being located in the north, on Tarnava, near the mill)

Clock Tower (Turnul cu Ceas)

Clock Tower (Turnul cu Ceas) – the landmark of the city is a 64 m-high tower built in the 13th century. Today it is a museum of history.

  • 15 May – 15 September
  • Tuesday – Friday: 9:00 AM – 6:30 PM
  • Saturday – Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM
  • 16 September – 14 May
  • Tuesday – Friday: 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
  • Saturday – Sunday: 10:00 AM – 3:30 PM
  • Closed Monday
  • The tower is the main tourist attraction of the medieval fortress
  • The balcony, located at a height of 30 meters, offers a beautiful panorama of the city.
  • On the wooden railing, you can discover the distances from Sighisoara to the biggest cities in the world. If you want to go to Paris, you can find out exactly how many kilometers you have to travel and in which direction you have to go.
  • Originally built to protect the fortress, the Clock Tower was the town hall, the treasury, and after 1556 it also hosted the court. The current Torture Chamber, which can be visited, was in the past the city’s prison.
  • The figurines from the Clock Tower represent the days of the week and are inspired by Greek or Roman mythology:
    • Monday (goddess Diana)
    • Tuesday (Mars)
    • Wednesday (Mercury)
    • Thursday (Jupiter)
    • Friday (Venus)
    • Saturday (Saturn)
    • Sunday (Sun Day).
    • The tower has two Angels: the “Angel of the Day” and the “Angel of the Night” which changes in the morning and evening at 6 o’clock.
sighisoara-clock tower
Photo: falco / pixabay

The Tinsmiths’ Tower (Turnul Cositorarilor)

  • Tinsmith’s Tower has the most expressive architecture: 25 meters high, the tower starts with a square base (part of the old tower), right after the brick trunk stands in pentagonal shape and above suddenly widens and becomes octagonal.
  • The Tower facades still retrains traces of bullets during the siege of Hungarians from 1704 to 1706.

The Butchers’ Tower (Turnul Măcelarilor)

  • The Butcher’s Tower was built in the late 15th century

The Bootmakers’ Tower (Turnul Cizmarilor)

  • The Bootmakers’ Tower is located in the north-east of the Citadel in Sighişoara
  • It was rebuilt from scratch in 1650.
Bootmakers' Tower-Sighisoara
Photo: Țetcu Mircea Rareș – Wiki

The Tailors’ Tower (Turnul Croitorilor)

  • It is located opposite to the Clock Tower and it guards the second gateway into the Citadel of Sighişoara.
Tailors'-tower-Sighisoara
Photo: Țetcu Mircea Rareș – Wiki

The Furriers’ Tower (Turnul Cojocarilor)

  • The tower has a modest size, but is very well proportioned.

The Ironsmiths’ Tower (Turnul Fierarilor)

  • The Ironsmiths’ Tower is located behind the Monastery Church
  • Its main role was to protect the church in case of a siege.

The Ropemakers’ Tower (Turnul Frânghierilor)

  • It is the only inhabited tower among the nine left.
  • Its importance lies primarily in the fact that in the basement you can find traces of plugged loopholes which prove how high the ancient walls were.
  • The Ropemakers’ Tower is one of the oldest buildings in Sighisoara.

The Tanners’ Tower (Turnul Tăbăcarilor)

  • This tower was supposed to guard and protect the courtyard of the Clock Tower.

The Church on the Hill 

  • Open: Monday – Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM
  • The Church on the Hill is certainly the most valuable ecclesiastical architectural monument of Sighisoara.
  • It is one of the representative buildings of the Gothic style in Romania
  • Inside the Church on the Hill, you can find the only ancient crypt in Transylvania. 
  • The current church was built on a Roman Fortress existing here before 1200.
  • The church was built in several stages until it reaches the shape we can see today.
  • The church is now a museum of Saxon art and a Romanian-Saxon cultural center.
  • The bell tower is 24 m high
  • The tower is leaning tower to the south and the spire is bent.
  • Paintings in the church: “Christ’s Passion”, „St. George fighting the dragon”, „Archangel Michael weighing a soul”, „The evangelist Matthew”, „Veil of Veronica”, „Mother of Jesus Christ”, „The Judgement”.
The_Church_on_the_Hill-Sighisoara
Photo: Andrea Dioporco – Wiki

The Scholars’ Stairs

  • Is located at the end of School Street
  • Is connecting the Citadel with the Church on the Hill
  • It was built in 1642, and its purpose was to protect schoolchildren during wintertime.
Indoor wooden staircase- the Scholar's Stairs_Sighisoara
Photo: Myrabella – Wiki

Vlad Dracul’s House / Dracula’s House (Casa Dracula)

  • The Vlad Dracul House is located in the Citadel Square, close to the Clock Tower.
  • Today, the Vlad Dracul House, hosts a medieval-style restaurant.
  • According to modern legend, Vlad was born in Sighișoara in the Transylvanian Voivodeship, being the son of Vlad Dracul and a Transylvanian noblewoman. Vlad’s father was a member of The Order of the Dragon. Vlad was a member of the same order and took the name Dracul.
Sighisoara_Vlad_Tepes_born_house
Photo: Beata Jankowska – Wiki
History

Located in the historic region of Transylvania, Sighișoara is a popular tourist destination for its well-preserved walled old town, which is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

In the local museum, there are material vestiges dating from the 18th century BC, which attest to the presence of a population that lived in huts and made clay vessels decorated with geometric figures similar to those made by the creators of the Cucuteni culture.

At the beginning of the 5th century BC, the Dacians dominated the entire region. Around today’s Sighisoara was the Dacian fortress of Sandava.

In the twelfth century there is a massive colonization of Germans brought from the Rhine. Then they built fortresses with massive towers and walls that could withstand the attacks. This is how the fortress of Sighisoara was built.

Sighisoara Fortress “the most beautiful and best-preserved city-fortress in Transylvania” has received over time names such as “Pearl of Transylvania”, “Transylvanian Nuremberg“. Sighisoara is still today a real museum city, offering the modern visitor the chance to make a return in time, in the medieval atmosphere of a few hundred years ago.

The wall of the fortress was built in three stages: in the XIV-XV centuries it had 3-4 m and battlements that allowed shooting with the bow and crossbow; in the 16th century the wall is raised by another 2 m and openings for firearms are made: firing holes, throwing holes; after 1630 and especially after the fire of 1676, the wall reaches a height of 8-10 m.

Where to stay

Double Tree by Hilton Cavaler 4*

Located 200 m from the Sighișoara Citadel DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel – Cavaler offers free access to a spa featuring a sauna, a steam bath, and an indoor pool.

Mercure Sighisoara Binderbubi Hotel & Spa 4*

Located 6 minutes’ walk from the Piata Cetatii Medievale in Sighisoara’s center, the Mercure Sighisoara Binderbubi Hotel & Spa has a Tyrolean-inspired décor. It offers free internet access and free parking.

Hotel Korona 4*

Offering an on-site restaurant, Hotel Korona is located at the foot of the Medieval Citadel of Sighisoara, a 5-minute walk from the commercial and historic center.

Fronius Boutique Residence 5*

Fronius Boutique Residence offers accommodations in an atmospheric renovated building, right in the Sighişoara Medieval Citadel.

Budget accommodation:

Am Goldberg – Guest House

Located 100 m from the Sighisoara citadel and 50 m from the town center, the Am Goldberg guest house offers free WiFi, a terrace, and horseback riding and hiking tours for surcharge.

Hotel Villa Franca

Located in Sighişoara’s center, Hotel Villa Franca is just 2 minutes’ walk from the historic Sighişoara Citadel.

Vik. Apartment

Located in Sighişoara in the Mureş region, Vik. Apartment has a garden. This apartment has free private parking, a shared lounge, and free WiFi.

Where to eat

Joseph T. Restaurant & Wine Bar

  • Romanian Cuisine, European Cuisine

Restaurant Michelangelo

  • Italian Cuisine

La Perla

  • Bar, Pizza

Casa Georgius Krauss

  • European Cuisine

Cafe International & Family Centre

  • Cafenea, Cofetarie

Medieval Cafe Restaurant

  • European Cuisine

Restaurant Casa Vlad Dracul

  • Romanian Cuisine, European Cuisine

Other Fortresses of Romania:

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