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Where Dracula was born…

26 Aug
Sighisoara1

The Clock Tower is the main entry gate into the Sighisoara citadel, Romania

For many who are immersed in the Dracula story, Sighisoara should be a must in following the steps of the Wallachian king because in this medieval town in 1431 the “Impaler” was born in a house right in the middle of the citadel. His father Vlad the Devil, Vlad Draco, was the king of Wallachia and used to mint coins with his name in town that at times was full tradesmen and artisans. One of the oldest Saxon settlements in Transylvania, Sighisoara or Schassburg, one of the seven towns of Siebenburgen, was first mentioned in documents at the end of the 12th century. It’s a remarkable medieval town, with a lower town that was populated for centuries by merchants and artisans who settled here from all over medieval Europe. From there, climbing steps or roads you reach the citadel, or the upper town, completely surrounded by 14 fortified walls with defense tower, each one raised by a guild. At its peak the town hosted 15 guilds and 20 artisan branches.The towers are named by the guild’s trade: the Carpenters’ Tower, goldsmith, butchers, weavers, shoemakers, locksmith, barrel makers, barbers, iron-smith, etc. Sighisoara is one of the very few European medieval towns whose citadel is inhabited. People go to and fro to their regular business, not necessarily tourist related, and they may walk down in town to work or travel to other nearby towns and return in the night under the fortified walls of the less menacing citadel that can be seen from far away.
On top of the citadel, on a hill in its middle, you climb a covered staircase built in the 18th century to reach the Evangelical church from the hill where frescos were uncovered in a recent restoration. Most of the Saxons evangelical churches in the region had the original paintings covered except the one in Malancrav where the Gothic murals survived. The church is surrounded by the cemetery surrounded also by other walls that overlook the valley. The highlight of the citadel is the Clock Tower where puppets are supposed to dance and move every hours, a thing that does not happen anymore except for few of them. Right down in the Clock Tower square everybody congregates around Dracula birth place who represents for the country a symbol slandered in medieval times by what we would call nowadays “a biased press”. Vlad was impaling in the public square the noblemen and officials that were cheating and stealing the administration and the population, a thing that many Romanians would love to see enacted in real life for most of the indicted MPs that are still occupying the Parliament benches in spite of the injunction, protected like a Mafia by their own parties.

Sighisoara2

A street in Sighisoara lower town coming from the Goldsmith Square, Romania

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Posted by on August 26, 2016 in Blog, Romania

 

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