Day 9 – Sighisoara

We’ll take our indubitably organic breakfast in Viscri and then we leave towards Sighisoara, another site protected by UNESCO since 1999. From their website : “Founded by German craftsmen and merchants known as the Saxons of Transylvania, Sighişoara is a fine example of a small, fortified medieval town which played an important strategic and commercial role on the fringes of central Europe for several centuries.”

Sighisoara is the oldest medieval citadel from Eastern Europe which is still functional and inhabited today.

It’s about an hour away from Viscri. As we enter the city, it looks like any other Romanian city – only that, on the top of the hill, we can notice the towers of the old citadel.

 

We are driving towards the citadel and we will be able to drive up to the hotel’s entrance, but then the bus will have to exit and park on the parking space at the bottom of the hill. Only the residents are allowed to park inside – since that’s where their homes are – in order to protect the buildings and the streets from too much traffic vibration.

 

If you forget something in the couch, you’ll have to walk down and up again on the small hill at the entrance of the citadel.

 

We will lodge at Casa Wagner (“sister” with the place we stayed at in Brasov, few days ago). The hotel faces the central square (just as the one in Brasov…)

 

The Wagner family was very rich and owned a large estate. This hotel (the same as the one in Brasov) was initially designed to be their residence. The buildings date since 1700’s; you’ll get an authentic feeling of the 18th century. Each room is different and furnished in a nice, old traditional style.

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However, it’s worth to mention that it has Free Wi-Fi and that the bathrooms are equipped according to the Western standards.

The personnel is warm and friendly, adding to the hospitality of the place.

After we accommodate in our rooms and we rest a little bit, we may start to walk around the citadel. We will hire a tour-guide to show us around and – boy! – there are a lot of interesting things to see…

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Most of the building have been renovated, after a big fire that burned down the city in 1676.

 

As a curiosity, there is only one building which still has wooden shingles.

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On a particular building, you will find this inscription: “In this house resided Vlad Dracul” (i.e., Vlad the Impaler, or Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia). It seems that this is the place where Vlad was born…

 

The name of the vampire “Count Dracula” in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula was inspired by Vlad’s reputation of his practice of impaling his enemies.

 

Part of the attractions of the citadel is the School on the Hill. Those who will want to climb the 176 steps through The Tunnel of the Pupils, to the School on the Top of the Hill, will be able to visit one of the oldest schools in Transylvania! Just nearby there is The Church on the Top of the Hill: built in 1345, it’s the forth Gothic church in Transylvania, by size…

 

 

 

We’ll have lunch at the hotel’s restaurant. The dishes they offer are fabulous – the “trick” is to abstain from eating more than necessary… but, then again, why would we? (just don’t tell your doctor! ) 🙂

 

The afternoon is at your leisure. You may decide to visit the new part of the city (the “lower city”, as the locals call it).

 

Or you might decide to stick with the citadel, since you had enough walking today. You may want to choose a nice patio and enjoy a drink under a nice and peaceful atmosphere.

 

Tonight we have a special dinner, in a special place – the wine cellar of the Wagner family. We’ll have a jamboree, as Romanians have! Besides the traditional dishes, we’ll savor specific Romanian wines and liquors, while fiddlers will entertain us with old gaiety songs…

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Tomorrow it’s another early rising day. We are passing the tallest mountains in Romania, and we want to have time to admire the cliffs.

 

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