The Birthplace of Dracula.
We decided to visit Sighisoara as a day trip from Brasov. It was quite a long trip for a day 3 hours to get there by accelerat style train and just over 2 hours back. We choose this style of train due to convenient departure times; leaving after 9am and returning after 7pm. We had ample time to see Sighisora and have a meal there, because the old citadel of Sighisoara is small and all the sights are close together. We did not realise that we would arrive in Sighisoara during its festival. Due to the festival we had to pay 10 Ron to enter the old part of the city, but when we got in, there was lots of festival related activity: people wandering around in medieval costumes, battles, music, food cooked in large cauldrons suspended over open fires etc. It was interesting but crowded. Sighiosara is a fortified Saxon town. Its old town is located on a hilltop and is still partially surrounded by towers, gates and walls. Its most famous building is its lovely old clock tower. Its claim to fame is that it was the birth place of Vlad Tepes; Vlad the Impaler on whom the Dracula legend is based.
The most famous building in Sighisoara is its beautiful old clock tower which dominates the town. You can climb up inside it for the view (though we did not do this). The tower itself dates from the 14th century; the clock was added in 1604. Figures emerge from the clock at midnight each night apparently.
Vlad Tepes' Birthplace -Casa Dracula.
In Romania Vlad Tepes or Vlad the Impaler is a national hero who helped stem the invasion of the Turks as they expanded the Ottoman Empire. Bram Stoker is believed to have based his character Dracula on Vlad Tepes mixing vampire legend and Vlad Tepes reputation for brutality. Vlad's father was given the title Dracul meaning dragon or devil. Dracula means son of the dragon or devil. Vlad Tepes was born in Sighisoara around 1431. The building is now a restaurant.
Casa cu Cerb or house with a stag.
The house with the stag is on a corner overlooking Citadel Square. It dates from the sixteenth century and is now used as a pension and restaurant. The houses name comes from the picture of a stag on its corner.
Walls, gates and towers.
Sighisoara was originally a Saxon town known as Castrum Sex Fort Six. In the fourteenth century the town was controlled by craft guilds. Each guild was required to build a defensive tower for the town and help defend the town during war time. Remaining towers include: Shoemakers' Tower, Tailors' Tower, Furriers' Tower, Butchers' Tower (now home to the custodian of the Saxon cemetery) and Tinsmiths' Tower. It is quite pleasant to stroll from one tower to the next.
The Church on the Hill.
You can climb up to this church by roadway or by climbing the covered Scholars' Stairs a steep stairway of around 175 steps dating from 1642 and so called because it leads to the old Sighisoara school. The church on the hill is open daily from 10am to 5pm. It costs 2RON to go in. The church is a beautiful cool and peaceful place with patches of wall paintings and stairs leading down to a dingy crypt. It was built between 1345 and 1525. Opposite the church is the green and peaceful Saxon cemetery open daily from 9am to 4pm; free entry. The custodian of the cemetery lives in an odd little house located in the Butchers' Tower near the church.
Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral.
When you walk from the railway station to the old town you will pass a beautiful orthodox church located on the river. The church dates from 1937. We did not go inside. It is quite impressive from the outside.