Sighisoara had been on my visit list for a while but after a few missed opportunities to visit the world heritage site, the chance arrived. I was travelling across Transylvania from Brasov to Cluj by train to catch a flight home to the UK. Breaking up the train journey with a stop in Sighisoara seemed a great plan leaving me 3 hours away from Cluj to catch the plane.
Sighisoara has a small-town railway station with a cafe serving beer, the usual steam train display and plenty of taxis. Due to travelling heavy, we got a taxi direct across the river towards our home for the night.
Our apparent was in a central location, part of a complex just of the main street. It had a big comfy bed and a functional bathroom and all for less than £20.
There were loads of options for places to stay in the town including, self-catering rooms, hotels as well as Airbnb options. More local accommodation.
Sighisoara is a beautiful town and thoroughly enjoyed my visit, the main focus of the trip was to visit the historic citadel. The river is visible from the town walls as is the imposing Holy Trinity Church
What Wikipedia Says
Sighișoara is a city on the Târnava Mare River in Mureș County, Romania. Located in the historic region of Transylvania, Sighișoara has a population of 28,102 according to the 2011 census. It is a popular tourist destination for its well-preserved walled old town, which is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sighi%C8%99oara
Sighisoara Historic Centre
The citadel of Sighisoara is located on a hill and can be seen from most places in the city, it overlooks the Târnava Mare and the nearby Holy Trinity church. The citadel has many historical buildings to see, I got myself a tourist map to explore the area and was useful. The citadel includes.
Piat Cetaltti – The Citadel Square
Historians have concluded the first houses in the Schespurch settlement were built around this small square. It is now home to some bars to sit and enjoy a drink, Ursus was my tipple this time.
The Clock Tower
In every fortification, there is one building that dominates the others: the master-tower. The Clock Tower of Sighișoara is the main entry point to the citadel, opposite guarded by Taylor’s Tower.
The Mayors House or Casa Primarului
Before world war 2 this building was used by the town’s mayor, now it is a historical documents archive. This building is bright yellow in colour with two arches that you can walkthrough.
Tinsmiths Tower or Turnul Cositorarilor.
The Tinsmiths Tower is one of the 9 towers, this one is 25 metres tall and is very nice to look at architecturally. A tinsmith is a person who builds or repairs things made of tin or other light metals.
Turnul Fierarilor – Ironsmiths Tower
A massive flanking tower that was built in 1631 to protect the monastery church in case there was a siege. The Ironsmith AKA a Blacksmith is involved in the manufacture of items from Iron. The tower used to contain a vast amount of defensive weaponry including lances, muskets, pistols and arquebuses. Later in its history, the building was used as a fire station. More info…
Biserica Manastirii – Monastery Church
Monastery church was built in 1289, it is made up of one hall shaped church and an adjacent Dominican monastery. Currently when we visited this was undergoing restoration work and surrounded with scaffolding.
Primaria – The Town Hall
The town hall building was built in around 1885 in a neo-renaissance style. Underneath this building is a bar/nightclub.
Biserica Romano Catolica – Roman Catholic Church
This church was built in 1894 on the top of ruins of a former Franciscan monastery. The church is quite plain and minimalist and located at the east end of the citadel.
Turnul Cizmarilor The Bootmakers’ Tower
A former defence tower with a history dating back to 1521, currently this is home to a newspaper and a radio station. The architecture of the Bootmakers tower was influenced by a baroque style, the plan of the building is a pentagon. This tower has a diameter of 10m and the roof has 2 small observation towers. The current structure was built in 1681 after being destroyed by fire igniting vast amounts of gunpowder stored in it at the time. The tower has exterior steps to climb, a great vantage point to photograph other parts of the citadel.
Turnul Croitorilor – The Tailors Tower
The tailor’s tower guards the back entrance of the citadel, this tower was destroyed in the fire of 1676 and rebuilt in its current design. This is considered to be one of the most impressive towers of the fortress. The 2 passages underneath make this stand out, the gates were open for entry but drop vertically when used to keep people out. More info…
Turnul Cojocarilor or Furriers Tower
Grouped together with the Butchers tower, the Torle Gate and a house underneath are typical of the medieval architecture of the city. The tower is dated from the early 14th century and was rebuilt before the great fire.
Holy Trinity Church
The Holy Trinity Church or Biserica Sfânta Treime din Sighişoara is a Romanian Orthodox Church located on the northern bank of the Târnava Mare River. The Church was designed and built in a Neo-Byzantine style. It was built in 1934-37, was designed by the architect Dumitru Petrescu Gopeş and it’s interiors paintings were created by the painter Anastasie Demian according to tempera technique.
There were many places to eat out including hotels, cafes and restaurants. For our evening meal, we ate at the Hotel Restaurant Sighisoara and for brunch, we ate outside at Restaurant La Perla.
Hotel Restaurant Sighisoara
A very nice restaurant with good reviews in the citadel, we opted to sit outside in their nice garden to enjoy the evening meal and a few drinks. Drinks, as usual, was Ursus and a bottle of Romanian wine. For a starter on my last night of the trip I opted for sausages, these were delicious and well cooked. For mains, I had to get the Romanian twist on my favourite go-to meal the mixed grill. This included Mici, pork chicken and pickles, all meat was cooked perfectly and filled me up. More info…
Restaurant La Perla
After a morning of exploring of the city to take some photos then packing up sustenance was required. Restaurant La Perla jumped out as a nice place to eat and enjoy the sunshine. Fruit juice and a burger was the delight of the day for me. I thoroughly enjoyed this and was garnished well. More info…
The town had a main street with a variety of shops from food shops, mini-markets, clothes boutiques to gift shops. There ware as usual for Romanian towns a choice of pharmacies and money exchanges. The town centre is not really a destination for shoppers but had all the essentials needed by me.
Other Castles, Fortresses and Citadels In Romania
There are many of these throughout Romania, some grand and others smaller in size. One of my favourite fortresses in Transylvania is The Alba Carolina Citadel which is a 2-3 hour train ride away.
Bran Castle is the most well-known castle in the country and often referred to as Dracula’s castle. There is a long history surrounding the castle as well as some inaccuracies such as Dracul and Vlad the Impaler residing there
Corvin Castle is a train ride or 3-hour drive away and is absolutely stunning, a true fairytale castle with loads to see when you visit.
Another that I have not visited yet but comes with quite a few recommendations is Peles Castle. Peles is located in the Carpathian mountains near Sinaia a 2.5-hour drive away.
Brasov a very nice city has fortifications in the form of a big city wall housing the old town, this is about 2 hours away by car or a nice train ride. The city also has a citadel overlooking the main town called Cetățuia de pe Strajă. Sadly this one is not a tourist attraction although you can walk around the exterior and grounds.
Just down the road from Brasov is Rasnov Citadel also, this one looks great and was built as a defence for Transylvanian villages in the area.