Thursday, July 26, 2012

medieval town of Sighisoara

Once upon a time, during the 12th century, German craftsmen and merchants known as the Transylvanian Saxons were invited to Transylvania by the King of Hungary to settle and defend the frontier of his realm. The chronicler Krauss lists a Saxon settlement in present-day Sighiṣoara by 1191.
 A document of 1280 records a town built on the site of a Roman fort as Castrum Sex or "six-sided camp", referring to the fort's shape of an irregular hexagon. Other names recorded include Schaäsburg (1282), Schespurg (1298) and Segusvar (1300).
 By 1337 Sighişoara had become a royal center for the kings, who awarded the settlement urban status in 1367 as the Civitas de Segusvar.
The city played an important strategic and commercial role at the edges of Central Europe for several centuries. Sighişoara became one of the most important cities of Transylvania, with artisans from throughout the Holy Roman Empire visiting the settlement. The German artisans and craftsmen dominated the urban economy, as well as building the fortifications protecting it. It is estimated that during the 16th and the 17th centuries Sighişoara had as many as 15 guilds and 20 handicraft branches. 
  Today, Sighişoara is considered to be the most beautiful and well preserved inhabited citadel in Europe, with an authentic medieval architecture, being one of the few fortified towns which are still inhabited in Eastern Europe.
 Central Sighişoara has preserved in an exemplary way the features of a small medieval fortified city and it has been listed by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
 Sighişoara is a city and municipality on the Târnava Mare River in Mureş County, Romania, is located in the historic region of Transylvania and has a population of 26,370 according to the 2011 census.
 The town is made up of two parts. The lower town lies in the valley of Târnava Mare river and the medieval stronghold that was built on top of a hill and is known as the "Citadel" (Cetate).

Once you enter the citadel, you will think you have stepped back some 500 years, as little has changed inside the walls of the fortress. Passing under the 64M clock tower, you will be mesmerized by the medieval architecture and buildings well preserved and still in use.
 Growing up in the small community within the walls of the citadel I remember how we would stay and play outside all day, in groups of 10 and more children.
 There was a sense of belonging and everyone knew everyone.
 As children we would explore all the citadel, uncover all it's secrets, know how to go inside old towers that were closed, we would know where to climb, which window to go into to. We would know where you can climb over walls, where you could jump down, which  way to go, what trees to climb. Towers to play in, secret routes, tree houses in the small forrests and a multitude of was trruly an amazing and adventurous place to live in.
 As a recognition of it's beauty, the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) at its April plenary session in Strasbourg has awarded Sighisoara with the 2012 Europe Prize.
 Created by PACE in 1955, the Europe Prize is the highest distinction that can be bestowed on a European town for its actions in the European domain.

source: wikipedia and internet
source: own memory
old time Sighisoara pictures:

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