The Medieval City - Part 3.


Today I'd like to show you the wonderful medieval tower of Sighisoara and a little bit of the surroundings. This is the last post of the series, I invite you to check out Part 1 and Part 2, my previous posts to see the rest of the photos and learn about the city.

The city is called Sighișoara, it is located in Transylvania, Romania and it ia one of the many medieval cities you can find in Transylvania, that takes you back in time.

Because it is populated by Romanians, Hungarians and Transylvanian Saxons, the city has its name in all these languages. It is called Schäßburg in German,the Transylvanian Saxon name is Schäsbrich and it is called Segesvár in Hungarian. The city has also a Latin name, which is Castrum Sex. According the 2011 census, the city has 28,102 inhabitants.

According to Wikipedia, there are four major ethnic groups in Sighisoara: 75% Romanians, 17.6% Hungarians, 5.3%, Roma, 1.5% Germans. This proportion has not always been the same. During the communist times Germans, aka Saxons have been more but the vast majority of them emigrated to Germany after the borders were opened.


On the photo you can see the famous Sighișoara Clock Tower, which was built in the 14th century. It may not look much at first but the clock has puppets inside, which makes it unique.


This is a close-up photo of the clock, not the best quality as I was standing on the ground and it's at a great distance. As you can see, there are these figurines, that has their own meaning.

The clock and some figurines on inside can be considered symbols of public authority, as the 1 meter diameter golden scope on the summit of the roof. The tower keeps two clock mechanism, one in wood and one in metal, correspondingly to the age of the crafts. Two facades (one facing the citadel, the second facing the lower city) hold a clock dial of 2.3 meters diameter, with black and gold hand-painted clock numbers. Two niches with symbolic figurines on the inside are located on the left of the dials. In the niche facing the Citadel are arranged, on three levels, the following figures:

  • Peace Goddess (in the bottom on the left), holding in hands an olive branch and a trumpet;
  • The little drummer (on the right side), who, with an hammer on his right hand, hits a little bronze drum;
  • Justice and Righteousness (in the center). This two figures in blue dresses dominate the composition, and they are bigger than the others indeed: Justice is blindfolded and rises a sword with her hand, while Righteousness keeps a balance.
  • Day and Night (in the upper pulpit), fixed on a metal balance, represented as two angels: Day has a head and a heart flame burning in her hands, and Night carries a torch in each hand. They actually marked the appearance of alternatives at 6 AM and 6 PM, the 12 hours day’s work for the craftsmen of the Citadel.
    The niche located into the facade facing the Lower City has only two sections or levels:
  • in the bottom left is placed a second little drummer (identical to its counterpart on the other front), and on the right is located a figure which has lost some attributes, representing, perhaps, "the Executioner”, holding in her hands, very likely, a whip and an ax, as a warning to outlaws.
  • The central position is dominated by a rotating platform in which are mounted seven wooden figures representing the days of the week, but only one of them can be seen from the Lower City through the right small window with ornamental wooden fretted. Every night at 12 o’clock, the round platform rotates from left to right a few degrees out of space on the old window and install the new day figure to be seen in the morning by the citizens. source

If you look at the figurines, you can see these are all of significance, important to people who lived back then. Each symbolizes something important.

Peace Goddess - peace was not always present in these people's life. The fortress and the tower was built to protect the city and its people from attacks. Those times were rough.

The little drummer - Communication in those times was very different, the only way they could communicate was by speaking to each other, and by letters. When there was something important that anyone had to know, there was a person pointed out that carried the message, along with a drummer, together they went on the streets, letting people know what's going to happen of if they needed to do something as they were ordered.

Justice and Righteousness - These were also important and still are but back then were different times, justice was kind of blind, money ruled and poor people got hurt very often. Justice is blindfolded and rises a sword with her hand, while Righteousness keeps a balance., this says it all. There should be a balance and justice should never be blind but unfortunately, no matter where you live or what the justice system is like in your country, there are cases when justice is blind.

Day and Night - This is represented well, what better way to symbolize the part of the day the clock is showing.

The figurine representing the executioner. Wikipedia says this was meant as a warning to outlaws. Public executions were a way of creating fear among people. This was their way of forcing them to abide by the law. To learn more about the seven wooden figures representing the days of the week, please read this article.


On the left side of the clock tower, there's the history museum, which would have been interesting to see but being the first day after the lockdown was lifted, most of the souvenir shops and museums were still closed. Next time I need to visit this place and take as many photos as possible, IF possible.


Despite the rainy day, this souvenir kiosk was open, offering all kinds of souvenirs, like magnets (magnets are everywhere, maybe the most popular), wooden plaques with all kinds of messages (some religious, some for loved ones), wooden spoons, Dracula mugs, etc.


I love souvenirs and am almost always buying something, however I hate kitsch and also hate to see people being ripped off, especially foreigners, who are not familiar with the value of the local currency. I was planning to buy something, possibly a magnet to have in my collection but came home empty handed, as there were not many to choose from.

The majority of the items you see here has nothing to do with the place or the history of the city, these are pure kitsch items, most likely made of China, which is a shame, really. These souvenir vendors should have a conscious and contribute to making the place stronger, not look only at the financial part. Selling Chinese garbage at a high price should never happen here. Authorities should step in and only give permits to those who are selling quality products, related to the place and history. The cheap kitsch should be sold elsewhere.


A tunnel beneath the building, leading to another exit we're going to see in the next photos. There's a gravestone on the right, pretty old, but unfortunately we had no time to go closer, and it was raining too. Please note everything is made of stone, as in medieval cities. I love it! It's authentic, original!


The other side of the clock tower. Many, many years ago, when I was a little girl, I was up there and still remember the view you can get from up there. Looking at the narrow streets paved with coblestones, the old, medieval houses it's something unique, it's like going back to medieval times again. That is definitely something I have to do shortly.


This way you can go back to the city.


This is the small tunnel under the tower with the iron gate, which serves as a souvenir shop exhibition stand. There's a souvenir shop there and they are most likely using every space they can get to increase sales, especially now when tourism is non existent, or just a fraction of what it used to be.


These items are what souvenir shops should sell in here. Traditional folk costumes, magnets, mugs, postcards.


This is one of my favorite photos, the other exit towards the city. Unfortunately it's in a deplorable state, the city should renovate it. Which will not happen soon as with the pandemic, funds are limited and they can't close the place down, they need tourists to spend as much money as they can.


However, it's a wonderful part of the tower, which you can only see in the movies.


The cherry on the top of the cake is the view you can get from up there. You can see half of the city from above.


This is right below the tower. On the white building it is written Musikverein, which (most likely) was a concert hall, but today it gives home to the National Center for Tourist Information and Promotion.







If you're planning to visit Transylvania and interested in medieval cities, don't forget to include Sighisoara, it would be a mistake.

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I love how raw and rustic the city has been maintained, but like you say, pity about the souvenirs and that the only option is to buy some rubbish that has travelled half way around the world. Kudos to your for not supporting it.


I'm glad we agree on this. I think this phenomenon is present in most touristic places, unfortunately. It's our job to eliminate this by not supporting the sellers.

I'm glad you liked my photos 😊


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