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Historic Center of Sighisoara

 

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Historical centre of Sighișoara


The city of Sighişoara is located in the southern part of Mureş County, in the especially beautiful landscape of the Târnavelor Plateau, at the junction between the Saeş stream with the Târnava Mare River.
An important characteristic of the town is the clear separation between its two parts: the Fortress and the Lower City – a separation stressed by the difference in level and by the tree plantations that cover the Fortress Hill.
The old settlement strategically used the isolated 425 m height inside the triangle – called the Fortress Hill.
The medieval city played a commercial role, due to its emplacement at the junction of important trade routes, as well as a military one, owed to its strategic position.
Initially the small settlement established on the hill’s plateau was fortified with a 930 m long wall that surrounded the hill along its two plateaus, as well as with 14 defence towers of which only 9 are preserved. The defence wall is dated to the 15th – 16th c. and has several different phases of construction due to the changes in military technology. The best preserved segment, 8-10 m tall, is located in the western part of the Fortress, between the Ropemakers’ Tower and the Butchers’ Tower.
The towers were built and defended by the artisans’ guilds. The most representative ones, preserved even today, are: the Tinsmiths’ Tower (Zinngiesserturm), the Ropemakers’ Tower (Seilerturm), the Butchers’ Tower (Fleischerturm), the Furriers’ Tower (Kürschnerturm), the Taylors’ Tower (Schneiderturm), the Shoemakers’ Tower (Schusterturm), the Ironsmiths’ Tower and the Clock Tower (the former Town Hall).
Two Gothic monuments are preserved in the city: the Church on the Hill and the Monastery Church, as well as the ruins of another gothic chapel dated to the 14th c.
The Church on the Hill is dedicated to St. Nicholas and is the city’s most important architectural monument, representative of the Transylvanian Gothic style. It is located on top of the hill, with a dominant view over the surrounding landscape. The building, raised in different stages during the 14th – 15th c., belongs to the open-nave type, and has three equally high naves, topped by a gothic network of vaults. The long choir has two naves and a polygonal apse with 5 sides.
The Monastery Church is dedicated to St. Mary and is located very near the Clock Tower. It is the second most important gothic monument in the city. It is dated to the second half of the 13th c. and was set against the Dominican monastery on the eastern edge of the plateau, which was demolished in 1886. The building is a typical open-nave church, with three naves separated by columns with a square cross-section (restored). The nave’s vaults were destroyed by the fire in 1676 and were restored in the 17th c. The choir has a polygonal apse that preserves the initial gothic vaulting with veins. The tall roof with a large gable stresses the church’s monumentality. The façades with no decoration are interrupted by windows with gothic frames. The church also preserves a baroque altar from 1680 and a collection of oriental carpets.
The Roman-Catholic church built in 1894 is located in the northern part of the plateau, where the Locksmiths’ Tower, Shoemakers’ bastion and the Franciscan nunnery used to stand.
Built in an eclectic style typical for the period, its silhouette reminds us of the initial volumetric accents of the former buildings.
Near the Church on the Hill there is the building of the city’s first school (1619), as well as the neo gothic building of the high school (1901) raised on the grounds of the old school after the plans of architect Gottfriend Orendi.
In 1886-1888 was built, on the grounds of the old Dominican monastery, of the Dominican convent and of the Barrelmakers’ Tower, the eclectic-style Town Hall, former headquarters of the Târnava Mare County.
In the historical centre the buildings, especially those that belonged to artisans (and less to tradesmen) offer a typological diversity intensified by the inequality of the parcels and the shape of the terrain. The oldest wooden houses archaeologically documented in the present day Museum Square and Fortress Square are dated to the 13th – 14th c.
The city’s road network is dated to the 14th c. and is made up of 3-4 longitudinal, almost parallel streets and several transversal passages.
The complex’s central element is the Fortress Square. It has a square shape (40x40 m) and is crossed on its length by a wider street, Şcolii st. – that connects the square to the dominant Fortress and a transversal, well delimited axis that connects the square to the two main gates: the Clock Tower and the entrance under the Taylors’ Tower.
In the Lower City the most important urban element is the Hermann Oberth Square (Marktplatz), the old commercial square, a triangular space developed uphill towards Fortress Hill. The houses that form the square’s sides create unitary ensembles of their own, and the beginning of the streets in a slope offer spectacular views towards the Fortress. After 1950 the square was transformed into a green space – the city’s park.
Given the high degree of preservation of the city’s medieval urban structure and of its built heritage, Sighişoara has the highest density of historical monuments among the other Romanian cities, a situation that underlines the uniqueness of its architectural ensemble.

 

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Links:

 


http://egispat.inp.org.ro
Sighișoara-Transilvania.ro: De aici incepe Sighișoara

SIGHIȘOARA - informații utile despre orașul Sighișoara

Centrul istoric Sighişoara
Direcţia Judeţeană pentru Cultură şi Patrimoniul Naţional Mureş
Muzeul de Istorie, Sighișoara
UNESCO - Historic Centre of Sighişoara

 

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