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Guest post: The Medieval Fortress of Sighișoara

Our trip to Sighișoara started on a beautiful autumn morning. By train. I missed traveling by train, although I know all the complaints people have about this means of transport. The road takes time. It’s cold. There are delays. It’s expensive. We preferred to buy tickets online on cfrcalatori.ro, which gave us a discount (they always have a 5% discount offer if you buy tickets online, plus other benefits that are always changing). The ticket is received by email, you print it and then show it to the train staff.

The ride was pleasant. Clean bathroom. Warm enough for me, although a few passengers have complained. It had a 40 minutes delay. True. But, if you didn’t know, on the cfrcalatori.ro website you can search for the train number and see how many minutes the train is late, when it reaches the destination and if it recovers the delay. It is updated after every stop in the station and it’s very exact.

When we arrived in Sighișoara, it was cold, according to the season, but beautiful. And with less tourists than I remember. Romantic, bathed by the pale autumn sun. Frozen in time.

Founded in the 12th century by the Transylvanian Saxons, Sighișoara was rebuilt almost from its foundations in the 17th century when, after a fire, it burned almost entirely. Only the church on the hill and five towers escaped then. Slowly, the town was rebuilt with brick and stone houses, becoming what we can admire today. The cobblestone streets and the structure of Sighișoara remained unspoiled and are now part of the UNESCO heritage.

Almost all the houses in Sighișoara Fortress are patrimony, bearing the name of the first owner: Wagner, Dudler, Shuller… and are habitable. And if you are curious to see how they look inside, carefully restored, you can visit Casa Cositorarului or Casa Fronius. At Casa Cositorarului you will find the best desserts. I ate a chestnut puree with a brilliant home-made ice cream. Similarly, at Medieval Cafe you will find a beautiful interior and delicious dishes. Without having a very rich menu, it offers everything you need to experience the culinary delight of Sighișoara.

I like to walk without a specific target on the cobbled streets, to imagine how people from ancient times have walked through the same alleys. Sighișoara is the only medieval fortress in Europe inhabited without interruption. How many dramas, how many people in love have seen its walls?

But for a first visit to the fortress, the Clock Tower, where Sighișoara can be admired from above, the Pupils’ Stairs or Covered Stairway, the Church on the Hill are not to be missed. And if you are a fan and visit during the summer, the Torture Museum can be fun. However, the whole town is a unique museum that should not be missed.

The accommodation, if you wish to stay overnight in the city, should be booked in advance. We looked on Saturday for Tuesday and we hardly found a free room at a decent price.
I think that 2 days, or even a day if you are not as much a dreamer as I am, is enough time to visit Sighișoara. And on the way back you can dream about the young ladies from old times walking on the same streets and sighing after somebody.

The road back to Cluj, also made by train, was faster and less late. However, the fact that you can see in real time whether it has a delay, how much and if it has recovered, helps a little by giving you a sense of control over your time.

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