After checking out some of the interesting Castles of Transylvania on Day 3 of our trip of our trip Back to The Balkans, we decided to visit the fortified city of Sighisoara which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Sighisoara is around an hour and a half from Brasov (our base in Transylvania). We once again used the services of our hostel to get there and back. This saved us a lot of time and didn’t cost much more than taking the train.
After spending a few hours in Sighisoara we started to head back to Brasov. I then decided to negotiate a stop along the way with the driver.
I paid our driver an extra $10 to stop for a quick visit at another UNESCO World Heritage Site which was along the way back. I wanted to see one of the seven churches that make up the site of Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania. We stopped at one called Saschiz.
Besides visiting these two sites (which did take up more of the day), we also wandered around Brasov and ate at a popular local restaurant which we didn’t exactly love.
Here is a little about each of the UNESCO sites that we visited:
Upon arrival at Sighisoara we walked about 10 minutes up a (not so steep) hill. We then reached the entrance gates to the Citadel, the fortified old city.
The main sites of interest are in a small, compact area so we walked a few minutes before coming upon one of the main square.
Sighisoara has some narrow streets lined with old buildings which have now become shops, cafes and hotels. From here we wandered down the main street to reach the Clock Tower which is probably the most recognizable landmark in the Citadel.
After admiring the buildings for a while along with Lucas making friends with some of the vendors, we decided to buy our tickets to go inside.
We bought a combined ticket (around $6 per adult) which included entry to the Clock Tower which has a history museum inside and two other museums- the tiny Medieval Weapons Museum and Torture Museum.
The Clock Tower is a must visit. The other two museums are skippable although for the combined ticket price, they were worth a quick look.
The Clock Tower is over 60 meters tall so there are a lot of steps to climb. The good thing is that on each floor there are displays and some info to read which breaks up the climb. This is what makes up the history museum. The info was interesting enough to skim over.
There was one section where the steps were so narrow that we got held up at last 10 minutes waiting for a large school group to descend. Otherwise the walk to the top was not a problem.
The highlight of the visit is going to the balcony area at the top. You can walk all around it for amazing 360 degree views of the area. It was also really neat to see the inside of the glockenspiel clock.
I was expecting an interesting show on the hour from the clock but it didn’t do much and can’t be compared to the ones in Prague or Munich.
Here are few other photos of the area:
We walked up the old staircase where a church, cemetery and “oldest” school from 1619 are located. We went inside the school for a few minutes and then headed back down into the town.
Our last stop was a peak at the supposed birthplace of Vlad Tepes aka Vlad the Impaler aka Dracula. The building is now a restaurant and we didn’t bother to go inside. To visit the rooms above the restaurant there is a small fee and we had already climbed enough stairs for one day!
On the way back to Brasov we stopped at Saschiz to visit the fortified church.
When we arrived we were the only ones there for a visit. We went inside for a quick look.
I wouldn’t consider myself one that is overly impressed or interested in churches, at least not the inside. I do find churches to be interesting more so, from the outside. Saschiz stood out due to the high tower and appearance of it being more of a fortress.
When we went inside I was surprised by how narrow it felt. It was very simple inside and doesn’t have much color or paintings on the walls. We most enjoyed checking out the large organ. We went up an old, narrow flight of stairs to get a closer look.
There isn’t much space by the organ when close to it so I added a photo of it taken from the main floor.
We then walked around the compound like grounds which didn’t take long before heading back to Brasov.
That wraps up our fourth day of our trip.
Check back for photos of Brasov and how we spent out time there.