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Sighisoara

Sighişoara (pronounced [sigiˈʃo̯ara]; German: Schäßburg; Hungarian: Segesvár; Latin: Castrum Sex) is a city and municipality on the Târnava River in Mureş County, Romania. Located in the historic region Transylvania, Sighişoara has a population of 32,287 (2002).

History

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 the actual Sighiṣoara by 1191. By 1280 it was known by the Latin name of Castrum Sex, and by 1298 by the Saxon name of Schespurch resp. Schaesbrich. 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. The Baroque sculptor Elias Nicolai lived in the city. The Wallachian prince Vlad Dracul, who lived in exile in the town, let minted coins in the city (otherwise coinage was the monopoly of the Hungarian kings in the Kingdom of Hungary) and issued the first document listing the city's Romanian name, Sighişoara.

The city was the setting for George I Rákóczi's election as Prince of Transylvania and King of Hungary in 1631. Sighişoara suffered military occupation, fires, and plagues during the 17th and 18th centuries.

The nearby plain of Albeşti was the site of the Battle of Segesvár, where the revolutionary Hungarian army led by Józef Bem was defeated by the Russian army led by Luders on 31 July 1849. A monument was constructed in 1852 to the Russian general Skariatin, who died in the battle. The Hungarian poet Sándor Petőfi is generally believed to have been killed in the battle, and a monument was constructed in his honor at Albeşti in 1897. After World War I Sighişoara passed with Transylvania from Austria-Hungary to the Kingdom of Romania.

Central Sighişoara has preserved in an exemplary way the features of a small medieval fortified city, it has been listed by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Each year, a Medieval Festival takes place in the old citadel in July.

The houses inside the Castle of Sighişoara show the main features of a craftsmen's town. However, there are some houses which belonged to the former patriciate, like the Venetian House and the House with Antlers.

The Clock Tower

Landmark of Sighisoara, the Clock Tower is the most impressive and picturesque if it's towers. Its role was to be the main gate into the citadel and to house the town's council. It was built in the second half of the 14th century and expanded to 64m height in the 16th century. After a big fire in 1676 (when the town's gunpowder deposits exploded) the roof of the tower was restored to the present Baroque shape, and in 1894 the colorful tiles were added. The four small corner turrets (also seen in other Transylvanian towns) symbolize the fact that the town had judicial autonomy, and the "right of sword" (ius gladii) which was the right to convict criminals to death. The clock was installed in the 17th century. The tower houses the town's History Museum. Make your way to the wooden balcony at the top of the tower where you can look out over the town with its terra-cotta roofs and painted houses and the surrounding countryside. On the way to the balcony one can also see the clock mechanism.

Source

WIKIPEDIA
www.brasovtravelguide.ro

Photo notes

I took the picture from a tripod after sunset while on my way home from Birthälm, where I spent the new year's eve. As a stand point I chose a spot on a hill nearby the village, from where I had a beautiful view. It was cold and the sky was overcast. I spent almost half an hour there and also took a panoramic photo which looks great printed at 91 cm length. This is a part of the panorama. I hope you like it!

EXIF:

ISOSpeedRatings - 100
ShutterSpeedValue - 5 seconds
ApertureValue - F 5.60
ExposureBiasValue - 0.00
MeteringMode - Multi-segment
Flash - Flash not fired, compulsory flash mode
FocalLength - 100 mm
ColorSpace - sRGB
ExposureMode - Manual
White Balance - Auto

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Additional Photos by Eduard Baak (snowfalken) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 164 W: 4 N: 219] (1116)
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