Sighișoara

Last updated

Sighișoara
Sighisoara, Romania.jpg
Panoramic view of the city from one of the surrounding hills
ROU MS Sighisoara CoA1.jpg
Coat of arms
Sighisoara jud Mures.png
Location in Mureș County
Romania location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Sighișoara
Location in Romania
Coordinates: 46°13′1″N24°47′28″E / 46.21694°N 24.79111°E / 46.21694; 24.79111 Coordinates: 46°13′1″N24°47′28″E / 46.21694°N 24.79111°E / 46.21694; 24.79111
CountryFlag of Romania.svg  Romania
County Mureș
Government
  Mayor (20202024) Iulian Sîrbu [1] (UIPS)
Population
 (2011) [2]
28,102
Time zone EET/EEST (UTC+2/+3)
Vehicle reg. MS
Website www.sighisoara.org.ro
Official nameHistoric Centre of Sighișoara
TypeCultural
Criteriaiii, v
Designated1999 (23rd session)
Reference no. 902
Region Europe

Sighișoara (Romanian:  [siɡiˈʃo̯ara] ; German : Schäßburg [ˈʃɛsbʊʁk] ; Transylvanian Saxon: Schäsbrich; Hungarian : Segesvár [ˈʃɛɡɛʃvaːr] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); Yiddish : שעסבורג, romanized: Shesburg; Latin : Castrum Sex) is a city on the Târnava Mare River in Mureș County, Romania. Located in the historic region of Transylvania, Sighișoara has a population of 28,102 according to the 2011 census. It is a popular tourist destination for its well-preserved walled old town, which is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The city administers seven villages: Angofa, Aurel Vlaicu, Hetiur, Rora, Șoromiclea, Venchi, and Viilor.

Contents

History

A street in Sighisoara Strada Turnului, Cetatea Sighisoara.JPG
A street in Sighișoara

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 present-day Sighișoara by 1191.[ citation needed ] A document of 1280 records a town built on the site of a Roman fort as Castrum Sex or "six-sided camp", referring to the fort's shape of an irregular hexagon. [3] Other names recorded include Schaäsburg (1282), Schespurg (1298) and Segusvar (1300). [4] By 1337 Sighișoara 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. Sighișoara 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 17th centuries Sighișoara had as many as 15 guilds and 20 handicraft branches. The Baroque sculptor Elias Nicolai lived in the city. The Wallachian voivode Vlad Dracul (father of Vlad the Impaler (Dracula)), who lived in exile in the town, had coins minted 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, Sighișoara.[ citation needed ] The Romanian name is first attested in 1435, and derives from the Hungarian Segesvár, where vár is "fort". [3] [4]

Hermann Oberth Square during the 20th century Old picture of Piata Hermann Oberth .jpg
Hermann Oberth Square during the 20th century

The city was the setting for George I Rákóczi's election as Prince of Transylvania and King of Hungary in 1631. Sighișoara suffered military occupation, fires, and plagues during the 17th and 18th centuries. An important source for the history of 17th-century Transylvania, for the period of 1606–1666, are the records of Georg Kraus, the town's notary. [5]

The nearby plain of Albești 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 Albești in 1897. After World War I Sighișoara passed with Transylvania from Austria-Hungary to the Kingdom of Romania.

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

View from Villa Franka Sighisoara2.JPG
View from Villa Franka

In Eastern Europe, Sighișoara is one of the few fortified towns that are still inhabited. The town is made up of two parts. The medieval stronghold was built on top of a hill and is known as the Citadel (Romanian: Cetate). The lower town lies in the valley of Târnava Mare river.

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

Between 2001 and 2003 the construction of a Dracula theme park in the Breite nature preserve near Sighișoara was considered but ultimately rejected, owing to the strong opposition of local civil society groups and national and international media as well as politically influential persons, as the theme park would have detracted from the medieval style of the city and would have destroyed the nature preserve.

Demographics and name

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1910 10,913    
1930 13,033+19.4%
1948 18,284+40.3%
1956 20,363+11.4%
1966 25,109+23.3%
1977 33,208+32.3%
1992 36,170+8.9%
2002 32,287−10.7%
2011 28,102−13.0%
Source: Census data

Ethnic groups in 2011: [6]

In Romanian In German In Hungarian
SighișoaraSchäßburgSegesvár
AngofaUngefugAngofa
Aurel VlaicuHaufan
HetiurMarienburg bei
Schäßburg
Hétúr
RoraRohrauRóra
Șoromiclea
VenchiWenchVenk
ViilorKulturbergSzőlőskert

Sights

Sighișoara is a popular tourist destination for its well-preserved walled old town, which is also listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The main Citadel's attractions are certainly the towers.

Towers

According to ancient military architectures writings, the defence towers had to be a fortification system for the mutual defense, and, at the same time, each tower was supposed to be an independent fortress: a break at the base of a tower did not mean entering into the city, capturing a tower did not have to lead to the conquest of the city. Most of these towers were hollow and equipped with elevators and underground galleries.

Churches

Civil architecture

Most of the 164 houses in the city having at least 300 years old, are considered historical monuments : the City Square, with its rectangular plan, was once inhabited by noble families of the city, though it has undergone to many transformations over time. The best houses are the ones that have kept their original shape.

Strada 1 Decembrie 1918 during the 20th century Strada 1 decembrie 1918.jpg
Strada 1 Decembrie 1918 during the 20th century

Natives

Sighisoara in the Grand Duchy of Transylvania maps, 1769-1773. Josephinische Landesaufnahme Josephinische Landaufnahme pg175.jpg
Sighișoara in the Grand Duchy of Transylvania maps, 1769–1773. Josephinische Landesaufnahme
Josephinische Landaufnahme pg191.jpg

International relations

Twin towns – sister cities

Sighișoara is twinned with:

See also

Notes

  1. "Results of the 2020 local elections". Central Electoral Bureau. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  2. "Populaţia stabilă pe judeţe, municipii, oraşe şi localităti componenete la RPL_2011" (in Romanian). National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  3. 1 2 Adrian Room, Placenames of the World, p.347. McFarland, 2006, ISBN   0-7864-2248-3.
  4. 1 2 Cristian Tălângă (ed.), Transilvania, Maramureș, Bucovina, p.27. Editura Semne, Bucharest, 2007.
  5. Erdélyi krónika 1608-1666 (in Hungarian)
  6. 2011 census data
  7. "Miasta partnerskie - Zamość". Urząd Miasta Zamość (in Polish). Retrieved 26 July 2013.

Related Research Articles

Transylvania Historical region of Romania

Transylvania is a historical region that is located in central Romania. Bound on the east and south by its natural borders, the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended westward to the Apuseni Mountains. The term sometimes encompasses parts of the historical regions of Crișana and Maramureș, and occasionally the Romanian part of Banat.

Brașov City in Romania

Brașov is a city in Transylvania, Romania and the administrative centre of Brașov County.

Villages with fortified churches in Transylvania

The south-eastern Transylvania region in Romania currently has one of the highest numbers of existing fortified churches from the 13th to 16th centuries. It has more than 150 well preserved fortified churches of a great variety of architectural styles.

Mureș County County of Romania

Mureș County is a county (județ) of Romania, in the historical region of Transylvania, with the administrative centre in Târgu Mureș. The county was established in 1968, after the administrative reorganization that re-introduced the historical judeţ (county) system, still used today. This reform eliminated the previous Mureș-Magyar Autonomous Region, which had been created in 1952 within the People's Republic of Romania. Mureș county has a vibrant multicultural fabric that includes Hungarian-speaking Székelys and Transylvanian Saxons, with a rich heritage of fortified churches and towns.

Sibiu City in Transylvania, Romania

Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, a historical region of Romania. Located some 275 km (171 mi) north-west of Bucharest, the city straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt. Now the capital of the Sibiu County, between 1692 and 1791 and 1849–65 Sibiu was also the capital of the Principality of Transylvania.

Alba Iulia City and county capital in Alba County, Romania

Alba Iulia, is a city that serves as the seat of Alba County in the west-central part of Romania. Located on the Mureș River in the historical region of Transylvania, it has a population of 63,536.

Bistrița Municipality in Bistrița-Năsăud, Romania

Bistrița is the capital city of Bistrița-Năsăud County, in northern Transylvania, Romania. It is situated on the Bistrița river. The city has a population of approximately 70,000 inhabitants and administers six villages: Ghinda, Sărata, Sigmir, Slătinița, Unirea and Viișoara.

Mediaș Municipality in Sibiu, Romania

Mediaș is the second largest city in Sibiu County, Transylvania, Romania.

Vlad II Dracul Voivode of Wallachia

Vlad II, also known as Vlad Dracul or Vlad the Dragon, was Voivode of Wallachia from 1436 to 1442, and again from 1443 to 1447. He is internationally known as the father of Vlad the Impaler, or Dracula. Born an illegitimate son of Mircea I of Wallachia, he spent his youth at the court of Sigismund of Luxembourg, who made him a member of the Order of the Dragon in 1431. Sigismund also recognized him as the lawful voivode of Wallachia, allowing him to settle in nearby Transylvania. Vlad could not assert his claim during the life of his half-brother, Alexander I Aldea, who acknowledged the suzerainty of the Ottoman Sultan, Murad II.

Vlad the Impaler Ruler of Wallachia during the 15th century

Vlad III, most commonly known as Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Dracula, was Voivode of Wallachia three times between 1448 and his death. He is often considered one of the most important rulers in Wallachian history and a national hero of Romania.

Tourism in Romania

Romania's tourism sector had a direct contribution of EUR 5.21 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2018, slightly higher than in 2017, placing Romania on the 32nd place in the world, ahead of Slovakia and Bulgaria, but behind Greece and the Czech Republic. The total tourism sector's total contribution to Romania's economy, which also takes into account the investments and spending determined by this sector, was some EUR 15.3 billion in 2018, up by 8.4% compared to 2017.

Reghin Municipality in Mureș, Romania

Reghin (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈreɡin]; Hungarian: Szászrégen, Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈsaːsreːɡɛn] or Régen; German: Regen is a city in Mureș County, Transylvania, Romania, on the Mureș River. As of 2011 it has a population of 33,281.

Transylvanian Saxons

The Transylvanian Saxons are a people of German ethnicity who were settled in Transylvania in waves starting from the mid-12th century until the late Modern Age.

Historic Centre of Sighișoara

The Historic Centre of Sighișoara is the old historic center of the town of Sighișoara, Romania, built in the 12th century by Saxon settlers. It is an inhabited medieval citadel that, in 1999, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its 850-year-old testament to the history and culture of the Transylvanian Saxons.

Unitarian Church of Transylvania

The Unitarian Church of Transylvania is a church of the Unitarian denomination, based in the city of Cluj, Transylvania, Romania. Founded in 1568 in the Principality of Transylvania, it has a majority-Hungarian following, and is one of the 18 religious confessions given official recognition by the Romanian state.

Biertan fortified church

The Biertan fortified church is a Lutheran fortified church in Biertan (Birthälm), Sibiu County, in the Transylvania region of Romania. It was built by the ethnic German Transylvanian Saxon community at a time when the area belonged to the Kingdom of Hungary. Briefly Roman Catholic, it became Lutheran following the Reformation. Together with the surrounding village, the church forms part of the villages with fortified churches in Transylvania UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Saschiz fortified church

The Saschiz fortified church is a Lutheran fortified church in Saschiz (Keisd), Mureș County, in the Transylvania region of Romania. It was built by the ethnic German Transylvanian Saxon community at a time when the area belonged to the Kingdom of Hungary. Initially Roman Catholic, it became Lutheran following the Reformation. Together with the surrounding village, the church forms part of the villages with fortified churches in Transylvania UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Rupea Citadel

Rupea Citadel is one of the oldest archaeological sites in Romania, the first signs of human settlements dating from the Paleolithic and early Neolithic.

Church on the Hill (Sighișoara)

The Church on the Hill is an architecturally significant church located in Sighişoara, Mureș County in Romania.This church is the most important monument of religious architecture in Sighisoara and is one of the great churches of Transylvania, being the third largest. Located at an altitude of 429 meters, on the Hilltop School, the church dominates by its massiveness the entire city and it is visible from a great distance almost from all directions. Most researchers believe that a number of architectural details such as slightly misaligned position of the bell-tower and choir demonstrate an evolution in stages, over several centuries, in the construction of this church.

Dan III of Wallachia

Dan the Younger was a pretender to the throne of Wallachia from 1456 to 1460. He was the son of Dan II of Wallachia who died fighting for the throne in 1431. After Dan's brother, Vladislav II of Wallachia, was killed by their cousin, Vlad Dracula, in a duel in 1456, Dan settled in Brașov. Besides Dan, Vlad Dracula's half-brother, Vlad the Monk, and Dan's brother, Basarab Laiotă, laid claim to Wallachia against Dracula. Dan tried to seize Wallachia with the support of the burghers of the town, but he was defeated and captured in a battle near Rucăr. He was forced to dig his own grave before being beheaded.