Bucharest Stories and Tips

Historic Sighisoara

Sighisoara Photo, Bucharest, Romania

Sighisoara is a 13th-century city. Vlad I (Dracula's father) was from a family of warriors, and he lived here for six years, employed to defend the city. Vlad Dracula was born here, and a small plaque on the corner of the house commemorates this event.

On the edge of the walled city stands a huge clock tower, with impressive views of the more modern city below. It also contains a history museum, torture chamber, and a medieval weapons collection. The Church of the Dominican Monastery stands beside the clock tower. We witnessed a reenactment of a Romanian Witch Trial in the square--not for the squeamish at heart. The crowd gathered and worked itself into a frenzy. They walked to the accused's house, dragged her out, and beat her. They dragged her back to the square and listened to the testimony against her. From what our guide told us, the person who accused a woman of being a witch would receive everything she owned when tried and convicted. Seems like a pretty good incentive to say someone was a witch! Our "witch" was saved when one of the townsmen came forward and offered to marry her (wonder if she preferred marriage over death!).

There are many shops along the streets and a few restaurants. You can even take a carriage ride around the city.

Our group next walked to the "Haunted Staircase". This is the entrance to an old cemetery and is a fully covered wooden staircase with 172 steps. Legend has it that if you linger more than 10 seconds on your way to the top, your soul will be stolen. The cemetery at the top is very quiet and eerie and has beautiful views of the countryside.

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