I know that I mentioned this before but today I celebrate five weeks since I got a negative test for COVID which is a powerful virus that changed peoples' lives more than we realize and which I think sooner or later everyone will fight with.
When I'm saying that it changed peoples' lives I am not an exception because even though I had a quite easy form of it I still felt very weak back in those days and even today after more than a month I'm not in my best shape, getting tired quite easily and not having the strength I used to.
But this is not the subject of today's post, but the short weekend trip, I, my sister and my boyfriend had, to a very medieval city full of history and things to see which also represents our first journey in this form as well as my first trip after fighting with COVID.
I know that maybe for most of you it's a normal thing to travel with your siblings and partner but since none of us has a car we always got on a new journey with my parents who are also the persons we travel mostly with.
However, back at the beginning of this year, I took part into a contest hosted by a big brand of drinks where the prize was to travel wherever you want on a budget of 1000€.
To be honest, I had no hope for this one because the number of entrants was literally huge, but I knew for sure that if I'll win this I'm not going to be the single one that will have a lot of fun seeing new places.
A few months later the contest ended and I got a notification on my phone being informed that I am the winner of the contest and that soon I'll be contacted by a travel agency where the prize was invested and I'll discuss with a person about their offers and make some picks how I'll spend the money.
The lady on the phone told me that I can travel both out and inside of my country as well as alone or with any other members but with the mention that the whole cost will be subtracted from the amount of the voucher. What a surprise! - Because it was exactly the plan I had to make more people happy with my luck. ❤️
Being the first time when all of us had to deal with a travel agency because we always travelled on our own and on a low budget, it came with a few months of discussing different options of what we should pick and in what period of the year, being twice stressed by the pandemic situation which was slowly getting us back in lockdown and we weren't able to change the periods picked after communicating them to the agency.
Even though I could go almost anywhere and visit any country I realized that the happiness I would feel seeing 3-4 countries on my own wouldn't be even half of the joy I'd feel knowing that more people took advantage of this prize, so, in the end, I decided to go for one trip of 7 days for my parents on a city that I haven't seen yet but where they could enjoy some balneoclimateric treatments, one trip of 3 days to Sighisoara for I, my sister and my boyfriend, and one trip for I and my boyfriend for 4 days on Danube Delta that will be in the summer of 2022.
My parents had their trip exactly in the period when I was sick of COVID, and 2 weeks after that it was our turn to explore a new place and have the food and accommodation supported from the voucher of 1000€ while we were only responsible for the other taxes needed to be paid for the transport, visiting different places and additional food.
Long story short, we purchased the train tickets for round-trip and arrived somewhere around 8 PM on Friday in the train station of Sighisoara from where we walked only around 20 minutes until we arrived at the place where we had our reservation.
Gasthaus Altepost was first a restaurant, but in the last years it was developed so it can serve as a guest house too, so you will find it on the maps as a restaurant rather than an accommodation place. We already knew that Sighisoara is probably the most medieval city from Romania, but we were twice surprised by how everything looked inside the restaurant/guest house and that everything was kept on the same line, quite minimalistic and feeling like you are becoming part of history.
The night passed pretty fast and as soon as we took the breakfast we decided to hit the road and start exploring the surroundings.
Being autumn, Romania was confronting with rains almost everywhere so we kind of been afraid of not being able to see too much due to the bad weather but with the long list of what to visit we waited no more and embraced the risk since we came here for a reason - to discover new realms of Romania and especially Transylvania.
While we were pretty close to some of the defensive towers of Sighișoara, we thought it might be a good plan to first check these out and then the rest of the sightseeing attractions we had on the list.
But as the plan from home is not the same as the one from the fair, we ended up exploring more things than planned when we realized that all those places you can check out are actually very close to each other, walking only 5-10 minutes between them.
However, today's post is going to include the first four stops of the day which were at some of the towers that are still standing still after more than six centuries since those are dating.
Back then, you could see in Sighișoara no less than 14 towers where each had more functions, but in the meanwhile five of them were destroyed, some with bad intentions and some with the main purpose of using the brick from their composition to pave the way to the fortress.
Though, let's not forget these which withstand incredibly in front of the passage of time, where, everything feels different if you are seeing them while they are completed by the colorful autumn blanket offered by nature:
1. Turnul Tăbăcarilor (Tanners' Tower)
It's one of the oldest towers out of the 14 available back in the 16th century which you can easily pass without even noticing it's a defensive tower.
Turnul Tăbăcarilor was built around the 13th – 14th centuries in the southeastern part of the fortress which was mainly focused on defending the inner yard of another tower that was placed right in the middle of the city and which used to gather a lot of attention from the enemies.
Even if it represents perhaps the first tower that was raised in Sighișoara and which we have followed even from the beginning of our hike on the way to it, we almost missed it as soon as we got into the forest and barely found some big gates which were left open for visiting it.
The small plate on the gates announcing that it's a private property made us feel weird to pass them, but we couldn't miss the chance to get closer to the tower and admire its beauty even if we weren't able to enter inside of it.
While a big fire in 1676 came with a lot of ruins in the medieval city, happily, this tower with archaic aspects of its structure following a square plan and the roof made in one water was not affected at all.
The tower's name is quite suggestive where tanneries were the people who used to climb it to the top and oversee the city, having a double arquebuse as well as a simple one, a musket, three hundred pounds of gunpowder and some cannonballs.
2. Turnul Cositorarilor (Tinsmiths' Tower)
Our next discovery was just a few meters away from the tower we just explored, so we literally had to turn around and look on a different piece of history which came with a separate story, shape and architecture.
Turnul Cositorarilor has the most expressive architecture being able to observe a pentagonal shape at the basis which suddenly widens and becomes octagonal while it's completed by the slightly unbalanced roof which comes with a hexagonal shape.
This one is considered as having one of the best defensive positions out of the nine towers available today, where the woodwork inside of it, it's a veritable masterpiece of carpenters from this part of Transylvania.
The tower we can see these days is the result of the combination of two towers after it was restored.
Today it meaures 25 meters high and being so imposing it made it be unable to be ever conquered by the enemies.
The traces of bullets that can be still noticed on its basis are the real proof for that, which are dating since 1704.
I did manage to find a door at the basis of the tower but this one was locked and right under the corner there was a metal gate that was also standing in front of exploring this further, but we were happy that at least we managed to pass the first gate and enter in the yard that was closed when we returned and the tourists were taking pictures only from the distance.
From this place, we needed to walk less than 5 minutes until we arrived at the next two towers which were quite close to each other.
We passed one of the main attractions of the city for that but this is going to be part of the next blog post.
As I said, I don't think there is any better moment of the year when to visit Sighișoara due to the beautiful colours of the medieval buildings which are being perfectly completed by the autumn shades, so the actual journey wasn't represented only by the sightseeing attractions but by the whole landscape that was surrounding us at every step.
3. Turnul Cojocarilor (Furrier's Tower)
This one has a similar architecture with Butchers' Tower that is going to be the 4th tower we discover in this article, where we can find a secret house underneath their basement which forms a grouping typical for the medieval architecture of Sighişoara.
While we got used to seeing uncommon shapes for the towers, Turnul Cojocarilor comes in a square shape and with a modest size if we compare it with the others.
However, the tower is composed of four smaller levels where the last level widens and it comes with three machicolations (pitch chutes) on each side which are some common details for the towers you will see in Transylvania.
The tower dates since the early 14th century but the documents are mentioning the fact that in 1568, 1594 and 1595 there were needed various repairs to bring it to its best shape, counting even 40 days of continuous work for its body and 36 days for the roof.
There was also another event less happy where the tower was mostly destroyed in the fire from 1676 remembered before but which was restored afterwards.
It looks like there are various articles that are remembering about several weapons from 1680 that are belonging to the tower and which could be seen if you get inside, such as: 2x double arquebuses, 5x simple arquebuses, 5x barrels of gunpowder, 8x large spears, a halberd, a small cannon, a barrel with lead bullets and 5x cannonballs.
Unfortunately, we encountered the same situation here not being able to enter the tower, but at least we got a great view over the city from the front of the door. 💚
4. Turnul Măcelarilor (Butchers' Tower)
Just like I said, this one looks almost identical to the Furrier's Tower discovered previously, and perhaps that's why they are so close to each other, but this time we are talking about being one step closer to nature if we compare it with the view we had before.
Turnul Măcelarilor was built in the late 15th century where its original shape was of an eight-sided prism, but in the 16th century, just a few years before the big fire that destroyed most of the towers, it was rebuilt following a hexagonal plan and was raised with the main purpose to enlarge a little bit more the field of view over the bastion that was located right in front of it.
While the Furrier's Tower is composed of four different levels, this time we are talking about a smaller tower made out only from three floors and five loopholes where the access was being made via the fortress wall gallery.
Fortunately, the fire from 1676 neither affects this tower, making a great team with the bastion that together played the main role defending the western side of the city.
However, while we got used to hearing that each tower was kind of a shelter for more medieval weapons, this one couldn't be an exception, documents from 1680 mentioning that Butchers' Tower used to have 5x arquebuses, a few cannonballs and quintals of gunpowder.
Even if this is the tower we least managed to approach, we enjoyed its wide gate that seemed like a portal that connected us more with nature since we kind of left her behind when we explored the first tower.
Click on the images to see them in full resolution
All four towers are located pretty close to each other being needed to walk maximum 5 minutes before you reach the next one, where Turnul Tăbăcarilor & Turnul Cositorarilor are situated in the same yard and Turnul Cojocarilor & Turnul Măcelarilor on the same street.
Unfortunately, there are not really road signs leading to them but you can find these very easy on the GPS by typing their Romanian name, or if you get on the street with the name of the towers because the streets where they are placed have the same name with those. There are also some medieval shops which are wearing the same name and it's a good sign that you are following the right path.
Anyway, if you are looking for a better landmark, all four towers are surrounding Scara Acoperită (The Covered Staircase) which is one of the most popular sightseeing attractions from Sighișoara and which you will pass to reach the other two towers depending from which side you start your journey.
SEE YOU IN THE NEXT TRIP! 🗾
FIND ME ON:
↪ Blog: http://gabrielastravels.wordpress.com/
↪ Fiverr: https://www.fiverr.com/gabrielatv/
↪ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/gabiivdesign
↪ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/GabrielaTravels/
↪ TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@gabrielastravels/
↪ Discord: GabrielaTravels#0104
↪ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gabrielaistraveling/
↪ Twitter: https://twitter.com/GabrielaTravels
↪ PayPal/Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org