Sighișoara - the birth place of Dracula
Named Schäßburg in German and Segesvár in Hungarian, Sighișoara is a city of 26,370 people on Târnava Mare river, in the Transylvanian Plateau.
A Unesco Wolrd Heritage site, Sighișoara is one of Romania most picturesque and most visited cities.
It was founded in 12th century by Germans (know as Saxons, althought they were not originary from Saxony but from Franconia), in a place were in Antiquity the Dacian city Sandava and the Roman Castrum Stenarum stood.
In middle age, Sighișoara was an important strategical and commercial center. During the 16th and the 17th centuries it had as many as 15 guilds and 20 handicraft branches.
Vlad III the Impaler, also known as Dracula, was born in a house which is still preserved (although two floors were added later over the original 15th century construction).
The city has two parts, the Upper city or the Citadel situated on a hill and surrounded by fortifications and the Lower City. Although the Lower City has fine historical buildings, the most precious and interesting are inside the Citadel.
The city's skyline is defined by Upper city rising from the forests above the olde city and which in turn is dominated by a height of some tens of m on whose top is the 14th century gothic Hill Church.
The massive Clock Tower (64 m tall) built in 14th century, the symbol of the city. It hosts the city's museum and has the oldest clock mechanism in Romania which has rotating figurines on both sides (toward the Citadel and toward the Lower City).
The surroundings of Sighișoara, like most of Transylvania, are beautiful, with rolling hills, forests, Saxon medieval villages with fortified churches. Just outside the city is the Breite Plateau, where is the largest reserve of venerable trees in Romania. Here are ~400 oak trees 400-800 years old (as old as the city) and ranging from 3 m to 9 m in circumference.