Historic Centre of Sighişoara

Mureş County, Region of Transylvania
N46 13 4 E24 47 32
Date of Inscription: 1999
Criteria: (iii)(v)
Property : 33 ha
Buffer zone: 145 ha
Ref: 902
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Founded by German craftsmen and merchants known as the Saxons of Transylvania, Sighişoara is a fine example of a small, fortified medieval town which played an important strategic and commercial role on the fringes of central Europe for several centuries.

Justification for Inscription

Criterion (iii): Sighisoara is an outstanding testimony to the culture of the Transylvanian Saxons, a culture that is coming to a close after 850 years and will continue to exist only through its architectural and urban monuments.

Criterion (v): Sighisoara is an outstanding example of a small fortified city in the border region between the Latin-oriented culture of central Europe and the Byzantine-Orthodox culture of south-eastern Europe. The apparently unstoppable process of emigration by the Saxons, the social stratum which had formed and upheld the cultural traditions of the region, threatens the survival of their architectural heritage as well.

Suggested Bases:

Târgu Mureș, sometimes abbreviated Tg. Mureș and known as Marosvásárhely among its Hungarian-speaking population, is a city in Transylvania, Romania. Famous for its Art Nouveau buildings, Târgu Mureș is the cultural and economical centre of the Székely Land. First mentioned as Forum Siculorum in a document dating to 1300, market rights were bestowed in 1482. Both the Romanian name Târgu Mureș and Hungarian Marosvásárhely mean “market (place) on the river Mureș/Maros”. The town prospered especially during the late-19th and early-20th century, the population quadrupled between 1869 and 1966. Before World War I, Marosvásárhely belonged to the Kindom of Hungary and 90 percent of inhabitants were ethnic Hungarians and Hungarian-speaking Jews. Since 1919, when the town was awarded to Romania, the share of ethnic Romanians grew steadily, but Magyars (ethnic Hungarians) still were the majority population until the 1990s. Nowadays, ethnic Romanians make up just over half of the population, with 45 percent Magyars and more than 2 percent Romanies [read more].

Brașov (pronounced Bra-shov) is a city in Transylvania, Romania. It’s set in the Carpathian Mountains in the centre of the country, 180 km from Bucharest. It’s mostly a modern industrial city with a population of about 250,000, but the reason to visit is the well-preserved Old Town. It’s also an alternative base for skiing at the nearby resort of Poiana Brașov. In the Middle Ages Transylvania had Hungarian rulers, who brought in Saxon settlers. They developed the walled town known in German as Kronstadt and in Hungarian as Brassó. Later development was further out so this old centre was largely preserved. It has good tourist facilities and is well worth an extended stay: perhaps because it lacks an airport, it’s not as well known to westerners as similar old towns such as Sibiu and Cluj Napoca. Shop, restaurant and hotel staff often speak English and German. For the visitor therefore, the core of Brașov is the old town (largely pedestrianised) and adjoining Șchei district [read more].

Cluj-Napoca (Romanian), Kolozsvár (Hungarian) or Klausenburg (German) is the capital of Cluj county and the unofficial capital of the historical region of Transylvania. The city, with about 320,000 people (2016), is very pleasant, and it is a great experience for those who want to see urban Transylvanian life at its best. Along with fine dining, excellent cultural activities, a wonderful historical legacy and a great atmosphere, the city will not disappoint those who add it to their travel itinerary. What’s more is the fact that Cluj (as it’s called for short) is so easy to access and get around. Today, the biggest ethnic group in Cluj-Napoca are Romanians. However, this was not always the case as many different groups have inhabited the city throughout its history. The first trace of life was neolithic settlements which were dating back thousands of years. Later the settlement was conquered and inhabited by Romans [read more].

1 reply »

  1. Although it’s a small town, it is very colorful and fun for a short visit, especially during summer when there’s also a medieval festival organized each year with knights and maidens and all kinds of artisans showcasing their crafts.


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