About the city

Sighisoara

Sighisoara

First signs of civilization show up in the early Stone Age. Historically more significant, however, is the late Bronze Age (1700-1900BC).

At that time one of the most important Southern European culture established, as remarkable archeological proof is found in the area. Hence it was named after the location ‘Culture of Sighisoara-Wietenberg’.

Invited by the hungarian king Geza II., German colonists from different areas along the Rhine come together to contribute to the fortification and enlargement of the kingdom‘s borders. In change they obtain countless privileges and a far ranging autonomy. Over the years 1191 or 1198 these german settlers establish themselves in Sighisoara.       

During the 14th century the settlement rose to its peak. The importance of the town culminated in 1367, when it obtained the title „CIVITAS DE SEGUSVAR“ and thus became the 2nd important political
center in Transylvania.

In 1513, people start moving downtown. In order to stop the increasing mi-gration the Hungarian king Wladislav II acknowledged the citadel’s privileges i.e. returning merchants were exempt from taxation.
However, they were strictly forbidden to sell their goods outside the citadel.

The 16th century is known as the century of comets, reportedly mentioned in 1531, 1549, 1556, 1558, 1580 and 1596. This also was the century of pestilence, disease and major climate changes.

In 1605 Bocskai’s troops under the command of Balaszi and Bethlen conquer the town during ongoing peace negotiations, supported by Ali Pascha and Voivode Radu Serban. Several streets were set on fire and burned down completely.

In 1661 Count Michael Apafi comes to Sighisoara with Ali Pascha and a cavalry of 200 Turkish soldiers. The town is charged with the so-called Ali-Pascha-Tax and thus averts devastation and plundering of the entire country.Between 1650 and 1750 at least ten devastating fires destroy most of the town. Once rebuilt Sighisoara blazes down again. Hard times for the people of Sighisoara… 

In 1784 the government establishes German as the official language. Sighisoara as well as other towns become boroughs. These borroughs constituted the Seven Chairs , which achieved independency towards the central administration

In February 1849 Hungarian revolutionists occupy the town. On July 31st, the Russians defeat General Bem’s revolutionary troops whereby his adjutant, the Hungarian poet Petofi Sandor, presumably lost his life.

From the end of the 19th century till the end of World War II Sighisoara experienced economical and cultural prosperity. Personalities like Johannes Brahms and George Enescu performed in town, emperor Franz Joseph stopped for a visit, and Oskar von Miller built the electric power station. Also Hermann Oberth, who later fathered the first rocket used to live in Sighisoara at that time.