I've been travelling a lot lately in medieval citadels all over Europe, diving metaphorically in Middle Age stories, superstitions, misconceptions and religious beliefs on the other hand. My last stop: Sighisoara- the pearl of Transylvania. A trip back in time.
As the sun goes down, the citadel takes the colours and shadows of the past, an almost sacred atmosphere surrounds secular streets, picturesque buildings from 16th and 17th century, stone bridges and gothic churches.
Soon after dark, Sighisoara is even more mysterious, dark, unknown, with legends waiting to be told...
The famous Clock Tower (first mentioned in 1345) has been watching for seven centuries the citadel, the figurines as well : The Drummer, the Goddess of Peace, the goddess of Justice and Fairness, flanked by statues representing the day and night.
Let's not forget, centuries ago, the citadel of Sighisoara, as well as other medieval citadels, had the right to crime jurisdiction, including the death penalty. Until 1556 the Clock Tower was the headquarter of local authorities, after that is was used as tribunal, weapon storage and prison . The tower was destroyed during the great fire from 1676 and rebuild later in 1677. The Clock Tower still houses a small room called " the torture chamber" a reminder of that dark period in human history.
Not far away from the Tower, in the history shadows another legend is born...A valah prince -Vlad Dracul - settled here between 1431-1436, preparing to take the rule of his home country. In this very house, his son was born, the very famous Vlad the Impaler.
Ps : this tiny century-old-building houses a very rare and unique fresco, the only existing portrait of Vlad Dracul, the ruler of Valachia.
But let's forget a second about Dracula and move on to another historical building, the famous " Casa cu Cerb" dating back from the 13th century, with a deer painted on the exterior wall. A deer head trophy guards quietly the castle all day ...and night. The visitors can find shelter at this famous pension and enjoy medieval food on the terrace.
I have used the theme of darkness and shadows a lot in this post, however, despite all, I don't really think of Middle Age in terms in "dark period of the history".
I think of it more as a gateway to better times, to knowledge and rationality. Superstitions, ignorance, religious suppression are all part of who we are are and become.
They say at the end of a tunnel or era, there is always light...how ironically! The light takes the shape of church in this final picture. Or maybe there is no irony, isn't it?