The 2016 edition of Sighisoara medieval festival, in limbo
The largest and most long-lasting medieval festival in Romania, the one in Sighisoara, that usually took place in the last weekend of July, will not be organized in the traditional period this year, which is a first in the past 24 years.
The local council of the city is to decide on the festival’s call-off or on its potential delay, Sighisoara mayor Ovidiu Mălăncrăvean said.
The mayor explained that two appeals have been overruled early this week against he winning project for organizing the medieval festival, so the local council had to reject the project that had won. The Friday meeting that would have assigned the contract has not been summoned anymore.
Mălăncrăvean said that Sighisoara city hall considers organizing the festival on its own, probably in August-end or early September, but for now the fate of the renowned festival is in limbo.
On the other hand, the hotel owners in Sighisoara were outraged by the attitude of the local public administration, accusing it of negligence and for not organizing the festival in due time. They say they already receive negative signals form the tourists who have booked almost 100% of the rooms in the period when the festival should take place. The hotel owners also say that Sighisoara will lose the brand of the medieval festival and also the tourists’ trust.
“Medieval Sighisoara” festival was the first of this kind organized in Romania on an annual basis, luring from 30,000 to 50,000 tourists. The festival was also the first manifestation that had its own theatre production.
Located in the historic region of Transylvania, Sighișoara has preserved the features of a small medieval fortified city, being listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The main Citadel’s attractions are certainly the nine towers, but it can also boast cobbled streets, burgher houses and beautifully adorned churches.
Founded by Transylvanian Saxons during the 12th century, Sighisoara (Schassburg in German) still stands as one of the most beautiful and best-preserved medieval towns in Europe.
At the same time, Sighișoara is one of the few fortified towns in eastern Europe that are still inhabited. The town is made up of two parts. The medieval stronghold was built on top of a hill and is known as the “Citadel” (Cetate). The lower town lies in the valley of Târnava Mare river.
The houses inside Sighișoara Citadel show the main features of a craftsmen’s town. However, there are some houses that belonged to the former patriciate, like the Venetian House and the House with Antlers.
It is also the birthplace of Vlad Dracula, also known as Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler), ruler of the province of Walachia from 1456 to 1462. It was he who inspired Bram Stoker’s fictional creation, Count Dracula.