As a history enthusiast and lover of medieval architecture, I feel obliged to share with you one of the last remnants of medieval Sibiu. It is actually a street, near the center of Sibiu in Romania, which has four of the last standing medieval fortification towers and thus became known as the Fortress Street or Strada Cetății in Romanian.
The four defense towers and the remaining defense wall are the last parts of the third fortification ring built in medieval Sibiu between the years 1337 and 1366. These buildings are historical monuments included on the preservation list of the Sibiu County and should be considered a treasure and proof of Sibiu’s rich and long history.
Built in the year 1540, the Thick Tower known today as Thalia Hall is a massive construction in shape of a ‘U’, which extends 25 meters outside the fortification wall. The bottom is made out of stone, while the rest is in the bricks. The structure is designed to have different defensive levels and a platform on the top, that could hold other defensive towers. From 1788, it was re-purposed as a theater, and today it is a concert hall.
Picture © Credit to: Siempreverde22
Picture © Credit to: davidionut
The name of the tower comes from the Saxon guild of the carpenters which built and maintained it. It has a circular form at the bottom, but from the cornice level, it becomes an octagonal prism that is larger on the top. The roof is an octagonal pyramid made of wood and covered with tiles. The Carpenters’ Tower is 20,65 meters high and has defensive niches used to attack from the flank. This tower was renovated in the years 1967-1972 and the year 2007.
Picture © Credit to: venemama
Picture © Credit to: boerescu
Made out of stone and brick by the Saxon potters’ guild, the Potter’ Tower has a rectangular base. In the mid-level, it recedes, and at the top, it becomes wider again. The roof is a rectangular pyramid made of wood and covered with tiles. The top height reaches 19,60 meters. The renovations to this tower happened just like the previous one between 1967 and 1972. The Potters’ Tower and the Carpenters’ Tower are linked together by a defensive wall made of stone and brick, while inside of the wall the wooden ramparts where built so the soldiers could walk between the towers and defend the wall.
This tower is not linked by a wall with the other towers, and it stands alone. The name comes from the Saxon Guild that built it, but later another guild maintained it and changed its name to the Clothmakers’ Tower. It is a 20,75-meter-high octagonal construction and becomes wider at the top. Just like the other towers, it has small windows for its defense.
While visiting Sibiu, the Fortress Street (Strada Cetății) is a must-see not only for the history lesson one gets while visiting one of the remnants of medieval Sibiu but also because after the visit, one can relax in one the many cafes and bars nearby.
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