Sunday, 2 December 2012

Vlad or Dad

The guidebooks might say 'Sighisoara sits at the top of the Saxon region at the ancient heart of Transylvania. It has medeival fortifications protecting a hill top church and a citedal town of brightly painted houses dating anything from five hundred years ago to a version of modern times untouched by familiar progress.' They would miss the gothic heaviness that descends with the night to shroud cobbled paths in shadows and turn trees and steep roofs into eerie grotesques. Aptly enough as this town is reputed to harbour the birthplace of either the dreaded Vlad the Impailer or his father. The adjoining house is now used to entertain important visitors, none more so that Vlad's direct descendant, heir to the British throne, Charles, Prince of Wales. The area to the south of Sighisoara is dotted with fortified churches, most now disused since the local German population abandoned villages and their Saxon churches and fled after the fall of Romania's more recent tyrant at the end of 1989. What remains is wonderfully preserved history, timeless and defying the passage of time.Almost like the fictional vampires that owe their appeal to Vlad's bloody reputation and something more chilling and real in the Sighisoara night.

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