Sighișoara Clock Tower

Clock Tower

In every fortification system there is one fortress that dominates the others: the master-tower. The Clock Tower of Sighișoara (Romanian: Turnul cu Ceas) is the main entry point to the citadel, opposite guarded by Taylor's Tower. With its 64 meters of height, the tower is visible from almost every corner of the city from Mures County, its purpose was to defend the main gate of the citadel and also served as the town hall until 1556. Now It's considered one of the most expressive clock tower in the whole Transylvania.


The tower began to be built at the end of 13th century, It was built in the 14th century as a simple gate tower with a maximum of two levels: the ground floor and first two floors of the tower were made of sandstone and river rock, the first stage of the tower construction probably had a form identical to the Tailors tower. The thickness of the base walls were 2.35 meters, 1.30 meters on the second floor, stone tiles of basalt were used only at the corners. In the 16th century the old roof was demolished, they have added two floors built of brick and it was built a balcony and the roof. Nobody knows for sure how the roof was before the 1676 fire. The actual 5 turrets baroque roof with bulbs represents an exceptional achievement of the three Pilgrim masters: Veit Gruber from Tyrol, Philip Bong of Salzburg and carpenter Valentinus Auslander, who rebuilt the tower after the great fire of 1676 from March to September 1677 for 650 florins. What makes this tower unique in all the country is its clock with puppets inside.

It's a symbol of Sighisoara, and, despite all the other towers that were owned and defended by different guilds, the Clock Tower was a public good. It used to host the Public Administration, and, during holidays, the city orchestra; since the end of 19th century though it hosts the History Museum of Sighisoara. Another important feature of this tower is the balcony which is the most important observation point of the city: the wide view allowed to sight eventual fires in time in order to reach promptly one of the nine places in all Sighisoara that could provide water. It was vital to prevent the spread of flames because at that time the city did not dispose of much water; it was necessary in fact to dig for 35m to find a source of water.


The tower was modernized in 1964 with an electric motor, without diminishing the archaic effect of the clock. Since 1898, the tower serves as a museum in Sighisoara, a title that gives to it the status of symbol of the Citadel, and the main attraction for visitors.

Architectural Features

The tower is a rectangular prism with massive walls, with a rectangular base measuring 12x8,66 meters, with four floors and an observation gallery. The current distance between the base of the tower and the base of the roof is 30 meters, and the height of the roof, from the base to the top is 34 meters, so the roof is taller than the tower. The base of the tower is crossed by two vaulted semi cylinder parallel passages dated 13th century, provided in the past with solid oak doors and metal gratings, whose traces can still be partially seen today. Tower carries many signs of local authority: the four turrets placed on the corners of the roof, 12.5 m high, are symbols of autonomy of the State, which can pronounce and execute sentences to capital punishment. Also the clock and some figurines on inside can be considered symbols of public authority, as the 1 meter diameter golden scope on the summit of the roof. The tower keeps two clock mechanism, one in wood and one in metal, correspondingly to the age of the crafts. Two facades (one facing the citadel, the second facing the lower city) hold a clock dial of 2.3 meters diameter, with black and gold hand-painted clock numbers. Two niches with symbolic figurines on the inside are located on the left of the dials. In the niche facing the Citadel are arranged, on three levels, the following figures:

The niche located into the facade facing the Lower City has only two sections or levels:

The seven day figures


At the first sight the seven figures appear to represent only seven days of the week, but in reality they depict the seven ancient gods, seven planets and seven basic metals.


Coordinates: 46°13′09″N 24°47′36″E / 46.2193°N 24.7933°E / 46.2193; 24.7933

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