Old Wall gate in Brashov

August 2000:

In Medieval times, the Hungarian Kings of Transylvania invited Saxons to come to what is now Romania as mercenaries to defend the region from Eastern invaders. In return they got land and titles. Though they have almost all left since the fall of Ceacescu, they've left behind their legacy in stone architecture.


For tourists, the current day residents cash in on the memory of Vlad the Impaler, Stoker's inspiration for Dracula. His castle is said to be near Brashov, though Vlad may never have stayed there.






The central square in Brashov (left) and the churches in town hearken back to a time of Saxon greatness.











Details in the old gardens and door knockers show the heritage of German attention to detail.













Testament to a time of daily threats, old defense towers still rise from the woods on the outskirts of town.

This white tower is confusingly called "The Black Tower."




In Sighisoara, it is the rooftops that take us back to the old world.    




In the clock tower, they keep us signposted to the new world.



















The clock tower still rings out the hours and shows us the days -- each one dedicated to a different Nordic god (Thor's day, Wodens Day, etc.).










We caught this woman killing weeds with salt in front of her house.











There he is again: Vlad stood here.    


Tourists shop in front of his house.




A covered bridge leads up to the church in Sigisoara.

Why do all those military defenses seem like such romantic places today?


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