Sighişoara's delightful medieval buildings are enclosed within its citadel, a Unesco-listed complex of protective walls and watchtowers. Walking in the citadel is today a tranquil, fairy-tale-like experience, but these towers were once packed with weapons and emergency supplies, guarding Sighişoara from Turkish attacks (note the upper windows from which arrows could be fired).
From the 14th to 16th centuries each of the 14 towers and five artillery bastions was managed by a different town guild, and the walls extended 903m. Surviving today are nine towers and two bastions.
Dating from the 16th century, the Bootmakers' Tower was a key point of defence from the northern end. Just south, the Tailors' Tower was built to guard over the back entrance to the citadel. As with many of the buildings here, the tower was engulfed in a massive fire in 1676 and rebuilt afterwards. On the eastern edge of the citadel is the Blacksmiths' Tower, a pointy-roofed watchtower dating from 1631. Finally, the southerly (and top-heavy) Tinsmiths' Tower is one of the most easily recognisable in the citadel, both for its height (25m) and its octagonal upper level. A siege in 1704 left scars in the building that are visible to this day.