Reached by means of the Scholars’s Stairs the Gothic-style Biserica din Deal – Church on the Hill, dedicated to St Nicholas, took nearly two hundred years to build on the site of a former Roman basilica. It is arguably the most architecturally significant building in Sighisoara. Its construction started in 1345 and continued, on and off, until 1525.
The church commenced life as a Roman Catholic Church but after the 1547 Reformation it shifted to Lutherism, as did the Saxons of Sighisoara.
The church is famous for its 15th century frescoes and especially for their disappearing and reappearing (albeit in lower quality). I’m sure you are wondering what I am talking about. Let me explain.
In the 1500’s the church has a series of frescoes on its walls. In 1776 a decision was made to paint over these frescoes but only after accurate copies of them had been recorded on parchment. The parchments disappeared before the frescoes were reproduced and the walls remained beige (or whatever colour was commonly applied to church interiors in those days – more probably whitewash).
In a 1934 restoration some of the old frescoes were partially uncovered and again in the 1990’s more were partially uncovered – so that which disappeared has reappeared.
Some particular things to observe (photography prohibited inside the church) include:
• a fresco in one of the archways in which the Holy Trinity is depicted as a three-faced entity, with the Holy Ghost depicted as female
• the Last Judgement fresco without any depiction of purgatory
• the crypt below the choir stall containing some thirty tombs – unique in terms of Evangelic churches in Transylvania
• a 1520 Gothic altarpiece dedicated to St Martin
• the pulpit carved in 1480
• 16th century wooden pews, carved by J Reychmut.
Opening Hours – 10am to 6pm daily.
Entrance Fee – 2 Lei
Opposite the church is the main entrance to the Saxon Cemetery (open daily 8:00am – 8:00pm).
Address: School Hill
Directions: Accessed by Scholars’ Stairs