Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sibiu - Doors and Windows

"The old house had a thousand doors in it.
All old houses do. 
You can see them if you know how to look: the noontime shadow of a windowpane crawling with intent across a floor; 
unmeasured angles of wall meeting wall; fireplaces grown chill with unused years. 
Archways with unseen contours you can trace with a finger in the cracks as brick grinds against brick in settling walls. 
Some nights, and some houses are doorways entire, 
silhouettes against the evening's last light black on black like an opening into a darker sky. 
You just have to look. 
An eye-corner glance will do, if you don't turn and stare and explain it away."

Michael Montoure - Slices

Sibiu - The Towers

For hundreds of years, 
this walled town in the heart of Transylvania was one of the most powerful and prosperous strongholds in Europe. 
Surrounded by imposing walls, Sibiu's original fortifications included 
39 defensive towers, five bulwarks, four gates and five artillery batteries.

Although the entire network is remarkably well-preserved, the best-maintained section is the southeastern side 
which has been reinforced several times throughout the centuries since attacks most often came from that direction.

Three 15th century towers have withstood the test of time: Harquebusiers' Tower, Carpenters' Tower and Potters' Tower. 

Sibiu - Nicolae Balcescu Street

The pedestrians-only Nicolae Balcescu Street links the Great Square to the western fringes of the old town. 
The casual stroller will see the many welcoming cafés, restaurants, with tables set outside in the shade, 
and a variety of shops on the ground floor – small local businesses and also some chains, such as supermarket Billa and Zara. 

The line of this street was set up in 1492, when it was called Platea Heltensis.
The majority of the houses found here are from the second half of the 19th century and 
they are built in a provincial Baroque style or they have an eclectic architectural style.
The houses are located with the short side to the street (that is, they are much larger than they appear), 
the access being provided through massive gates and vaulted corridors, which lead to inner courtyards, enclosed on all sides.