Let's travel together #209 - Scara Acoperită (The Covered Stairway)
I often say that we kind of run away from the popular sightseeing attractions every region has just because we are trying to explore and bring in front of the people some places that are less known, but there are also these situations when you literally cross one of the landmarks of the city you are in, and it would be really ridiculous not to stop by.
To be honest, I've not been a stranger to The Covered Stairway because I visited this place when I was very young on a school trip if I remember right, but the memories are very vague so we did have in plan to stop by during our weekend spent in Sighisoara.
However, as the years are not passing only over yourself but over everything is surrounding you, from what I noticed this place is not as famous as it used to be around 15-20 years ago, so it was perfect for us since we don't enjoy stepping into overcrowded locations because we feel like the crowd of people always stays in front of being 100% focused to the place we are discovering and to be able to admire its whole beauty.
We actually, passed this place during our trip exploring 4 of the defensive towers that are still standing still in Sighisoara and which I talked about in my previous post, but as soon as we've seen those we returned to Scara Acoperită and followed all the way up feeling closer to history with every step made further.
Back in the 2009 there was also a very popular song made by a Romanian band which conquered many tops around the world and whose video was filmed in Sighisoara, especially at the citadel and under The Covered Stairway, so I guess that contributed pretty much on becoming a very popular place for a few years since many people were travelling to this place just to see with their own eyes where the video was recorded.
Though, as interesting as it sounds, the stairway had a completely different purpose when it was built back in 1642 because it was a very tumultuous period to be alive, especially if you were living in Sighisoara which turned out to be one of the most medieval and important cities from Transylvania.
These days, The Covered Stairway is quite hidden from the curious eyes, being placed strategically between buildings with the same height and leave the vegetation embrace it slowly, but you can still find a small informative board placed on top of it where it's written its name and the year when it was built.
Actually, the stairway used to be also known as the "Schoolboys' Stairs" because it was the secret passage that facilitate the way to school children could follow to both stay away from invaders sight but also to be protected during the winter when there was a low of snow, wind and rain.
The main project included a total of 300 stairs but as the years passed and the monument started to deteriorate, there are only 175 left nowadays but which are still going to make you feel like following the footprints of history and learn a little bit more about this part of the world.
If you are wondering how this was possible, there used to be continuous stairs from the bottom to the top, but after the renovation from 1842 the stairs were reduced by creating small break areas after every 6 stairs climbed which also made everything easier for the people who were following this way.
The modification followed the traditional architecture of the Saxons who were living here back in those times.
The place you'll reach as soon as you finish walking up the stairs is a hill that not only it will offer you a great view over the city but also reach the school I mentioned before, as well as a church and the cemetery that it's way different from anything you've seen before.
As scary as the 17-19th centuries were for Transylvania with lots of invasions and enemies who were attacking those lands with the main purpose of either conquering or destroying everything, The Covered Stairway resisted pretty well, the single deterioration reason being the water from the rain which affected the wood and made it change its shape or even have some of the planks fall over.
However, talking about a monument from 1642 which only had modifications on the stairs, I think everything resisted pretty well and I do hope that it will resist at least 5 more centuries from now on so more people find its story and learn a little bit more about how important it used to be for the citizens of Sighisoara.
The total number of 29 landings between the stairs is more than enough to make the whole climb a lot easier and enjoyable, especially if you are doing it after you took dinner and you are scared of going up too many stairs. 😃
In plus, let's not forget that this is completely free and a unique experience since Scara Acoperită is the world's largest wooden covered stairway that might not lead to heaven but it will, for sure, make you reach the top of the city and some other important buildings which you'll remember a long while after your trip comes to an end.
And if you feel like the whole story shared is not enough for you to be convinced about your visit to Sighisoara, remember that you can find beauty through, literally, every crack.
The single thing you have to do is to have a beautiful soul ready to see the good parts in every journey and that can be achieved pretty fast if you are climbing the stairs to the hill because just as I said, there are a few planks missing but which are creating the perfect view on the way to nature that brings a colourful touch to the black and white remains of history! 💛
But, along with the euphoric feeling you get while being surrounded by so much colour and nature, we had to make one last effort and focus on the place we were visiting because history is far from coming to an end and there are a lot more places to discover at the end of the tunnel.
So, as soon as you climb the last few steps, you will notice that there is a huge church in front of you but which is only one of the other sightseeing attractions you can find up on the hill and which can be discovered quite easily if you let yourself be led by the narrow paved paths.
The first thing that caught our attention, was the school which is the main reason The Covered Stairway was created, called "J. Haltrich Highschool" and which is one of the oldest educational buildings which are standing still in Transylvania.
While, unfortunately, these days, the school became an option instead of a necessity, back in the 17th century no matter how poor the families were, everyone was going to the school to learn new things and make sure they will have a better future than their parents.
The world's first people who made the association between religion and education were the Hebrews, and that's also the reason why the language written on the building is not in Romanian or English, but which remains another piece of history that can be understood only by the curious ones who seek for more information.
However, since we are in Transylvania and the legends couldn't be missing, there is also a story about the The Covered Stairway which says that you could easily find out if a boy truly loves a girl if he was able to kiss her on every single step and call her name without making any mispronunciation. If he was getting the mission to the end, then it was considered as being the right guy for that girl.
The Covered Stairway is also considered one of the most original works from Transylvania, and the coordinates for it are 46°13'6"N/24°47'28"E.
It can also be reached pretty easy if you follow the trail with the towers that are still resisting in the 21st century in Sighisoara or if you search it on the GPS by its Romanian name - Scara Acoperită.
SEE YOU IN THE NEXT TRIP! 🗾
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