To the south of the main square in the UNESCO World Heritage listed town of Sighişoara is a covered staircase. It’s known as the Scholars’ Stairs because the 175 steps lead to a school and church at the top of the hill. It was built in 1642 to shelter schoolchildren and churchgoers from the elements in wintertime.
The school sits at the top of the hill and was originally built in the 15th century.
Next to the school is the Biserica din Deal (Church on the Hill), or Bergkirche in German. Built in 1345 over an old Roman basilica, it was originally Catholic but turned Lutheran after the Reform. The walls were beautiful decorated with murals in 1483 but they were completely painted over in 1776. Some of them were uncovered recently but the majority have been lost forever. I had to pay a small admission to get into the church. The man at the door was fun to talk to and had information cards in several languages for international visitors.
Outside the church yard is the old German cemetery. A few important people from Sighișoara’s Saxon past are buried there, including Friedrich Müller, a senator who died in 1879. Interestingly, his grave was adorned with several flowers even though he died quite a long time ago. The caretaker of the cemetery lives in the Ropemaker’s Tower, one of nine surviving towers on the city walls.