Sibiu: a city full of “eyes”

  Walking on the streets of Sibiu, my daughter bounced around and pointed to the roofs one by one to count: “One Eye House, Two Eye Houses, Three Eye Houses…” When she visited this Romanian city, she was still young. Even the church and the castle can’t be distinguished, and he doesn’t know anything about the history of the city, but the “eye house” has become a very deep memory.
  It is called the “eye house” because there are long and thin attic transoms on the red-tiled roof of the building, just like eyes. Such buildings can be seen in countries such as Germany and Poland, but it is undoubtedly the most concentrated in Sibiu, Romania.
  Located in Sibiu in Transylvania, the city’s architectural style combines Baroque and Renaissance styles and is regarded as the “Romanian city most similar to Germany”. Sibiu, also known as the City of Oaks, is one of the seven cities built by Germanic immigrants in Transylvania in the 12th century. In the 14th century, Sibiu became an important trading center, and in 1366, the city was established. In the 17th century, Sibiu was a trade hub between Eastern Europe and Western Europe. A large number of goods stopped here, driving the city’s prosperity. In the history of Sibiu, the Germanic population once occupied the vast majority of the population, which remained so until 1941. From the 1950s to the 1980s, Germans gradually immigrated to Germany and Austria.
  Driving into the old city of Sibiu, there are low two to three-story old houses with leaning red tiles in front of you. Affected by the economic downturn in Romania, even though Sibiu is one of the most economically developed cities in Romania, it still cannot afford to maintain houses. Many houses fall off and the red bricks inside can be seen. Only those “eyes”, big or small, are watching my arrival together.
  The hotel is just beside the road, facing a big uphill, which can be regarded as one of the entrances to the old city. The old city is divided into the upper city and the lower city. The former is concentrated with squares, churches and city halls, while the latter is dominated by residential buildings. This large uphill is a very vivid area separated from the upper and lower cities-the road you pass when you drive into the city is the Xiacheng district. There are stone steps leading to the upper city on the side of the big uphill, and the two are separated by the old city wall.
  Looking up, there is a suspended iron bridge spanning the city walls on both sides of the big uphill. In fact, the length is less than ten meters, but it is a legendary attraction in Sibiu-the Bridge of Lies. This bridge was built in 1859 and was the first iron bridge in Romanian history. Legend has it that lovers are standing on the bridge. Once someone lies, the bridge will collapse. Perhaps because of this, the most common concentric locks on European iron bridges are actually not available here. After all, it is easy to swear, what if the bridge collapses.
  The old city is very suitable for walking, and in front of the Bridge of Lies is the so-called “small square”. The buildings on the square are high and low, each with “eyes”. Some have square eyes, which look like robots, and some have standard semi-elliptical eyes. There is also a house with a towering gable on the facade, and I did not forget to open two “eyes” in the remaining places on both sides of the roof.
  On the other side of the square, there is an old defensive arch, which leads to the main square, the center of the old city of Sibiu. The towering tower above the arch is also accompanied by a small tower with a spire of interlaced tiles in green, blue, and white, which looks like ice cream. This is the landmark building on the small square-Parliament Tower. Historically, it has been used for many purposes. It has been used as a granary, a prison, and the mayor’s residence. Of course, its most important use is as a defensive gate for the inner city. Today, it is the best place to view the old town of Sibiu.
  Step into the parliament tower, support the rough stone wall, and climb up the narrow and steep wooden stairs. This was originally a common climbing action in European city trips. It was tiring and boring. I only hoped that the scenery after climbing would not be disappointing. But this parliament tower is a bit different. There are art exhibitions on every floor, and every floor you climb is unavoidable.

The interior of the Orthodox Church.

  The art exhibition I encountered was called “Fashion of Meat”, which used meat to construct classic films and fashions and presented them with pictures. Peter Pan, made of sausage, wrestled with his opponent holding a toothpick as a sword, and his opponent, the pirate captain’s iron hook, was a crooked sausage. The classic image of Detective Poirot-there are many hats, glasses, beards and bow ties, except that the top hat is a slice of sausage, the glasses are two slices of onion stuffed sausage, two cucumber-style sausages as a beard, and a slice of ham. Tie into a bow tie. Chaplin is similar, but the image is much more complicated. The side face of Medusa the banshee is carved from meat steak, and the snake hair is crooked sausages. There are also ET aliens, Don Quixote, Little Red Riding Hood…
  Walking to the top of the Parliament Tower, the old city has a panoramic view. The dense red-tiled roofs of old and new are staggered and stretched. The “eyes” in the small square are facing me, and in the distance are the mountains and green spaces that connect with the sky. Overlooking the Grand Plaza on the other side and the Huyet Square next to it, the City Hall Tower stands on the Grand Plaza, and the Notre Dame Lutheran Cathedral in the Huyet Square has a high bell tower.
  Pass through the defensive arch under the parliament tower to enter the main square. The large square with a length of 142 meters and a width of 93 meters is one of the largest squares in Transylvania. It was a grain trading market in the early years and has been the center of Sibiu since the 15th century. The city hall with yellow walls is in Baroque style and was built in the 18th century. The buildings around the square are obviously glamorous, the exterior walls have been whitewashed, and the decorations on the walls symbolize the glory of the past.
  Sibiu was not only a trading center, but also had a very high political and cultural status. During the reign of the Habsburgs, Romania’s status as the Orthodox Church was recognized, and Sibiu became the archdiocese, and later the seat of the Transylvania Regional Council.
  The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Lutheran occupies the commanding heights of Sibiu. It belongs to the Augustan Confessional of the Lutheran Evangelical Church and is a German-speaking church in Romania. With a height of 73.34 meters, the bell tower of the Gothic church is the tallest building in the old city.
  In contrast, the Orthodox Cathedral not far away is in a typical Orthodox style, with a short history of completion. Construction started in 1902 and completed in 1906. This is the second largest Orthodox church in Romania. It is a Byzantine Basilica style with a Baroque spire. The outer facade of the main hall is oval, flanked by towering towers with Byzantine domes. The interior of the church is extremely magnificent. The round windows, patterns, and frescos on the dome are exquisite, and the arcades, flower windows and walls on both sides are painted with various paintings and patterns.

Eyes on the small square.

Peter Pan, Don Quixote, Chaplin, ET at the Art Exhibition on the Tower of Parliament.

  There are many roads connecting the main square and the Orthodox Cathedral, but with the flow of people in the main square, you will always walk to Nicolas Barsescu Street. This pedestrian street is the most prosperous commercial pedestrian street in Sibiu, and there are no shortage of big brand shops on both sides.
  Compared to the lively pedestrian street, I prefer the scenery that I see after walking out of the path next to the Lutheran Cathedral. There is still a section of the old city wall, with a typical medieval spire tower on each side, surrounded by houses and cafes. Compared with the hustle and bustle of the main square, it is much quieter. The hillside in front of the city wall is now a city park. Whether you are looking at the city wall and old buildings in the park, or sitting on the open-air seats of a cafe to see the greenery of the park, it is Great enjoyment.
  Although the beauty of the small square, the hustle and bustle of the large square, the solemnity of the two cathedrals, the bustling of Nicolas Barsescu’s commercial street, and the tranquility of the medieval city walls are different, they all have something in common. It is the ubiquitous “eye”. If inferred from time, most of the “eye” houses were built between the 17th and late 19th centuries, which was also the peak period of Germanic population in Sibiu.
  The number of transoms in the attic has no absolute relationship with the size of the house. Some houses of considerable size are “one-eyed dragons”, some small houses are “three eyes of Lord Ma”, and the houses are densely packed with two or three rows and five or six eyes. There are also differences in the size of the eyes. Some have big eyes, some have squinted pig eyes, some look smiling, some are cute, some are gloomy or even scary.
  ”Eyes” do not exist in isolation, and their combination with the house can always constitute a different look. In the most glamorous large square, the “eyes” also feel bright, and in the old blocks with old mottled and bare brick walls, there are always pairs of “eyes” full of vicissitudes of life.
  They see me the same, just a hurried tourist, but they are different in my eyes, telling the history of this city with different stories.