June 29, 2018

Romania - In Sibiu the houses are watching you

I was so pleased to see foreign tourists in Sibiu, you can't imagine! That means that there is something to see and do in Sibiu and that this town has touristic potential. Nonetheless, as much as I've looked on the Internet I could not find an explanation for Sibiu's eyes. I had to turn to Romanian and in my language there are some articles. So this post is meant to explain in English what is the deal with Sibiu's eyes and of course to post my multitude of pictures taken last week in Sibiu.

Now, a few things for the ones that never heard of Sibiu, like ever. Sibiu is a Transylvanian town build by the German population that came to Romania in the mid 12th century up until the late Modern Age. They called it Hermanstadt and the architecture that we are able to admire today in Sibiu is due to their influence. In 2007 Sibiu was together with Luxembourg the Cultural Capital of Europe and the connection between these two cities is maintained until today.
Sibiu's eyes are an architectural improvement for a problem that the people of the town faced. On short, they were not able to keep their edibles in the basement because the soil was moist, so they build their houses with large attics where they would store food. The attics of the houses in Sibiu's centre are two storeys high and the eyes are just ventilation shafts.

They are made in this unique construction way since 1700 and today the people of Sibiu lost the craft techniques to make them. Although I saw the eyes in Brașov and Făgăraș, the people in Sibiu claim that their eyes are unique. I guess you just have to visit all the Transylvanian towns to see for yourselves.
The eyes would help air the attics, but at the same time their shape would prevent the rain from coming inside. Essentially they are made of roof tiles raised from their place using clay. Today Sibiu's eyes are a trademark of the city and I have to admit, they look great in photos.

Every time I saw them I imagined that they are sleepy or wide awake and to me they don't look creepy at all. Somehow you don't feel alone in Sibiu. The houses are forever watching!
I only hope that the people of Sibiu would take more care of their heritage, because what they have is unique.  

  As you can see some of the eyes are left uncovered, but modern times ask for modern improvements. Some of the attics are habitable now so some of the owners covered the eyes with glass and some of them closed the eyes altogether. I was a little disappointed of Sibiu. Once you leave the city centre it becomes an old communistic town with angry and mean people.
I hope you loved reading this post as much as I loved putting it together! Also, if you fancy keeping in contact with me, drop a line at on Facebook.

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