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If you take a walk through Bistrita Nasaud you cannot miss Turnul Dogarilor (Coopers’ Tower), a construction full of history, where one can easily see the years passed by its walls, being located downtown on Dogarilor (Coppers) Street.
Eroded by time, but maintaining its beauty, the Coopers’ Tower is one of the most important tourist attractions in the area. The 25 meter high tower is surrounded by over one meter thick walls with shooting holes, recalling the initial purpose for which it was built in XV century – a fortification to defend the old city against attacks.
The Coopers’ Tower still guards the city being the last one remained of the 18 who once defended the fortress of Bistrita. All these defence bastions of the city were endowed with the names of the guilds who have contributed financially to their construction. Tailors’ Tower, Carpenters’ Tower, Butchers’ Tower and Goldsmiths’ Tower are only a few examples.
Built in Gothic style on three levels where the access is done through a staircase made of stone and situated downtown, the Coopers’ Tower has been used over time for various purposes.
First it was a psychiatric hospital, and then it became a detention place in which prostitutes were closed before being flogged in the public square and expelled from the community. But these were not the only uses. The scouts have considered it a good place for headquarters and a few elders have also found peace and quiet in the days when the tower was used as a nursing home.
The original purpose was of protection against invaders, but during our peaceful times, it houses a beautiful exhibition of hundreds of masks.
Besides the hundreds of years old history, the local old people trick their grandchildren or the neighbours’ children that the souls of the dead go to the tower or that many ghosts make their appearance in the house at night. If their stories made you curious, you really need to go visit the Coopers’ Tower to learn the truth.
And if you are already in Bistrita, you have no excuse not to visit Bistrita Citadel – built in the thirteenth century; also the medieval fortress Ciceu Citadel, the Minorita Monastery, Andreas Beuchel House, also called John the Mason House or the Evangelical Church.
Images from Turnul Dogarilor (Coppers’ Tower)
- 1 “Mihai Viteazul” (Michael the Brave) – rural celebration
- 2 “La fântâna dorului” (At the Sorrow Fountain) – folk festival
- 3 The Onion Festival
- 4 Negreni Fair
- 5 The Grapes Ball
- 6 Folklore and folk art afferent to the tradition of Beius Fair
- 7 The Slovakian Potatoes Holiday
- 8 Aeternus Maramorosiensis – Medieval Festival of Sighetu Marmatiei
- 9 The “Salajean Village” Festival – Porolissum
- 10 Autumn on Ierului Valley