Thursday, February 19, 2015

The "Eyes" of Sibiu

One of the oddest characteristic of houses in Sibiu are attic windows that look like eyes staring at you.

"This was one of their towns. Sibiu which they called Hermannstadt, and standing in its lovely square I thought —well, I thought of nothing appropriate, one never does when sightseeing, only it was a most lovely square, and what so took me were the elongated eye-shaped openings in the roofs of the houses. It was as if the heavy dark red tiles had parted to produce a wink. And this fancy can be substantiated, for (a) the openings were the exact shape of eyes, this lay beyond argument ; (b) in the centre of each was a window resembling a retina ; (c) a pigeon, with the thoroughness one recognizes as German, would frequently perch in the window and, glancing this way and that, act the part of a pupil. The pigeons sometimes overdid their parts to be sure, for they would perch in pairs and so generate a squint. One recognized the tendency to over-emphasis. But the broad lines of the scheme were admirable, and, watched by these amiable flickering eyes the great square slumbered in the sun."  E. M. Forster.

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