Destinations, Other

Sibiu / Hermannstadt – one of medieval Europe’s finest cities

Whoever visits Romania is tempted to visit Transyilvania, the land where it’s believed that count Dracula lived, the fictional character from Stocker’s Novel.

Even though Dracula, the blood thirsty vampire, never existed, the land of Transilvania is a great place to be visited within the Eastern European country called Romania. Sibiu (in German reffered as Hermannstadt and in Hungarian as Nagyszeben) is situated in the Southern Transylvania, 282 km North-West of Bucharest. Contrasting with the country’s recent history and issues, Sibiu is like an island of peace and culture.

The city became known to the world after being designated European Capital of Culture for that year, together with Luxembourg; it was just the publicity it needed to hit the spotlight.

If you’re visiting Sibiu, you can’t miss the Brukenthal National Museum. This Museum exists in the memory of baron Samuel von Brukenthal wich has been a governor of Transylvania during the Austrian empire. Brukenthal Museum is a complex of six museums as von Brukenthal has been a top class collector – he literally bought all the books that have been published in his times.

Also, the old bells(1700s) ringing in the Advisory Market(Piaţa Sfatului, in Romanian) in front of the museum and the atmosphere in this special and unique market in Romania is a place you can not easily forget.

Even though it is not one of the big cities of Romania (such as Bucharest, Iaşi, Cluj Napoca, Timişoara, etc.), having only a population of a little of 150000 inhabitants, Sibiu is one of Romania’s most culturally lively cities.

Several festivals are organised yearly in Sibiu, the most prestigious of them being the Theatre Festival, organized each spring at the end of May. The Artmania Festival is held every Summer since 2006 and as of 2008 the Rockin’ Transilvania Festival is also held in Sibiu. The oldest Jazz Festival in Romania is organized here, as well as the “Carl Filtsch” festival for young classical piano players, the “Astra Film” documentary film festival, a medieval arts festival and many more smaller cultural events.

Multiculturalism is the watchword in Sibiu as along the years, because of it’s geographical position(in the center of Romanian-inhabited territories), the city has been dominated by more nations than Romanians, Hungarians and Germans. Moreover, people from many places come to visit the city that kept the Romanian culture alive during the foreign domination. (the first book ever printed in Romanian language has been printed here, in Sibiu)

So, no matter if you’re a culture fan, a fan of modernism, a fan of concerts and chaotic life or a fan of history, Sibiu has them all and it is definitely a place you should fit in your agenda, especially when traveling through Europe.

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