A travel journal
to Transylvania by 3mttours
Quote: With the accession of Romania by the EU, the European Cultural Capital has been moved to Sibiu (Hermannstadt), one of the jewels of Transylvania.
Attraction | "Crossborder Connections: Hungary and Romania"
In the former Harteneckengasse (Strada Cetăţii), not far from Korso and Hotel Bulevard, one shall be surprised by a well-preserved part of the third wall erected in the 14th century, together with the Tower of the Carpenters and the Tower of the Crossbowers, as well as the Tower of the Potters, which was built in the 15th century. The building of the wall is original--only the covered parapet on top of it, with a wooden-lined parapet, was restored in 1971.
In the Great Square, the old houses have the characteristic windows of the lofts, which look like eyes that have noticed everything across the centuries, beginning with the burning of witches and ending with today’s events.
The siege of the Saxon’s Bishop – people call it the Vatican – is also located on the Great Square. The Catholic Church was built by the Jesuits of the 18th century. This was to the annoyance of the German inhabitants, who by 1524 celebrated already the first Lutheran service in the small Elisabeth’s Chapel, which can still be visited near the main railway station. Since then, the Transylvanian Saxons remained faithful to the Confession of Augsburg.
The Bruckenthal Palace can still be admired on the Great Square. It was built 1780 by the Baron Samuel von Bruckenthal, governour of Transylvania at the time of the reign of Maria Theresia. Valuable books and paintings were collected by Brukenthal, and he donated them by power of his testament to the College of Sibiu on the condition that they shall not be removed from his palace. In 1817, 14 years after his death and 2 years after the Louvre was built in Paris, the Bruckenthal Palace opened its doors to the public, becoming thus the oldest museum of southeastern Europe.
Go in the Tower of the Old Town Hall, which houses a little history museum; from up there, you will get a complete image of the city – the Great Square; the nearby Small Square with the Liers’ Bridge; the Romanian Orthodox Cathedral, which is also worth a visit; and much more. On particularly clear days, you shall get an excellent view of the grandiose 70km-long ridge of the Transilvanian Alps, the highest Romanian mountains.
Go from the Great Square to the German Lutheran Cathedral and visit the grandiose Gothic church that houses one of the greatest organs Southeast Europe’s. And then take a walk through the city. You will see that the city is composed of an Upper and a Lower town, interconnected by many steps and steep roads. These contribute greatly to the medieval flair of the city.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 6, 2005
Hungary and Romania History, Sights & Attractions
Hungary / Romania
Attraction | "Romania's first Museum: The Bruckenthal Museum"
The present-day visitor will see the museum a little changed. The Brukenthal collection still is the center to the museum and, with little exception, still intact. A history section was added to the museum, which starts with archaeological findings and continues along with the Romanian history up until the present day, including the history of the German minority, as we are here in its central town. The Ethnographic Section can also be visited in today’s museum, which presents the wonderful traditional costumes of all ethnicities of this area. Furthermore, one can see ceramics, icons painted on glass, and also completely arranged rooms. In the New Forest at the outskirts of the city, one can visit a second section of the Brukenthal Museum: the Technical Section. Machines powered by water, used to prepare the wool or to stamp carpets, and many more activities are presented here.
Back on the Great Square, we look a little closer at the art collection. Some of the nicest ones cannot be seen. Eight of them were stolen at the beginning of the '70s, a time when restoration works were in progress at the museum. To see some of the nicest paintings in spite of the works, the management decided to create a small exhibition. It was pretty easy for the thieves to make some paintings disappear, as the most valuable were already selected by the museum. Until the theft has been discovered, the paintings were already brought overseas. Among the stolen paintings was Rembrandt’s "Ecce Homo."
After the theft, the management decided to transfer the most valuable paintings to Bucharest in the art museum, as the Brukenthal Museum of the time had no alarm. Although the art museum in Bucharest (the former Royal Palace) had an alarm system, the transfer has proven to be a bad decision, as the shootings of the revolution against the communist regime in 1989 had caused a fire in the art museum that destroyed some of the paintings. Despite restoration efforts carried out immediately after the revolution, the damage in the paintings can be still seen and remains as a landmark of the anti-totalitarian fights of 1989. In the Brukenthal Museum, one can see though many nice paintings, among them Feder Ruhens, Jordaens, and Romanian painters.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 9, 2006
Piata Mare 4-5
+40 (269) 211699
Hotel | "The Neighbourhood of Sibiu (1)"
It is situated in the centre of Romania, in Transylvania, on the northern part of the Carpathians. The inhabitants are Romanians but also Transylvanian Saxons and gypsies; Hungarians live only in little numbers here.
Since antiquity, the Romanians especially inhabited the mountain villages, their traditional occupation being sheep-breeding. This contributed to the fact that they were not settled in the true sense of the word. During the summer, they brought the sheep herds in the southern Carpathians, especially in the Cibin Mountains, which are not that rocky, while during the winter, they had to go south, on the other side of the Carpathians, usually as far as south to the Danube, in search of green meadows for their animals. Such a traditional Romanian village is Sibiel, at the mountainside of the Cibin Mountains. Letting aside the landscape surrounding the village, it is interesting to observe the houses. The Orthodox Church, with rings to light some really nice paintings, was built in the 18th century under the Austrian empire.
The most valuable attraction of the village lies, however, not in the church, but in the neighbouring house: an important collection of icons painted on glass. This unique art of painting icons is characteristic to several areas of Transylvania, including the area of Sibiu, but also the northern Moldova, at the Ukrainian border. As the icon is painted on the back of the glass, there is a totally different technique than with the more usual supports of painting; if one paints on wood or linen, first the background will be painted, with the details done at the end. On glass, the order is reversed; first the details (e.g. the eyes of the saints), and then the background. From an artistic point of view, the icons on glass express naiveté, which is particularly nice and has influenced many important painters.
Of particular importance is Sălişte, a village that gained its reputation because of the Persian carpets produced here. It is said that in Sălişte there are the nicest women all over Transylvania. How they got there, a legend tells us.
People say that the Hungarian King once expressed his wish to hunt in the area. Preparations began when all of a sudden it was realised that the women of Săliste were particularly ugly. To get a complete hunting experience for the king, it was decided to scatter the ugly women over the whole country, not to be evident anywhere anymore. To Sălişte were brought the nicest women of all Transylvania. They are the nicest all over Transylvania up till today.
Near Cibin River, 282 KM NW of Bucharest
Sibiu, Transylvania, Romania
Attraction | "The Neighbourhood of Sibiu (2)"
Close to the church, some stones can be seen that had to be brought here by the men who wanted to marry. These stones were used later for defense. Fortunately, nowadays no one needs to carry stones to the fortress, a young woman from Cisnădioara tells us, because else no one would marry in Cisnădioara these days.