Transylvania Stories and Tips

A Historic Overview

Formerly the centre of the Dacian Kingdom (between the 1st century BC and the 1st century our time), then becoming a Roman province, Transylvania, "the country between mountains", becomes in the 11th century part of Hungary. Hungarians at that time, were few, and, having to defend such a big territory, King Ladislau the 1st brings some colonists on the Eastern border of Transylvania, the Szekely, a branch of the Magyar tribes, while King Geza the 2nd decides in the 12th century to invite some colonists of German origins, called afterward „Saxons", who occupied the whole Southern territory of Transylvania. Their privileges were confirmed in the Andreanum, under King Andreas the 2nd. It is this document, that calls them „saxons", thanks to a mistranslation into Latin and then back to German. Together with the Hungarians and the Szekely, they formed the thre favoured nations, each of them being divided in 7 „seats", or counties, as we would call them in our days. This being the reason, why Transylvania is being called in German „Siebenbürgen", "seven fortresses".

Shortly after the Hungarians settled and built their state, Transylvania becomes an autonomous region, with its own ruler, who, however, responded to the Hungarian King. 1526, after the battle at Mohacs, that ended with a Turkish victory, Transylvania becomes an independent principality, under Turkish suzeranity. It is a period when the Habsburg Empire is also looking forward to get a hold on Transylvania, which plays the Turks off the Habsburgs. 1686, Transylvania is invaded by Habsburgic troops, but it does not succeed, so that Brasov is put on fire, though one year later the conquest succeeds and it is taken under Habsburgic control. It is only 1876, when it re-joins Hungary, while in 1920, after World War 2, when the Habsburgic Empire falls and each province has the right of self-determination, Transylvania chooses to join Romania.

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