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Sibiu History, Romania

Sibiu History – Hermanstadt and the German Colonists

Located in Southern Transylvania, at the foot of Fagaras Mountains, Sibiu attracts tourists with its beautifully restored historic center, famous ethnographic park and intense cultural life. Sibiu’s history is closely linked to the history of the German colonists in Transylvania: it was them who founded Sibiu in the middle of the 12th century, on the remains of an old Slavic settlement.

With constant attacks coming from the Mongol tribes, it took Sibiu (mentioned as ‘Hermannstadt’ in a 1223 document) three centuries until it reached its full potential. By mid 16th century, Sibiu was a flourishing medieval city, run by powerful craftsmen guilds and having developed strong political and commercial links with the Occidentals capitals. Although both Austro-Hungarians and Ottomans have tried to take over Sibiu in their numerous territorial conflicts, the city managed to heal its war wounds very fast and continued to progress. The German population continued to represent the majority; therefore, Sibiu became a Lutheran city after the Reform. In addition to its religious and commercial importance, Sibiu was the site of several scientific innovations: the first paper mill in Romania, the first pharmacy, the first printed book in Romanian language, the first rocket designed by Conrad Hass.

Sibiu History – Sibiu as Part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire

When Transylvania became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Sibiu was chosen as the capital of the principality. When Romanians were finally granted the freedom of religion by Emperor Joseph II, Sibiu become the center of Romanian Orthodoxy. This overlapped with the efforts made by Romanian intellectuals to revive national values and fight against Hungary’s annexation of Transylvania in 1867. Therefore, Sibiu became the headquarters of the Romanian National Party and the of ‘Memorandum’ movement. In the second half of the 19th century, Sibiu experienced an unprecedented growth: new neighborhoods were being built; there was an electric tram and electric street illumination.

Sibiu History – Sibiu after World War I

The end of World War I marked the victory of Romanians: Sibiu history took an important twist, as the city became a part of the Romanian State. By the time when World War II started, the ethnic structure of Sibiu was very balanced: Romanians and Saxons, in almost equal numbers. Unfortunately, many Germans were persecuted by the communist authorities: those who managed to escape deportation chose to immigrate in Western Europe. Sibiu managed to escape the massive demolitions that mutilated cities like Bucharest or Constanta in the communist era. In recognition of its numerous achievements and rich historical patrimony, Sibiu was chosen “Cultural Capital of Europe” in 2007.

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  • eratoMuseum of Folk Civilization in Sibiu
    review by erato posted more then 30 days ago
    Sibiu – ASTRA Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization – How to get there? The city of Sibiu is the capital of Sibiu County situated in north to the Southern-Carpathians, in the heart of Romania. The Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization lies 1.5 miles (2 km) near the city. The...
  • eratoYou shouldn't miss in Sibiu
    review by erato posted more then 30 days ago
    I found Sibiu a very nice, amazing historical city, I think the city won the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2007 for a very good reason. Here are just some of its sights what I enjoyed most: 1. The 'Holy Trinity' Romanian Orthodox Cathedral, based on plans of Virgil Nagy and Jozsef Kamner. 2....
  • szbogiVisiting Sibiu in the summer
    review by szbogi posted more then 30 days ago
    We arrived to Sibiu (in german it's Hermannstadt) in the afternoon. Sibiu has been chosen to be the European Capital of Culture in the year of 2007 together with Luxembourg. The city is beautiful and amazingly clean compared to other romanian cities, with a wonderful city center. All of the...
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Read our members' travel tips about Sibiu

  • Sayuri87Brukenthal Museum
    travel tip by Sayuri87 posted more then 30 days ago
    Brukenthal Museum was founded by Joseph Bruckenthal, the governor of the city during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The museum has more buildings, all beautiful examples of the Saxon architecture. My favorites are the Museum of Hunting,...
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Sibiu City Ratings

  • Rating75%
    City Rank180
  • History & Culture: rated for 90%
  • Night Life & Entertainment: rated for 57%
  • Family & Fun: rated for 73%
  • Outdoors Activities: rated for 87%
  • Food: rated for 80%
  • Sightseeing: rated for 90%
  • Shopping: rated for 60%
  • Public Transportation: rated for 70%
  • Must visit this place: not rated
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