Visit Sibiu to see its beautiful medieval squares, towers, and city walls, which takes you centuries back to the times when German Saxons dominated this city.
You can find a calm city life in the center of Sibiu, with charming two and three level brick buildings; some with lens-shaped skylights known as the “the eyes of Sibiu”.
A recent breakthrough for Sibiu was being named the European Capital of Culture in 2007, which meant extensive rehabilitation. During the year, Sibiu hosted many festivals, artists and craftsmen.
Sibiu was first mentioned in the 12th century, and beginning in the 14th century, grew into an important trade and political hub for Transylvania. At first it was a welcoming place for ethnic Germans, then in the 19th-20th centuries transformed into a base for ethnic Romanians.
Even though the German population of Sibiu has dwindled to less than 2%, the current mayor of the city, Klaus Johannis, is of German ethnicity and enjoys great popularity for his positive impact on the city’s development.
While in Sibiu, don’t miss the "Astra" Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization, situated 4 km south of Sibiu in the Dumbrava Forest. It hosts traditional pre-industrial Romanian folk rural settlements that include houses, barns, storehouses, workshops, windmills and churches. The museum is divided into six thematic areas:
- Food production and animal rearing
- Transportation and communication means
- Acquiring of raw materials (wood, stone, ores, metals, clay)
- Manufacture of household items
- Public utility and social buildings
- Monumental sculpture
The museum owns over 46 000 items and is the largest open-air museum in Romania, as well as one of the largest in Central and Eastern Europe.
For those who are especially interested in German Saxon history, the Museum of Saxon Ethnography and Folk Art "Emil Sigerus” has over 8 900 pieces divided in three collections: port-textiles-embroidery, painted furniture and ceramics. This plot of culture is aimed at recovery, restoration, preservation and promotion of tangible and intangible authentic Saxon heritage.
Sibiu's German name is Hermannstadt and in Hungarian is called Nagyszeben.