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Sibiu
Hermannstadt
Nagyszeben
—  City  —
Historic centre.

Coat of arms
Sibiu is located in Romania
Sibiu
Location of Sibiu within Romania (in red)
Coordinates: 45°47′45″N 24°09′08″E / 45.79583°N 24.15222°E / 45.79583; 24.15222
Country Romania
Sibiu County Municipality of Sibiu
Founded 1191 (first official record)
Government
 - Mayor Klaus Johannis (Democratic Forum of Germans)
Area
 - Total 121 km2 (46.7 sq mi)
Elevation 190 - 240 m (-597 ft)
Population (est. January 1, 2009[1])
 - Total 154,548
 Density 1,273/km2 (3,297.1/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal Code 55xxxx
Area code(s) +40 269
Car Plates SB
Website www.sibiu.ro

Sibiu (Romanian pronunciation: [siˈbiw]; German: Hermannstadt; Hungarian: Nagyszeben) is an important city in Transylvania, Romania with a population of 154,548.[1] It straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt. It is the capital of Sibiu County and is located some 282 km NW of Bucharest. Between 1692—1791 it was the capital of the Principality of Transylvania.

It is one of the most important cultural and religious centres in Romania as well a major transportation hub in central Romania. The city used to be the centre of the Transylvanian Saxons until World War II. Sibiu was designated European Capital of Culture for the year 2007, together with Luxembourg. It is ranked as "Europe 8th most most idyllic place to live" by Forbes.[2]

One village, Păltiniş, is administered by the city.

Contents

Geography and climate

Climate diagram of Sibiu

Sibiu is situated near the geographical center of Romania at 45°47′34″N 24°09′07″E / 45.792784°N 24.152069°E / 45.792784; 24.152069 (Sibiu)Coordinates: 45°47′34″N 24°09′07″E / 45.792784°N 24.152069°E / 45.792784; 24.152069 (Sibiu). Set in the Cibin Depression, the city is about 20 km from the Făgăraş Mountains, 12 km from the Cibin Mountains, and about 15 km from the Lotrului Mountains, which border the depression in its southwestern section. The northern and eastern limits of Sibiu are formed by the Târnavelor Plateau, which descends to the Cibin Valley through Guşteriţei Hill.

The Cibin river as well as some smaller streams runs through Sibiu. The geographical position of Sibiu makes it one of the most important transportation hubs in Romania with important roads and railway lines passing through it.

Sibiu's climate is temperate-continental with average temperatures of 8 to 9°C. The multi-annual average of rainfall is 662 l/mp, and there are about 120 days of hard frost annually.

History

The first official record referring to the Sibiu area comes from 1191, when Pope Celestine III confirmed the existence of the free prepositure of the German settlers in Transylvania, the prepositure having its headquarters in Sibiu, named Cibinium at that time.[3] It was probably built near a Roman settlement, one that would be known during the early Middle Ages as Caedonia.

Copper engraving of Sibiu (Hermanstatt), c. 1630.

In the 14th century, it was already an important trade center. In 1376, the craftsmen were divided in 19 guilds. Sibiu became the most important ethnic German city among the seven cities that gave Transylvania its German name Siebenbürgen (literally seven cities), and it was home to the Universitas Saxorum, the assembly of Germans in Transylvania. Common opinion in the 17th century ascribed Sibiu the quality of being the easternmost city to be part of the European sphere;[citation needed] it was also the eastern terminus of postal routes.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, the city became the second and later the first most important center of Transylvanian Romanian ethnics. The first Romanian-owned bank had its headquarters here (The Albina Bank), as did the ASTRA (Transylvanian Association for Romanian Literature and Romanian's People Culture). After the Romanian Orthodox Church was granted status in the Habsburg Empire from the 1860s onwards, Sibiu became the Metropolitan seat, and the city is still regarded as the third most important center of the Romanian Orthodox Church. Between the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 and 1867 (the year of the Ausgleich), Sibiu was the meeting-place of the Transylvanian Diet, which had taken its most representative form after the Empire agreed to extend voting rights in the region.

After World War I, when Austria-Hungary was dissolved, Sibiu became part of Romania; the majority of its population was still ethnic German (until 1941) and counted large Romanian and Hungarian communities. Starting from the 1950s and until after 1990, most of the city's ethnic Germans emigrated to Germany. Among the roughly 2,000 who have remained is Klaus Johannis, who is currently mayor of Sibiu City.

The city features in the famous novel "The Reader" (Der Vorleser) by German law professor and judge Bernhard Schlink, upon which an Oscar-winning film was based.

Milestones in Sibiu's history

Numerous street signs in Sibiu are bilingual (Romanian and German)
Sibiu in 18th century
Sibiu Skyline from left to right: Council Tower, Evangelical Lutheran Cathedral, Catholic Church, Reformed (Calvinist) Church, Orthodox Cathedral and in the background the highest peak Negoiu.

Population

According to the last Romanian census from 2002 there were 154,892 people[6] living within the city of Sibiu, making it the 15th largest city in Romania. The ethnic breakdown is as follows:

Population dynamics

  • 1850: || 12.765 inhabitants
  • 1900: |||| 21.465
  • 1930: |||||||||| 49.345
  • 1948: |||||||||||||| 60.602
  • 1966: |||||||||||||||||||||| 109.515
  • 1977: |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 151.005
  • 1992: |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 169.610
  • 2002: ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 154.892
Census[7] Ethnical structure
Year Population of
Sibiu
Romanians Hungarians Germans
1850 12,765 2,089 977 8,790
1880 19,446 2,810 2,065 14,327
1890 21,465 4,581 3,199 13,148
1900 29,577 7,106 5,747 16,141
1910 33,489 8,824 7,252 16,832
1920 32,748 8,553 4,291 18,218
1930 49,345 19,006 6,782 22,045
1941 63,765 33,829 4,262 23,574
1948 60,602 37,371 5,060 16,359
1956 90,475 60,526 4,772 24,636
1966 109,515 78,548 5,124 25,387
1977 151,005 119,507 5,111 25,403
1992 169,610 158,863 4,163 5,605

Population by religious denomination

Today, most of the population is of the Romanian Orthodox religion. Protestants and Roman Catholics represent about 5% of the population.

Confessions in Sibiu
Confession 1910 2002
Eastern Orthodox 18 % 91 %
Greek-Catholic (Uniate) 8 % 1 %
Roman Catholic 20 % 2 %
Evangelical Lutheran 42 % 2 %
Reformed 7 % 1 %
Jewish 4 % < 1 %
Other 1 % 4 %

Politics

Sibiu city council composition:      Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania      Social Democratic Party      National Liberal Party      Democratic Party

The mayor of Sibiu is Klaus Johannis, the president of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania (FDGR/DFDR). He was elected in 2000, being the first German mayor of a city in Romania since World War II. Johannis was overwhelmingly reelected in 2004 (with 88.7% of votes) and 2008 (with 83.3% of the votes cast) and his party gained an absolute majority in the city council. The German Forum also won the elections for mayor in the second and third most important towns in Sibiu county, Mediaş and Cisnădie, as well as one third (11 out of 33) of the seats in the county council.

This may seem surprising, as Germans make up less than 2% of Sibiu's population and less than 3% of the county population, but the outcome is possibly due to popular perception of the territorial leaders of Romanian parties as being corrupt.[citation needed]

    Party Seats in 2004 Seats in 2008 Current Council
  Democratic Forum of Germans 16 14                            
  Democratic Liberal Party 2 4                            
  Social Democratic Party 2 3                            
  National Liberal Party 3 2                            

City districts

The following districts are part of Sibiu. Some were villages annexed by the city but most were built as the city developed and increased its surface.

  • Centru (Centre)
  • Lupeni
  • Trei Stejari (Three Oaks)
  • Vasile Aaron
  • Hipodrom I, II, III, IV
  • Valea Aurie (Golden Valley)
  • Tilişca
  • Ştrand
  • Ştrand 2
  • Turnişor (Little Tower; German: Neppendorf)
  • Piaţa Cluj (Cluj Plaza)
  • Ţiglari
  • Terezian
  • Reşiţa
  • Lazaret
  • Guşteriţa (German: Hammersdorf)
  • Broscărie (Blocuri Independenţa)
  • Viile Sibiului
  • Şelimbăr

Two main industrial areas are located within the city limits:

The Southern part, including the ASTRA National Museum Complex and the zoo, also falls within the city limits.

Economy

Sibiu is one of the most prosperous cities of Romania, and also receives one of the highest rates of foreign investment in the country. It is an important manufacturer of automotive components (Bilstein-Compa, Takata, Continental, and SNR 'Ball bearing'). Other local industries are machine components, textiles, agro-industry, and electrical components (Siemens).

One of the main concerns for the city is attracting new investors to locate their businesses in Sibiu, and an industrial park has been recently completed. The city also contains Romania's largest stock exchange outside Bucharest, the Sibiu Stock Exchange.

Employment breakdown by economic sector

  • Industry - 49%
  • Commerce - 15%
  • Construction - 7.5%
  • Health - 7.5%
  • Education - 7%
  • Transport - 6.5%

Transport

Sibiu is well served in terms of transport and infrastructure, although the road traffic is congested because of the lack of a city bypass.

Air

Sibiu International Airport Location

Sibiu has an international airport with direct connections to Germany, Austria, England and Spain as well as to other Romanian cities. The airport is one of the most modern in Romania and the runway will be able to receive all types of commercial aircraft from 2008.

Direct flights from Sibiu:

Road

Sibiu is an important node in the European road network, being on two different European routes (E68 and E81). At a national level, Sibiu is located on three different main national roads, DN1, DN7 and DN14.

The Romanian Motorway A1 will link the city with Piteşti and the Romanian western border, near Arad. Funding for the project is assured and work is projected to be complete by 2014.

Sibiu is also an important hub for the international bus links with the biggest passenger transporter in Romania, Atlassib, based here. Transport companies are also providing coach connections from Sibiu to a large number of locations in Romania.

Rail

Sibiu is situated on the CFR-Romanian Railways Main Line 200 (Brasov - Făgăraş - Sibiu - Simeria - Arad - Romanian Western Border) and on Line 206 (Sibiu - Mediaş).

The city is served by three rail stations: the Main Station, the Little Station (Gara Micǎ) and Sibiu Turnişor. It has an important diesel-powered locomotives depot and a freight terminal.

Numerous InterCity trains (nicknamed Blue Arrows) connect Sibiu to other major cities in Romania: Cluj-Napoca, Braşov, Craiova, Timişoara and Bucharest.

Main sights

The Evangelical Cathedral viewed from the Lower City

Much of the city's aspect is due to its position, easily defensible, but allowing horizontal development. The old city of Sibiu lies on the right bank of the Cibin River, on a hill situated at about 200 m from the river. It consists of two distinct entities: the Upper Town and the Lower Town. Traditionally, the Upper Town was the wealthier part and commercial outlet, while the Lower Town served as the manufacturing area.

The Lower Town

The Lower Town (Romanian: Oraşul de jos) comprises the area between the river and the hill, and it developed around the earliest fortifications. The streets are long and quite wide for medieval city standards, with small city squares at places. The architecture is rather rustic: typically two-storey houses with tall roofs and gates opening passages to inner courts.

Most of the exterior fortifications were lost to industrial development and modern urban planning in the late 19th century; only one or two towers still exist. A building associated with newer urbanism of the period is the Independenţa Highschool.

This area has the oldest church in the city, dating back to 1292.

The Upper Town

The Upper Town (Romanian: Oraşul de sus) is organised around three city squares and a set of streets along the line of the hill. As the main area for burgher activities, the area contains most points of interest in Sibiu.

Grand Square

Piaţa Mare (Grand Square)

Grand Square (Romanian: Piaţa Mare, German: Großer Ring) is, as its name suggests, the largest square of the city, and has been the center of the city since the 16th century. 142 m long and 93 m wide, it is one of the largest ones in Transylvania.

Brukenthal Palace, one of the most important Baroque monuments in Romania, lies on the north-western corner of the square. It was erected between 1777 and 1787 as the main residence for the Governor of Transylvania Samuel von Brukenthal. It houses the main part of the National Brukenthal Museum, opened in 1817. Next to the palace is the Blue House, an 18th century Baroque house bearing the old coat of arms of Sibiu on its façade.

Sibiu city centre

On the north side is the Jesuit Church, along with its dependencies, the former residence of the Jesuits in Sibiu. Also on the north side, at the beginning of the 20th century an Art Nouveau building was constructed on the west part, now it houses the mayor's office.

Next to the Jesuit Church on the north side is the Council Tower, one of the city's symbols. This former fortification tower from the 14th century has been successively rebuilt over the years. The building nearby used to be the City Council's meetingplace; beneath it lies an access way between the Grand Square and the Lesser Square.

On the south and east sides are two- or three-storey houses, having tall attics with small windows known as the city's eyes. Most of these houses are dated 15th to 19th centuries, and most of them are Baroque in style.

Lesser Square

Sibiu's fortifications
Part of Sibiu's fortified third line of defense

As its name says, the Piaţă Mică (Small Square) is smaller in size, being rather longer than wide. Its north-west side has a curved shape, unlike the Grand Square, which has an approximately rectangular shape. Accordingly, Piaţă Mică plays a smaller part in the city's present-day life.

The square is connected to the other two squares and to other streets by small, narrow passages. The main access from the Lower City is through Ocnei Street, which divides the square in two. The street passes under the Liar's Bridge - the first bridge in Romania to have been cast in iron (1859).

To the right of the bridge is another symbol of the city, The House of the Arts, an arched building formerly belonging to the Butchers' Guild. On the left side of the bridge is the Luxemburg House, a Baroque four-storey building, former seat of the Goldsmiths' Guild.

Huet Square

Huet Square is the third of the three main squares of Sibiu. Its most notable feature is the Evangelical Lutheran Cathedral in its center. It is the place where the earliest fortifications have been built. The buildings around this square are mainly Gothic. On the west side lies the Brukenthal Highschool, in place of a former 14th century school.

The fortifications

The Stairs' Passage in February 2006

The city of Sibiu was one of the most important fortified cities in Central Europe. Multiple rings were built around the city, most of them out of clay bricks. The south-eastern fortifications are the best kept, and all three parallel lines are still visible. The first is an exterior earth mound, the second is a 10-meter-tall red brick wall, and the third line comprises towers linked by another 10-meter-tall wall. All structures are connected via a labyrinth of tunnels and passageways, designed to ensure transport between the city and lines of defense.

In the 16th century more modern elements were added to the fortifications, mainly leaf-shaped bastions. Two of these survived to this day, as the Haller Bastion (all the way down Coposu Boulevard) and "Soldisch Bastion".

Passage of the Stairs

The steep Passage of the Stairs leads down to the lower section of Sibiu. It descends along some fortifications under the support arches. It is the most picturesque of the several passages linking the two sides of the city.

Culture

View from the tower of the Evanghelic Cathedral

Sibiu is one of Romania's most culturally lively cities. It has 3 theatres and a philharmonic orchestra.

The Radu Stanca National Theatre [8] is one of the leading Romanian theatres. With origins dating back to 1787, it attracts some of the best-known Romanian directors, such as Tompa Gábor and Silviu Purcărete. It has both a Romanian-language and a German-language section, and presents an average of five shows a week.

The Gong Theatre is specialised in puppetry, mime and non-conventional shows for children and teenagers. It also presents shows in both Romanian and German.

The State Philharmonic of Sibiu [9] presents weekly classical music concerts, and educational concerts for children and teenagers. The concerts take place in the newly restored Thalia Hall, a concert and theatre hall dating from 1787, situated along the old city fortifications. Weekly organ concerts are organised at the Evangelical Cathedral during summers, and thematic concerts are presented by the Faculty of Theology choir at the Orthodox Cathedral.

Museums

Brukenthal National Museum

Sibiu's museums are organised around two entities: the Brukenthal National Museum and the ASTRA National Museum Complex. The Brukenthal Museum consists of an Art Gallery and an Old Books Library located inside the Brukenthal Palace, a History Museum located in the old town hall building, a Pharmacy Museum located in one of the first apothecary shops in Europe, dating from the 16th century, a Natural History Museum and a Museum of Arms and Hunting Trophies.

The ASTRA National Museum Complex focuses on ethnography, and consists of a Traditional Folk Civilisation Museum, a 96-hectare open-air museum located on a forest south of Sibiu, a Universal Ethnography Museum, a Museum of Transylvanian Civilisation and a Museum of Saxon Ethnography and Folk Art. Also planned is a Museum of the Culture and Civilisation of the Romany People.

There is a Steam Locomotives Museum close to the railway station, sheltering around 40 locomotives, two of which are functional.

Events

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, the Transylvania calling Festival a Multi Cultural 6 day Open Air Music festival! 26-31 July 2007, a medieval arts festival and many more smaller cultural events.[10]

European Cultural Capital

The designation as a European Cultural Co-Capital for 2007, owed greatly to the excellent collaboration with Luxembourg, but also to what many regard as a miraculous social rebirth taking place in the city during the last years.

The Cultural Capital status was expected to bring about an abrupt increase in quantity and quality of cultural events in 2007. The long term effects, on the other hand, and the impact on the city's inhabitants are quite disputed. Some people consider the status of Cultural Capital a natural recognition of the city's merits, while young intellectuals consider it less of a recognition and more of a chance that has been generously granted to Sibiu.[11]

Tourism

Internal

Tursib[12] is the city's transport system and operates one tramway line to Răşinari, 5 trolleybus lines and about 25 bus lines.

About 2000 taxis, all of which must be yellow, operate in Sibiu.

Historic house in Sibiu

In 2007, Sibiu was the European Capital of Culture (together with Luxembourg). This was the most important cultural event that has ever happened in the city, and a great number of tourists came, both domestic and foreign.[13]

The city of Sibiu and its surroundings are one of the most visited areas in Romania. It holds one of the best preserved historical sites in the country, many of its medieval fortifications having been kept in excellent state. Its old center has begun the process for becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. Sibiu and its surrounding area have many significant museums, with 12 institutions housing art collections, paintings, and exhibits in decorative arts, archeology, anthropology, history, industrial archeology and history of technology and natural sciences.

The city also lies close to the Făgăraş Mountains - a very popular trekking destination, close to the Păltiniş resort - a popular winter holiday destination, and it is at the heart of the former Saxon communities in Transylvania renowned for its fortified churches.

Health

Sibiu is the most important medical center of the county and an important regional center, here being present:

  • County Hospital & Academic Emergency Hospital;
  • Hospital of Pediatrics;
  • Military Emergency Hospital;
  • CFR(Romanian Railways) Hospital;
  • "Dr. Gheorghe Preda" Psychiatry Hospital
  • Polisano Hospital & Clinics
  • other smaller private clinics

Education

Sibiu is an important centre of higher education, with over 34,000 undergraduate students in 2007 (counting for almost one fourth of the entire population).

The Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu[14] was founded in 1990, with five faculties: Engineering and Sciences; Letters; History and Law; Medicine; Food and Textile Processing Technology. Nowadays, it has many departments.

  • Andrei Şaguna Faculty of Theology
  • Faculty of Letters and Arts
  • Nicolae Lupu Faculty of History and Patrimony
  • Simion Bărnuţiu Faculty of Law
  • Hermann Oberth Faculty of Engineering[15]
  • Faculty of Sciences
  • Victor Papilian Faculty of Medicine
  • Faculty of Economics
  • Faculty of Journalism
  • Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Food Industry and Environmental Protection
  • The University College
  • Department for Distance and E-Learning[16]

Sibiu also houses the Nicolae Bălcescu Land Forces Military Academy, the Foreign Language Center[17] as well as some private universities.

In Sibiu there are 20 educational institutions on the secondary level, the most prestigious of which are:

  • Gheorghe Lazăr National College - mainly sciences and informatics, with some bilingual classes, first opened in 1692 as a Jesuit College
  • Samuel von Brukenthal National College - German language high school
  • Octavian Goga National College - social sciences, sciences and informatics
  • Onisifor Ghibu Theoretical Highschool - informatics, social sciences and sports
  • Andrei Şaguna National College - training for schoolteachers, informatics, social sciences and sports
  • Constantin Noica Theoretical Highschool - social sciences and sciences

Sports teams

Football (soccer)
Rugby
  • CSM Sibiu
Volleyball
  • CSM Sibiu (men)
  • CSS Sibiu (women)
Basketball
  • CSU Atlassib Sibiu (men)
Handball
  • CSM Sibiu (women)
  • CSM Sibiu (men)

Natives

Twinned towns

Legations

Currently there are two legations in Sibiu:

References

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Sibiu centre
Sibiu centre

Sibiu [1] is a town in southern Transylvania, Romania 282 km from Bucharest. The city's historical center has been recently renovated in 2006 and it looks spectacular!

Understand

Known in German as Hermannstadt, and in Hungarian Nagyszeben, Sibiu has always been the center of Romania's German minority since medieval times. Even today, it contains Romania's largest German community, and, due to initiatives by the local government, the Germanic feel of the area has been maintained. Sibiu also has a significant Hungarian minority, remnants of Transylvania's past as part of the Hungarian Empire and, later, Austria-Hungary. Despite this, Sibiu is also distinctly Romanian (95% of the population are ethnic Romanians) and manages to fuse these three cultures, as well as smaller minorities of Roma, Slovaks and Ukrainians into a city that is as wonderful as it is vibrant.

Today, Sibiu is one of Romania's cultural and tourism capitals, attracting tourists due to its wonderful medieval charm, excellent views of the surrounding landscapes, great food, and stunning parkland. Sibiu today is also doing excellently economically - having an income per capita higher than the Romanian average.

Much of the city has been reconstructed due to it being the European Capital of Culture in 2007 and has benefited greatly from the funds made available. As at May 2009 all work in the city has been completed and to a very high standard.

The people in Sibiu are much more relaxed and friendly than in Bucharest, and much of the city is pedestrian friendly. There are even bicycling facilities (a rarity in car obsessed Romania)!

Get in

By bus

Sibiu is well connected to Bucharest and Cluj Napoca. From Cluj Napoca there are buses almost every hour, provided by Dacos, Fany and Transmixt, taking around 3 hours and a half. The buses are smooth-running, very comfortable and cheap.

By train

Despite Sibiu's location in the center of the Romania, it is quite a lot harder to get here than to other cities like Brasov and Cluj-Napoca, mainly due to Sibiu's location outside the main railway line which joins Bucharest to Hungary and beyond. However, train remains the easiest, cheapest and most comfortable way to get here. Remember, though, that from Bucharest, there are just two trains daily to Sibiu (one in the morning, one in the night). Also, Sibiu is one of the only cities of Romania not served by the modern and snazzy InterCity network from Bucharest, even though there are InterCity trains from Cluj Napoca.

From Bucharest, the train most tourists take is the day train A 1621 which leaves Bucharest North at 9:45AM and arrives at Sibiu at 15:31, nearly six hours later and stopping at most towns along the way. The train is pretty uncomfortable and crowded- hopefully, however, CFR Romanian Railways will soon introduce InterCity trains on this route.

Coming from Cluj Napoca, the main city of Transylvania, is a much better opportunity to get to Sibiu. In fact, many tourists do just that, as part of their Transylvanian tour. From Cluj Napoca, there are two fairly-convenient trains a day, one at 5:41AM and one at 2:57PM, taking around 3 hours and a half. The trains are smooth-running and very comfortable.

The train schedule changes every summer and winter so it is better to check it online. [2]

By plane

If you're not coming to Sibiu from another Romanian town, plane is an excellent option, as there are direct connections to Sibiu International Airport [3] from many European cities, especially those in Germany and Italy.

Carpatair [4], Transylvania's largest airline, offers daily connections to Munich, Bergamo and Treviso, and connections three times a week to Bologna, Verona, Rome and Stuttgart.

TAROM [5], Romania's national carrier, as well as LUFTHANSA [6] flies five times a week from Sibiu to Munich and also five times a week to Vienna. For those with money to splurge, there are also flights three times a week to Bucharest, even though you're better off taking the train if you're coming from inside Romania. There are frequent specials, though, so look at the TAROM website before deciding one way or the other.

Blue Air [7], direct low cost flights to Koln, Stuttgart and Madrid.

Get around

Sibiu, a city of 170,000 people, seems quite large for its population, even though most tourists won't have to venture outside the conveniently-walkable city central area. In fact, try to walk as much as you can, as only in this way can you sample Sibiu's more remote gems, hidden behind lanes in the middle of the city and crooked, cobbled alleys taking you a step back in history.

If you need a guide to take you on a private and personalized tour of the city and the surroundings ask at Casa Luxembourg and they will recommend reliable people. Bike rentals are available also from the info centre at Casa Luxembourg.

Public transport

If you do need to venture outside the medieval city limits, the local public transport operator TurSib [8] offers reliable services. These services may be useful if you're staying in hotels, pensions or homestays outside the city centre or would like to visit some of the wonderful villages surrounding Sibiu, for a taste of Romanian country life and stunning Transylvanian scenery.

Taxi

During both visits to Sibiu I always enquired beforehand the price of the journey from the taxi driver. In this way rather than renting a car I could agree on a price and have the driver run me to the place I desired, some distance out of town, wait for me for about half an hour, with the mete off and start the meter again on the return journey. In this win-win situation I had the taxi at my beck and call, and the taxi firm saved on petrol from having the taxi get back empty to the city and being called again to the outlaying village. At times I was lucky in having the hotel reception finding me a taxi driver who could speak English. In particular I found one of German descent who was very courteous, knowledgeable and found him agreeable. He was a fast but safe driver, unlike another one who even had the cheek to bring along his girlfriend at one time! So be warned, they come in all sorts.

Rent-A-Car

Cars can be rented from the following operators:

  • A1 [9], (+4) 0749 210 180
  • American Inn [10], Str. Mihai Viteazu nr. 2, Şelimbăr, Sibiu, Tel.: (+4) 0269 218084
  • Auto Partner Sibiu [11], Str. Gheorghe Dima nr. 8, Sibiu +40 369 80 10 60
  • GoodTime Rent a Car [12], sos. Alba Iulia nr.59, Sibiu, Tel. (+4) 0729106906; (+4) 0751514774
  • Maki Car Rental [13], Tel. (+49) 0931 663 984 98 or (+40) 356 569 569
  • Quattro Rent Sibiu [14], Str. Gheorghe Lazar nr. 7, +4 0741 021107
  • Raider [15], Calarasilor Alee, Sibiu, Tel.: (+4) 0742 059550
  • Tassid Trans, Str. Soimului, bl. 12, ap.42, Sibiu

Many small tourism agencies also intermediate for renting cars. You can find such agencies scattered throughout the city centre.

  • The old town The old medieval town is perhaps Sibiu's main attraction, and it is indeed very beautiful. Most of the buildings in the old town were built by German settlers and merchants who came to Sibiu in the late Middle Ages. Today, the buildings remain in very good conditions, and the streets are peppered with small, secluded lanes, corner cafes and wonderful churches. The old town is divided into two parts: the Upper Town, which contains most of the city's historic sights, and the Lower Town, which is home to many charming buildings and cobbled squares.
  • The Citadel of Sibiu The Citadel of Sibiu was, in the Middle Ages, one of the best fortified in Europe and today remains very well preserved. The towers and bastions of the area are well worth a visit, but most of all, make sure you visit the wonderfully charming Stairs Passage, which connects the lower part of the citadel with the upper part. If you want to splurge, dine at the Golden Barrel (Butoiul de Aur), the oldest restaurant in Romania, which sits at the end of the Stairs Passage.
  • Huet Square The Huet Square ( Piaţa Huet) is home to a jumble of Gothic buildings and is dominated by the Evangelical Cathedral, one of the most beautiful in Sibiu. Here, you can also find the city's only fully-German school, the Samuel von Brukenthal Gymnasium, which shows the city's proud German heritage. In fact, Huet Square stands to be the most German of all places in this city which is as much German as Romanian, and, all the same, 100% Transylvanian.
  • The Brukenthal Museum [16] Said by many to be the second best museum in Romania (after the National Art Museum in the capital Bucharest), the Brukenthal is a must see in Sibiu, containing 1090 paintings. The museum is named after Samuel Brukenthal, the governor of Transylvania. There are paintings from Dutch and Flemish schools, Italian schools and, of course, German, Austrian and Romanian collections. The museum also displays Governor Brukenthal's own collection dating from the 15th-18th centuries.
  • "ASTRA" Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization is part of ASTRA National Museum Complex [17] and with over 300 buildings in an area of about one square kilometer the biggest open air museum in Europe. Not only does it have interesting and very picturesque exhibits but it also lies in a very beautiful area with a nice view of the mountains. The museum is located about 3 kilometers south of Sibiu, reachable by bus or tram.
  • Outlying attractions In addition to Sibiu's wonderful historical and cultural attractions, the city is also very picturesque in the natural dimension. Paying a visit to some more outlying attractions enables you to sample the amazing Transylvanian environment. Sibiu is a good base to explore the medieval fortified churches of Transylvania. Medias is accessible by train from Sibiu, but to see many in one day you will need your own transport or try and seek out a guide from the local travel agencies. UNESCO World Heritage sites are the villages Biertan and Valea Viilor.
  • Balea lake, a wonderfull glacier lake about 50 kilometers south east from Sibiu right off from the road to Brasov.
  • Explore Sibiu and the surroundings of Sibiu. For example the bathing resort Ocna Sibiului which is about 15 kilometers from Sibiu.
  • Hike Fagaras Mountains and Cindrel Mountains.
  • Guided bike tours around Sibiu.
  • Guided enduro trips in the mountains, riding levels from tourist to hard.
  • Go on the Transfagarasan road, that crosses the Fagaras mountains with dramatic views.

Buy

T-shirts and other souvenirs from Casa Luxemburg located in the Piata Mica.

Eat

In the old town there are many restaurants, fast foods and cafes where tourists and locals can enjoy not only good food from the local and international cuisine but also good music and cosy atmosphere. The Small Square (Piata Mica) became in the last few years the best place to go out in Sibiu because of the big range of restaurants, cafes and pubs which also have terraces during the summer. The quality of restaurants and the service delivered is also generally higher in the Small Square as it is more for the locals.

When staying in Sibiu you should try the local dish "Ciorbă", a sour soup which has different variants with meatballs and/or vegetables.

The food and drink available in Sibiu is of a higher standard generally than the equivalent restaurant in Bucharest and is cheap by Western European standards, though prices are comparable to Bucharest. You could expect to have a good meal for two people with drinks and 2 courses for around 25 EUR total.

  • Crama Sibiul Vechi (The Old Sibiu Restaurant), A.Papiu Ilarian nr.3, Tel. +40-269-210461. [18]. Celler/basement restaurant offering traditional Romanian cuisine at reasonable prices.

Drink

A local speciality is a "meter" of beer served in pubs.

  • Grand Central Apartments, N. Teclu 45, +40-722-256938, [19]. checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. The apartments and Studios are centrally located, 1-10 Minutes walking distance to Sibiu Main Square (Piata Mare) and 3-10 minutes walking distance to Sibiu Bus- and Train station. Can accommodate up to 6 guests each, at rates starting with 40 EU/Night (studios accommodate 2 to 4 guests each at 30-40EU/Night). All apartments have private bathrooms with tub and/or shower and fully equipped kitchen; also parking, free wireless Internet. 30-50 EUR.  edit
  • Sibiu Travelers Hostel/Villa Teilor, Str. Teilor nr.4, (004)07 66242874 | (004)0269 238161, [20]. Situated in a quiet area of Sibiu close to the the train & bus station (6 minutes walk) and 15 minutes walk from the ancient center. 2 PC's and fast wireless Internet everywhere for free, personal lockers, spacious, cozy garden with wooden benches & tables and a patio curled around by wine ranks. Two bathrooms & toilets, a fully equipped kitchen and free laundry. 12 Euro per night, including breakfast and tea, coffee and cooled mineral water day & night and free laundry.  edit
  • The Flying Time Hostel, Str. Gheorghe Lazar nr.6, (004) 0369 730179, [21]. Situated right around the corner from the Big Square (Piata Mare), the Flying Time Hostel offers all common services including a bar area, kitchen, laundry, wifi, internet, beautiful decorations, friendly and competent staff. Beds for 35 Lei/10 Euro.  edit
  • Joly Hostel, filozofilor 12, +40 369426079, [22]. Located very near the center of Sibiu. Breakfast is not included but you can use the kitchen all you want. Laundry is available for €2. Door rooms average about 7 beds per room Rooms from 40 Lei.  edit
  • Old Town Hostel, Piata Mica 26, +40 269 216 445, [23]. Located in the heart of Sibiu in a 450 year old building looking over one of the 3 main squares. Breakfast is not included but you can use the kitchen all you want. Laundry is available for €2. Door rooms average about 10 beds per room Rooms from 50 Lei.  edit
  • Chess Hostel, Stefan Cel Mare No 6, 004 0740096920 | 004 0724275219, [24]. Chess Hostel is situated in the central area of Sibiu, only at a 5 minutes walk from the Piata Mare (Big Square, the main square in Sibiu) and at a 10 minutes walk from the train and the bus station.The hostel has it's location in a historical area of Sibiu, surrounded by old Saxon houses. It is a quiet residential area, and the hostel has a green relaxing garden in front where you can enjoy the sunny days drinking your coffee in the shade of the cherrytree. Internet is available in the hostel. Prices start from €11 / Person / Night.  edit
  • Hotel Apollo, Nicolae Teclu 14, (+40(0)269 212 485, [25]. Comfortable and modern hotel not far from the city centre. Internet is available in rooms. Rooms start at €56.  edit
  • Pension Santa Maria, Str. Livezii nr. 43, (+40) 0269 224 451, [26]. A ten minute drive from the center of Sibiu. Rooms are well equipped and well kept. Breakfast is included. Free wireless Internet available. English speaking owners. Rooms start at 132 RON.  edit
  • Hotel Continental, Calea Dumbravil 2-4, (+40) 0269 218 100, [27]. This 13 floor, 182 room hotel is plain but well maintained. It's rooms often have nice views. It is located a two minutes from Old Town. It's under renovation since November 2007. A new Continental Hotel (Continental Forum 4*) opened in 2007 instead of the former Bulevard Hotel, just at the beginning of the Old Town. Rooms start at 256 RON.  edit
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

Simple English

Sibiu
Hermannstadt
—  City  —

Sibiu
Location of Sibiu within Romania (in red)
Coordinates: 45°47′45″N 24°09′08″E / 45.79583°N 24.15222°E / 45.79583; 24.15222
Country Romania
Sibiu County Municipality of Sibiu
Founded 1191 (first official record)
Government
 - Mayor Klaus Johannis
Area
 - Total 121 km2 (46.7 sq mi)
Elevation 190 - 240 m (-597 ft)
Population (2002)
 - Total 154.892
 Density 1,273/km2 (3,297.1/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal Code 0xxxxx
Area code(s) +40 269
Car Plates SB
Website www.sibiu.ro
File:Sibiu City Hall
City Hall of Sibiu

Sibiu (IPA [si'biw], German: Hermannstadt, Hungarian: Nagyszeben) is a city in Transylvania, Romania. About 170,000 people live there. The Cibin River, a tributary of the Olt River flows through the city. It is the capital of Sibiu County.

Twinned towns

References

  1. (Romanian)Sibiu Town Hall Official Site, Acordul de infratire intre Sibiu si orasul Deventer din Olanda, 23 may, 2007








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