Sibiu, Romania (20th of January 2006)

Friday 20th of January 2006
I had a wakeup call at 7.30am. I had a shower and a shave (including a self cut haircut). Anyway, buffet breakfast was included in the price and I got my moneys worth. Bread, yogurts, salami, tea, juice etc.

The journey was good. I think the train was empthy but I think they shove people in certain compartments to save on heating. Eight people can fit in a compartment and there are about 10 compartments per carriage. There were 5 people in ours. All individual travellers. It was unbearbly hot in the compartment. So much so, I had to leave and sit in one of the cold empthy compartmetns every 40 minutes or so. We also left the door open for long periods.

They got into a heated discussion about politics (from what I could make out) and they were including me in that (eye contact). I just used body language, nodding and it wsnt until I was asked some direct questions, that they found I could not speak Romanian. Much hilarity. Anyway, except for the heat (better than the cold), it was a fine journey.

There were only about a 4 stops in total. I arrived at 2.10pm, just as detailed. If they are ahead of schedule, they will stop at a town a little bit longer. When I arrived, it wasnt pretty. But you can never tell a town from its bus-train stations. Anyway I did not know whether I would even bother go into town. I purchased a ticket to Sighisoara for 15.51pm. I had an hour to kill so I said I would go in have a look around and come back to catch the train. There were number five buses with centrum on it. I paid 20,000 lei (for a two trip ticket. The bus was packed with young students. It only took 5-6 minutes to get into town. From a stop, I got a bit lost and just started to head towards spires in the sky outline.

What a great buzzing town. People were on the streets, animated, walking a buzz and smiles that wasnt in Timisoara. People were smiling and having fun. Well I fell in love with this town and felt it was worth travelling to here itself.

Lots of information on the town on the Internet. Wikipedia was excellent. Also, don’t forget to visit this great website: www.sibiu2007.ro, which give a great overview (and more) about the city of Sibiu, including a perfect city map to guide you around.

I see there is a cold snap across Europe. There wassnow on the ground, but it wasnt that cold.

There was a tourist office in the main square. They were very, very helpful pointing out the only hostel (brand new – July 2005) in town, various pensions and a small guide to the town.

I had a little trouble finding the hostel in the next square as it was so non descript. It was a 12 font little hostel sign. They are renovating the whole square as Subiu is the joint europoean Capital of Culture in 2007. The hostel was called “The Old Town Hostel” and it was 10 euro.

In that small square (just off the main one), there are a couple of 24 hour bars and a chill out club there that goes 24/7. Beers were about 20,000 lei for local beers to 36,000 Lei for Becks. I went to a decent restaurant and paid 260,000 for a great meal. It was vegetable soup, 3 big pieces of pork, bread, mashed potatoe, cabbage and two beers. There were a few drunk guys I had to clink glasses with every few minutes.

I had a very nice evening walking around the city.
Sibiu (name in German: Hermannstadt, Hungarian: Nagyszeben) is a city in Transylvania, Romania with a population of about 170,000. It straddles the river Cibin, a tributary of the river Olt.

The city was founded in 1190 by Saxon colonists settled in the area. It was probably built near a Roman settlement, one that would have come to be known during early medieval age as Caedonia, which might have been deserted at the time of the Saxons’ arrival.

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 language name of Siebenbürgen, 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; it was also the eastern terminus of postal routes.

During the 18th and 19th centuries the city also became one of the most important centers for ethnic Romanians in the region. 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 preserved its title as the third most important center for the Church in modern Romania. Between the 1848 Hungarian Revolution 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; still, the majority of its population was ethnic German and Hungarian. After 1990 most of the city’s ethnic Germans immigrated to Germany. Among the roughly 2000 who remained was Klaus Johannis, who is currently mayor of Sibiu.





Sibiu, Romania

Taken on the 20th of January 2006

Arriving by train. It was cold and I was tired. I wasnt planning to stay and the area arounf the bus and rain stations were not nice but luckily I got a bus into town and got to see this great town.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





Sibiu, Romania

Taken on the 20th of January 2006

The Large Square (Romanian: Piata Mare, German: Grosser Ring or Grosser Platz) 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.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





Sibiu, Romania

Taken on the 20th of January 2006

The steep Stairs’ Passage 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.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





Sibiu, Romania

Taken on the 20th of January 2006

The steep Stairs’ Passage 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. Very colorful and very slippy in this weather.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





Sibiu, Romania

Taken on the 20th of January 2006

The Small Square: As its name says, the Piata Mica is smaller in size, being rather longer than wide. Its north-west side has a curved shape, unlike the Large Square, which has an approximately rectangular shape. Accordingly, Piata Mica plays a smaller part in the city’s present-day life. The square is conected 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.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





Sibiu, Romania

Taken on the 20th of January 2006

This is Luxemburg House, a Baroque four-storey building, former seat of the Goldsmiths’ Guild located in the Small Square where my hostel was.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





Sibiu, Romania

Taken on the 20th of January 2006

The steep Stairs’ Passage 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.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





Sibiu, Romania

Taken on the 20th of January 2006

The 18th/19th century houses were very colorful especially with snow on top.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





Sibiu, Romania

Taken on the 20th of January 2006

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 17th to 19th centuries, and most of them are Baroque in style.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





Sibiu, Romania

Taken on the 20th of January 2006

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 Trasylvania 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.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





Sibiu, Romania

Taken on the 20th of January 2006

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 Trasylvania 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.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





Sibiu, Romania

Taken on the 20th of January 2006

The large squae 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

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





Sibiu, Romania

Taken on the 20th of January 2006

Romania may be joining the European Union in 2007 and you will see alot of EU flags around town.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





Sibiu, Romania

Taken on the 20th of January 2006

I am not sure what this church is called. Can anyone help?

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





Sibiu, Romania

Taken on the 20th of January 2006

A narrow passage way leading one street o the next. Very dark.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





Sibiu, Romania

Taken on the 20th of January 2006

Some very colorful 17th/18th century buildings here.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





Sibiu, Romania

Taken on the 20th of January 2006

I believe this is the Evangelical (Lutheran) Cathedral. It is the area where the earliest fortifications have been built. The buildings around this square are mainly Gothic.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size