The mythical land of Transylvania
Transylvania is probably one of the most notorious regions of Romania. Its name derives from the Latin “Trans-Sylvas” which literally translated means “across the forests”. The name comes from the ancient times. Romans realized they have to cross huge lands covered with forests in order to access the reaches of Transylvania.
Nowadays this historical region is currently divided into ten counties and the main cities in Transylvania are: Brașov, Cluj Napoca, Alba Iulia, Sibiu, Sighișoara, Târgu Mureș, Bistrița, Mediaș, Miercurea Ciuc and Sebeș.
Where is Transylvania?
Surrounded by the imposing arch of the Carpathian Mountains, Transylvania invites you to dream about the medieval life. Four strong identities, both ethnic and natural, give an unique personality to this historical region. At the beginning, the Dacians and Romans and later on the Hungarians and Saxon settlers raised the beautiful walled cities and fortified churches. This is the reason why Transylvanian architecture is a mosaic of styles, represented today by civil buildings, religion and military that combines features of different cultures and civilizations.
The Saxon’s influences marks the southern Transylvania with ancient cities, considered now the Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns such as Brașov, Sibiu and Sighișoara. You can also find here cozy villages with colorful houses and fortified churches designed to protect against the attacks of the Turks and Tartar.
Furthermore, the landscape is absolutely great with many forested hills and important tourist attractions that every traveler should explore it.
The culture of Transylvania
In the east, magnificent scenery and rich folk culture ensures identity to these Hungarians who proudly say that descended from the Huns led by Attila. Mineral and thermal springs, salt mines, salt lakes and volcanic mountains are the aspects that characterize this area.
To the west, you can find the origins of the Romanians by exploring the Dacian and Roman settlements or discover the beauty of the Apuseni Mountains with the remote villages scattered over the wild and the shepherds with their sheep. In this area there are many caves, but the most notorious is the Scărișoara Cave which has the second largest underground glacier from Europe.
Romania’s current shape began to form in the twentieth century. Although, Transylvania was inhabited by Romanians, this historic region was officially considered as part of the Kingdom of Romania after December 1st, 1918 at the Assembly in Alba Iulia. This marked the union of the provinces of Transylvania, Banat, Crișana, Maramureș and Sătmar with the Kingdom. After the Second World War we lost some regions. Beginning with 1944 Romanian territory has the same shape as today.