Sibiu

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Sibiu
Hermannstadt
City
Sibiu-pictures-001.jpg
Coat of arms of Sibiu
Coat of arms
Administrative territory of Sibiu in Sibiu County
Administrative territory of Sibiu in Sibiu County
Sibiu is located in Romania
Sibiu
Sibiu
Administrative territory of Sibiu in Sibiu County
Coordinates: 45°47′45″N 24°09′08″E / 45.79583°N 24.15222°E / 45.79583; 24.15222
Country Romania
County Sibiu
Founded 1191 (first official record)
Government
 • Mayor Klaus Johannis (National Liberal Party)
Area
 • Total 121 km2 (47 sq mi)
Elevation 415 m (1,362 ft)
Population (2011 census[1])
 • Total 147,245
 • Density 1,132/km2 (2,930/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal Code 55xxxx
Area code(s) +40 269/369
Car Plates SB
Website www.sibiu.ro

Sibiu (Romanian pronunciation: [siˈbiw], antiquated, Sibiiu; German: Hermannstadt, Hungarian: Nagyszeben) is a city in Transylvania, Romania, with a population of 147,245.[1] Located some 215 km (134 mi) north-west of Bucharest,[2] the city straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt. Now the capital of Sibiu County, between 1692 and 1791 and 1849-1865 Sibiu was the capital of the Principality of Transylvania.

Sibiu is one of the most important cultural centres of Romania and was designated the European Capital of Culture for the year 2007, along with the city of Luxembourg.[3] Formerly the centre of the Transylvanian Saxons, the old city of Sibiu was ranked as "Europe's 8th most idyllic place to live" by Forbes.[4]

The city administers the Păltiniș ski resort.

History[edit]

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.[5]

In the 14th century, it was already an important trade centre. 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.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, the city became the second and later the first most important centre 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 centre 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 a large Romanian community, as well as a smaller Hungarian one. Starting from the 1950s and until after 1990, most of the city's ethnic Germans emigrated to Germany and Austria. Among the roughly 2,000 who have remained is Klaus Johannis, who is currently president of Romania.

Geography[edit]

Topographic map of the Sibiu region

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 Făgăraș 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 Gușteriței 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.

City districts[edit]

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.

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

Climate[edit]

Sibiu's climate is temperate-continental with average temperatures of 8 to 8 to 9 °C (46 to 48 °F). The average rainfall is 662 l/m2, and there are about 120 days of hard frost annually.


Climate data for Sibiu
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17.8
(64)
21.3
(70.3)
28.2
(82.8)
29.9
(85.8)
32.2
(90)
35.4
(95.7)
38.3
(100.9)
39.0
(102.2)
33.6
(92.5)
31.7
(89.1)
25.9
(78.6)
17.8
(64)
39
(102.2)
Average high °C (°F) 0.9
(33.6)
4.2
(39.6)
10.1
(50.2)
15.6
(60.1)
20.5
(68.9)
23.3
(73.9)
25.1
(77.2)
25.1
(77.2)
21.7
(71.1)
16.2
(61.2)
9.1
(48.4)
3.0
(37.4)
14.57
(58.23)
Daily mean °C (°F) −4.0
(24.8)
−1.1
(30)
3.8
(38.8)
9.4
(48.9)
14.2
(57.6)
17.1
(62.8)
18.7
(65.7)
18.1
(64.6)
14.4
(57.9)
8.9
(48)
3.7
(38.7)
−1.1
(30)
8.51
(47.32)
Average low °C (°F) −8.3
(17.1)
−5.5
(22.1)
−1.1
(30)
3.8
(38.8)
8.4
(47.1)
11.3
(52.3)
12.5
(54.5)
11.9
(53.4)
8.5
(47.3)
3.2
(37.8)
−0.5
(31.1)
−4.9
(23.2)
3.28
(37.89)
Record low °C (°F) −31.8
(−25.2)
−26.4
(−15.5)
−24.7
(−12.5)
−11.1
(12)
−2.1
(28.2)
1.2
(34.2)
4.2
(39.6)
1.0
(33.8)
−3.6
(25.5)
−9.4
(15.1)
−18.7
(−1.7)
−26.7
(−16.1)
−31.8
(−25.2)
Precipitation mm (inches) 28
(1.1)
26
(1.02)
31
(1.22)
54
(2.13)
78
(3.07)
99
(3.9)
86
(3.39)
68
(2.68)
51
(2.01)
42
(1.65)
34
(1.34)
30
(1.18)
627
(24.69)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 7 6 6 9 11 12 10 8 6 6 6 7 94
Source: Hong Kong Observatory http://www.weather.gov.hk/wxinfo/climat/world/eng/europe/ukr_lith/sibiu_e.htm[6]

Demographics[edit]

As of 2011 census data, Sibiu has a population of 147,245, a decrease from the figure recorded at the 2002 census,[1] making it the 14th largest city in Romania. The ethnic breakdown was as follows:[7]

Population dynamics[edit]

Census[8] Ethnic 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
2002 154,892 148,269 3,135 2,508
2011 147,245 131,414 2,131 1,481

Population by religious denomination[edit]

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[edit]

Although ethnic Germans make up less than 2% of Sibiu's population the mayor of Sibiu is Klaus Johannis, the former president of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania (FDGR/DFDR), currently 1st vice president of the center-right governing party PNL since February 2013. 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 in that year. The German Forum also won the elections for mayor in the second and third most important towns in Sibiu county, Mediaș and Cisnădie, as well as one third (11 out of 33) of the seats in the county council.

    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                            

Economy[edit]

Sibiu is one of the most prosperous cities of Romania, and also receives one of the highest rates of foreign investment in the country.[citation needed] 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).

The city also contains Romania's largest stock exchange outside Bucharest, the Sibiu Stock Exchange.[9]

The main industrial activities of Sibiu take place in two industrial zones located on the outskirts of the city:

A commercial zone located in the Selimbar commune plays an important role in the economy of Sibiu. It houses a mall and other large retailers which sell products ranging from food, clothing, sports equipment and electronics to furniture and construction materials.

Employment breakdown by economic sector[edit]

  • Industry - 40%
  • Commerce - 15%
  • Construction - 8%
  • Health - 8%
  • Education - 7%
  • Transport - 7%
  • Other Services - 15%

Transport[edit]

Sibiu is well served in terms of transport and infrastructure. In 2010 a city bypass was opened, significantly reducing the road traffic inside the city.

Tursib[10] is the city's internal transportation system operator.

Air[edit]

Sibiu International Airport Location
Sibiu Airport, Blue Air flight.
Public bus transportation in Sibiu

Sibiu has one of the most modern international airports in Romania, with direct connections to Germany, Austria, United Kingdom and Spain as well as to other Romanian cities.

Direct flights from Sibiu:

Road[edit]

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 Pitești and the Romanian western border, near Arad. The remaining 161 km of motorway towards Arad, out of a total of 281 km, are under construction and expected to be completed by 2016, while the timeline for the segment towards Pitești is targeted for completion for the year 2020. Sibiu' s ring road as part of A1 motorway was completed on December 1, 2010.

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[edit]

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

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

Numerous Inter City trains (nicknamed Blue Arrows) connect Sibiu to other major cities in Romania: Cluj-Napoca, Brașov, Craiova, Timișoara and Bucharest.

Cycling[edit]

Over the last 6 years, Sibiu has enjoyed a revival of cycling. The bicycle way in the city span for 43 kilometers.

Bicycle rentals have offered a boost for the local economy with several small rental centers and a bigger rental center that is administered by the I'Velo Bike Sharing group.

Main sights[edit]

Bridge of Lies
Grand Square
Sibiu fortifications

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[edit]

The Lower Town (German: Unterstadt, Romanian: Orașul 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 mid-late 19th century; only four towers still exist. A building associated with newer urbanism of the period is the Independența Highschool.

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

The Upper Town[edit]

The Upper Town (German: Oberstadt, Romanian: Orașul 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 the city.

Grand Square[edit]

Grand Square (German: Großer Ring, Romanian: Piața Mare ) is, as its name suggests, the largest square of the city, and has been the center of the city since the 15th 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, making it one of the oldest museums in the world. Next to the palace is the Blue House or Moringer House, an 18th-century Baroque house bearing the old coat of arms of Sibiu on its façade.

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 13th 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 Renaissance or Baroque in style.

Lesser Square[edit]

Turnul Sfatului in Small Square

As its name says, the Piață Mică (Small Square, German: Kleiner Ring) 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, Piață 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).[11]

To the right of the bridge is another symbol of the city, The House of the Arts, an 14th-century arched building formerly belonging to the Butchers' Guild. On the left side of the bridge is the Luxemburg House, a Baroque four-storey building.

Huet Square[edit]

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 in the late 12th century or early 13th century. 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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

Sibiu is one of Romania's most culturally lively cities. It has 3 theatres and a philharmonic orchestra along with other smaller private theatrical venues and a theatre studio housed by the Performing Arts and Acting section of Lucian Blaga University, where students hold monthly representations.

The Radu Stanca National Theatre[12] is one of the leading Romanian theatres. With origins dating back to 1787, it attracts some of the best-known Romanian directors, such as Gábor Tompa 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[13] 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.

The Sibiu International Theatre Festival is an annual festival of performing arts.

Museums and parks[edit]

Brukenthal National Museum, Sibiu.
Bicycle riders in Sub Arini park, in Sibiu.

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.

The first park in the city was The Promenade, later called "The Disabled Promenade." established in 1791, today part of Parcul Cetății (Citadel Park). Current arrangement of the park, including the space between the walls, dates from 1928.

The Sub Arini Park, established in 1856 is one of the biggest and best maintained parks in Romania. There are other green spaces in the city center, the best known being Astra Park, established in 1879.

Other parks:

Tineretului Park, Reconstrucției Park, Corneliu Coposu Park, Petöfi Sándor Park, Piața Cluj Park, Ștrand Park, Cristianului Park, Țițeica Park, Vasile Aaron Park, Lira Park.

The distribution of green space is good compared to other Romanian cities.

Events[edit]

Several festivals are organised yearly in Sibiu, the most prestigious of them being the Sibiu International Theatre Festival, organized each spring at the end of May. Medieval Festival organized every year in August, reviving the medieval spirit of Transylvania. 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.[14]

European Cultural Capital[edit]

The designation as a European Cultural 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.

Tourism[edit]

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.

Fortified church of Gușterița neighbourhood.

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 Făgăraș Mountains - a very popular trekking destination, close to the Păltiniș and Arena Platos ski resorts - popular winter holiday destinations, and it is at the heart of the former Saxon communities in Transylvania renowned for its fortified churches.

Health[edit]

Sibiu is one of the important medical centers of Romania, housing many important medical facilities:

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

The city also houses one of the largest private hospitals in the country, Polisano.

Education[edit]

Sibiu is an important centre of higher education, with over 31,000 undergraduate students in 2013 (counting for almost one fourth of the entire population).

The Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu[15] was founded in 1990, with five faculties: Engineering and Sciences; Language Sciences; History and Law; Medicine; Food and Textile Processing Technology. Today the number of departments has increased to a considerable size.

  • Andrei Șaguna Faculty of Theology
  • Faculty of Language Sciences and Arts
  • Nicolae Lupu Faculty of History and Patrimony
  • Simion Bărnuțiu Faculty of Law
  • Hermann Oberth Faculty of Engineering[16]
  • Faculty of Political Sciences,International Relations,European Studies ( recently added Security Service )
  • Victor Papilian Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Sciences
  • Faculty of Economics
  • Faculty of Journalism
  • Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Food Industry and Environmental Protection
  • The University College
  • Department for Distance and E-Learning[17]

Sibiu also houses the Nicolae Bălcescu Land Forces Military Academy, the Military Foreign Language Center as well as private universities such as the Alma Mater University and the Romanian-German University.

Samuel von Brukenthal High School

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

Sports teams[edit]

Rugby
  • CSM Sibiu
Volleyball
  • CSM Sibiu (men)
  • CSS Sibiu (women)
Basketball
Handball
  • CSM Sibiu (women)
  • CSM Sibiu (men)
Speed Skating
  • CSS Sibiu

Natives[edit]

Twinned towns[edit]

Sibiu has twinning agreements with:

Legations[edit]

Currently there are three legations in Sibiu:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Population at 20 October 2011" (in Romanian). INSSE. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  2. ^ City Distance Tool at geobytes.com
  3. ^ Sibiu Cultural Capital Website
  4. ^ Beckett, Edward; Olson, Parmy. "In Pictures: Europe's Most Idyllic Places To Live". Forbes. 
  5. ^ The History of Sibiu
  6. ^ "Climatological Information for Sibiu, Romania". Hong Kong Observatory. 
  7. ^ 2011 census data
  8. ^ Varga E. Árpád: Statistici etnice și confesionale pentru Transilvania
  9. ^ Sbiu Stock Exchange Website
  10. ^ Tursib - Official Site
  11. ^ The Bridge of Lies
  12. ^ Radu Stanca National Theatre - Official Site
  13. ^ State Philharmonic of Sibiu - Official Site
  14. ^ 2006 Cultural Programme
  15. ^ Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu - Official Site
  16. ^ Hermann Oberth Faculty of Engineering - Official Site
  17. ^ Department for Distance and E-Learning - Official Site
  18. ^ ro:Ion Besoiu
  19. ^ hu:Ettinger József
  20. ^ ro:Viorel Tilea
  21. ^ (Romanian) Sibiu Town Hall Official Site, Acordul de infratire intre Sibiu si orasul Deventer din Olanda, 23 May 2007

External links[edit]