The Romanian city of Sibiu has seen its ups and downs in regards to tourism popularity, it’s not a major tourist destination, trailing behind Sighisoara, Brasov and the like, but it was thrust into the limelight a few years ago when it was chosen to be the EU’s “Capital of Culture” and thanks to the preparations and events that took place that year, it has become yet again one of the more important tourist destination within this interesting country.
The town itself boasts a very interesting and long history, having been a major Saxon town in the region, which also dominated the area culturally. This means that the architecture is quite interesting, and the cobblestoned squares and streets which can be found in and around the old centre help create a medieval atmosphere.
There’s been a settlement here since Roman times, when it was called Cibinum, and then later Hermannstadt by the Saxons that colonized the region, the city saw its height during the medieval era when it was a major manufacturing hub, home to 19 guilds for different crafts, and well protected behind sturdy city walls.
A few signs of that period are still present, for instance you’ll find several towers that were used by the various guilds, they still hold the name of those respective guilds today and you can also still find remnants of the massive protective city walls that the city boasted – in fact Sibiu was one of the best fortified medieval cities in the region of that time.
For those who are interested in finding out more about the traditions of the people that lived here, one of the city’s major highlights is the Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization which is a huge open-air museum which features 120 traditional homes, mills and churches which are not reconstructions, they’ve actually been brought here from other parts of the region.