Sibiu is more than just a city, it’s a county too, but the two often get intermixed and confused. We’ve dedicated this article to explaining each so that the distinction is clear and the possibilities of your travel experience are vaster. Thus, it will be easier to understand the history of the region and the significance of this rich land in the heart of Transylvania.
Sibiu County is in the heart of Romania, in the South-East part of Transylvania. It is comprised of 2 municipalities, 7 towns, 53 communes and 173 villages. The county’s beauty comes from the combination of mountains and plateaus making for some of the most picturesque and breathtaking scenery. It is surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains while the plateaus can be found in the northern part along the picturesque valleys of four main rivers: Cibin, Hârtibaciu, Secaş and Târnava.
Sibiu county has a lot to offer in terms of culture and nature. It is comprised of five distinctive regions:
Mărginimea Sibiului, an agro-pastoral area with a strong cultural identity modelled in time by the activity of the shepherds, renowned for its cheese and living traditions.
Ţara Oltului/ Țara Făgărașului, a natural amphitheater bordered by the Olt River and the Făgăraş Mountains, a great place to go for wild nature and sports lovers.
Hârtibaciu Valley, a former multi-ethnic region spread among secular oak tree forests and meadows of rich biodiversity.
Târnava Valley, scenic settlements around the Mediaş medieval fortress, a region with amazing views and lots of fortified churches, including UNESCO heritage.
Ţara Secaşelor where you can try out the therapeutic effects of the salt lakes in the Ocna Sibiului resort and the wines in the Apold vineyards.
The county is the raw and authentic Transylvanian experience, Sibiu city is the capital of the county and like any great capital it is rich with culture and activities to see and do.
The founding of Sibiu city is linked to the Saxon colonization of Transylvania in the 12th century. The old town retains the grandeur of its earlier days when it was dominated by rich and powerful guilds. Sections of the medieval walls that still guard the historic area and are perfectly preserved can be seen on the Fortress Street.
Sibiu city is divided into two sections: the Upper Town, home to most of Sibiu’s historic sights and the Lower Town, lined with colorful houses on cobblestone streets bounded by imposing city walls. The Upper Town was historically known as a trade area lived by the most important families while the Lower town served as a manufacturing area. Within the limits of Sibiu’s Old Town you will find the Great Square, where lots of concerts and performances are held throughout various times of the year. There is also the Huet Square, the beautiful passage steps connecting the Upper and Lower Town, the Goldsmiths’ Square, the Small Square and the Liars' Bridge.
Sibiu city’s beautiful architecture, gastronomic delights, events and art exhibitions won it the title of European Capital of Culture in 2007. Its small size makes it highly accessible by foot and ensures that you can get the most out of your short trip to this magical city in the heart of Transylvania.