… or Sibiu in Romanian, or even Nagyszaben in Hungarian. The true name of the city we have visited in the weekend, however, is still the German name: Hermannstadt, being the German capital of Transylvania. The city has been the European Capital of Culture for the year 2007 and so the city center has been renovated for that occasion. Since then, the city’s tourism really started to boom, and now that I have been there, I think I can understand why: the cultural and architectural heritage left behind by the German community is really worth visiting.
We have arrived to Hermannstadt by car from Cluj. It is not a very easy road, at least until Alba Iulia it has been a nightmare: cars, cars and more cars on a two lane road: the short, 1.5 hour trip was really tiring. Anyway we arrived without problems and checked in for the night to a local hostel on the banks of the Cibin river. I can only recommend the Hostel to anyone who goes there: quiet neighborhood, close to the city center and a bargain price (40RON/9.5€) for good quality service. By a good quality service I mean: separate bathrooms for each room, towels, sandals, nice/clean rooms, covered parking, very good coffee in the morning made by the host himself and we were also lucky to taste his home made red wine (cabernet).

OK, so about the city itself: wow, I could not imagine this could be possible in Romania… although this can only be said about the city center, but even so it really seemed a very European city: clean, with the historical monuments renovated, a city center to be proud of. If they could extend this also on the Cibin river (make a promenade or something instead of the bushes along the river-banks) the city would be astonishing. Anyway, even so, I was ‘happily disappointed’. Good job Mr. Mayor 😉 .

There was a medieval festival held when we got to Hermannstadt, so we found an unexpected show included in our short visit. The city center was full of people dressed in medieval clothing, walking around among the tourists. The main theme was the medieval market, with people selling home-made(I think) medieval clothes, wooden ornaments, chessboards with nicely carved figures and there was even one stand selling puppies. In one corner of the “market” there was a trebuchet and a ballista set up and the people operating them were throwing around balloons and stuff (they made sure nobody was in the way). Apart from these, there were people selling food and drinks to add some ‘juice’ to the festival spirit. The whole festival was completed by shows in different parts of the old city center: people dancing, singing or acting.

We did not have time to visit anything specifically, but our short half day sightseeing tour was quite interesting. Check out the photos on my Picasa account.


Comments are closed.