Few Romanian cities are so pleasant as Sibiu with over 100 attractions of national importance. The city has two easily walk able levels: the “upper town”, which contains most of Sibiu historic sights, and the “lower town”, which is a charming wasteland of old houses and cobbled squares.Connecting the upper and lower towns are dozens of tunnels, stairways and hidden passageways which will let you speechless.The historical center of Sibiu is made up of three famous squares of the city: the Large Square, the Small Square and Huet Square, which are surrounded by precincts of fortifications.
THE LARGE SQUARE or “The Big Ring” was a place of meetings and celebrations. The surrounding buildings have multiple layouts, with big arcades at the gates and high roofs, with specific dormers. The most representative buildings of this square are: -The Council Tower, rebuilt in 1588, makes the connection between the lower-town and the upper-town. This building completes and modifies the tower which was part of the second line of fortifications dating from the XIIIth century. By restoring it in 1824, it was given the present shape. - the Catholic Church was built by the Jesuit friars between 1726 and 1733 in a baroque style. It is designed in the shape of a church-saloon, covered by a vault sustained by long arches that lean on columns. The ornaments from the inside and the outside are built in a baroque style. Intricate stone carvings cover much of the nave and the side altars. -the Brukental Palace (4, Large Square) was built between 1781-1785 in late baroque style. The palace has a rectangular plan, closing inside it an interior yard. The access is done through a portal placed flanked by a column with the blazonry of Samuel Brukenthal. Inside the feudal lapidary there is a series of stone works (gothic, baroque and Renaissance style) representing blazons, statues, epitaphs, door frames. There is an extraordinary stone portal dating from 1577, sculpted by Thomas Lapicida in Renaissance style. The first museum of graphic art accessible to the main public was organized at this palace in 1817.
THE SMALL SQUAREor “The Small Ring” built between the XIV-XVIth centuries represents the old commercial center of the fortified stronghold. It was once surrounded by arcades where workers had their shops and displayed their products. Most of the buildings still bring back the atmosphere of the époque. Watched from the Council tower, this square wins through its variety and interchangeable roofs with gothic and baroque pinions which offer an exquisite site plan. The main buildings in this square are: -the Gate Tower from the XIVth century; -the Old City Hall-the House of the Goldsmith Craft (31, Small Square). The ceiling of the house with the sign of the craft is astonishing. It was made in 1745. -the House of Arts (21, Small Square) is the flea market of the city. Documentary certified in 1370, it has suffered transformation in time. The building has a ground floor and a story with a gothic roof. There is a fresco at the ground floor dating from 1631, and the emblem of the city dates back to its restoration in 1787. -the Liars’ Bridge, also called the Iron Bridge, made in 1859, is the first bridge of this type in the country.
THE HUET SQUAREhas significant buildings dating back to the XVI-XVII-th centuries. -the Stairs Passage,one of the oldest buildings in Sibiu, is raised on the foundation of the oldest element preserved from the first fortifications around the church existing here at the end of the XIIIth century. It is one of the most picturesque and characteristic sites of the old city of Sibiu. -the Parochial-Evangelic House is considered to be built on an old Roman foundation. The entrance portal built at the beginning of the XVIth century in a gothic style is very impressive. Above the portal there is a sculpted frame with specific Renaissance elements. -the Stairs Tower built in the XIIIth century in a Roman style represents one of the entrances to the old building and was part of the first defense walls. It has suffered a lot of changes in time but the present shape dates back to the XIXth century. -the Evangelic Church was built in 1520 on the place of an old -Roman basilica from the XIIth century. Its oldest parts are the choir, part of the vastry and the transept. The church is not over-decorated; nonetheless the thin line of the windows catches the eye, together with the fins of the portal. The fresco on the north wall was made by Johanness de Rousemann in 1445. The pipe organ from 1585 was replaced in 1672 by another one decorated in baroque style. The portals made in the Renaissance style by the famous sculptor, Elias Nicolai are also remarkable.
Other important buildings in the city of Sibiu are: Soldis Tower (1622-1627), the House of Caryatid (1786), The Thick tower, the Old City Hall (1470).
-The Council Tower, rebuilt in 1588, makes the connection between the lower-town and the upper-town. This building completes and modifies the tower which was part of the second line of fortifications dating from the XIIIth century. Above the buttress facing the Large Square there are two lions made of stone, old trails of the Roman style. The restoration in gave it the look it has today.
1.The Church on Justitiei Street (Biserica din groapa) is one of the first orthodox churches in Sibiu, built between 1788-1789 and rebuilt between 1802-1803; it carries the Annunciation dedication day. It is a small church with a three level west tower. The rich painted interior was made after 1960 by Nicolae Brana. An element o extraordinary importance is represented by the cemetery situated in the proximity of the church. Here lie, among the founders of the church, Stana Petru, Luca, his daughter Pauna and her husband Hagi Constantin Popp, great personalities of the Romanian spiritual life of the XIXth : Vasile Moga (1774-1845), the first Roman Orthodox bishop of Transylvania (1810-1845), the metropolitan Miron Romanul (1828-1898), archbishop and metropolitan of Greek Oriental Romanians from Hungary and Transylvania, doctor in theology, Ioan Metianu, bishop of Arad (1875-1898) and metropolitan (1898-1916), Moise fulea, manager of the national Romanian school in Ardeal, Zaharia Boiu, writer and educator, Ioan Codru Dragusanu.
2.The Orthodox Church on Reconstructiei Street (Biserica Dintre Brazi)- carries Saint Peter and Paul Annunciation, is a former Greek Catholic church and the oldest building of Romanian cult, a true pantheon of Romanian militants of the second half of the XIXth century. The church was built between1778-1788. There is a small cemetery in the surroundings of the church where George Baritiu, Al. Papiliu Ilarian, ioan Ratiu and other personalities rest in peace. The architecture of the church is a mixture of traditional orthodox elements with baroque ones.
3.The Orthodox Cathedral It was built on the lot of a Greek church risen in 1778 which had been used as an Episcopal cathedral. The church was restored following the plans of architects Virgil Nagy and Iosif Kammer who used as source of inspiration Saint Sophia Church in Constantinople. The works started in 1902 and continued until 1914 under the supervision of chief architect of Sibiu, Iosif Schussnig. The iconostasis and the pews were manufactured in Bucharest at Constantin Babic’s company and that same year the electricity was introduced and the dome was painted. Octavian Smigelschi, born in the village Ludos, Sibiu county, was the one who painted both the dome and the iconostasis. A semi-spherical vault with a 15 cm in diameter renders great monumentality to the interior space. On the 30th of March, 1906 the cathedral was dedicated by metropolitan Ioan Metianu in the presence of numerous personalities of the time like professor Nicolae Iorga. The cathedral of Sibiu was restored repeatedly with time and was embellished with a beautiful neobyzantine painting made by Iosif Keber and Anastasie Demian.
4. The Lutheran Church It is one of the most impressive buildings in Sibiu. It was risen in the XIVth century on the lot of an old Roman church which had been there since the XIIth century. The building is dominated by a seven level tower with its four smaller towers on corners, showing that the city had the right to conviction. The length of 73.34 m makes it the highest tower in Transylvania. The interior of the church displays on its side walls a group of high stone epitaph dating back in the XVIIth and VXIIIth centuries. The present altar was built in the XIXth century. The north wall shows a gigantic fresco painted by Johannes of Rosenau in 1445, representing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The fresco was restored in 1650 by Georg Hermann.Visiting hours:During summer: 10am to 6pm;During winter: 11pm to 4pm;Every Wednesday night, between June and September, organ concerts take place.
5. The Catholic ChurchIt was risen during 1726-1723 in baroque style by the Jesuit monks. It was dedicated in 1733 by the bishop of Transylvania, Georg von Zonger. The tower which is detached from the ship, was finished in 1738 and the cross was set on top of the belfry on the 13th of September, 1739.Inside the church, on the right side of the altar lies the funeral monument of general Otto Ferdinand of Abensberg, commander of Transylvania between 1744-1747. The monument was made by the sculptor from Cluj, Anton Schuchbanu.The fresco behind the main altar was painted in 1777 by Anton Steinwald, born in Wien. The parochial house, once a Jesuit monastery, was finished in 1739.
6. The Ursuline Church and MonasteryThe building risen in 1474 had been a Dominican monastery until 1543 when the sacred place entered in the possession of Lutherans after the religious reform which forced a big part of the German population to adhere to the Lutheran religion.
The monastery, known under the name of Klaster Kirche , was taken over by the sisters of Ursuline Order. The interior of the church, initially built in the Gothic style, was transformed by the sisters into a Baroque style. In 1948 the building was nationalized and the Greek Catholic church have been performing the masses inside the church ever since 1992. The exterior of the church has many original gothic elements, among which we notice the main gate, the windows and the protection poles. There are three recently built altars inside the church. The main altar displays an oil painting representing the crown of the Mother of God. The painting of Saint Emeric stands above and to the right, symmetrically to the one on the left side there is on oil painting representing the appearance of Saint Martyr Ursula in front of Saint Angela Merici. The second main altar displays an oil painting representing Saint Angela instructing the children. On both sides of the ship stand the statues of certain saints who were highly appreciated by the sisters.Great importance is given to the inscription above the triumphal arch which commemorates the benefactress of the church, Mother Teresa.
The “Astra “ Village Museum is located at almost 4 km from the downtown area in Sibiu and it is the greatest open air museum in Romania. The museum covers 100 ha, with 120 old houses and forms which illustrate the architecture, the technique and traditions of different country regions from Romania as well as the customs of the time : fishing , hunting, olarie, miller’s trade , metal processing , etc.The traditional costumes are exposed to be admired by visitors who can take delight in the peacefulness of the area or can visit the small log church of unmeasured beauty. The Brukenthal Museum hosts the art collection of baron Samuel von Brukenthal, which was brought to Sibiu by the baron himself and comprises approximately 1200 works made by the most famous Flemish , Dutch , German, Austrian, Italian, Spanish and French painters from the XVth to XVIIIth centuries. Besides the impressive collection of paintings and graphics, the palace stately displays sculptures , old furniture and last but not least an enormous library , all belonging to the same “baron of art”.
“Sub Arini” Park is one of the largest and most beautiful inner city parks. It spread between 1856-1865 and nowadays it covers 30 ha. Over 80 species of trees can be found altogether in this park. “Dumbrava “Forest is one of the largest ”oasis” in Sibiu and is situated at the edge of the city along the roads that go to Rasinari and Paltinis (the mountain resort situated at the highestaltitude). The Dumbrava Forest hosts the lake which carries its name and the oldest zoo in Romania (1929).
Avram Iancu Street connects the Council Tower from the Large Square to the Ursuline Church. The oldest residential house in the city, Babel House, can be found on this street.
Area or Recreation
Brukental Museum (Located in the historical center of the city, in the Large Square across the Mayor Hall, it exhibits paintings, antiques and statues collected by the Baron Samuel von Bruckental
Walk along Nicolae Balcescu street. Drive to the arterial highway and then turn left. At the first light drive straight ahead and then turn right at the next joint. Turn right at the first light.
The Large Square - Piata Mare (THE LARGE SQUARE or The Big Ring was a place of meetings and celebrations. The surrounding buildings have multiple layouts, with big arcades at the gates and high roofs and specific dormers.
Walk along Nicolae Balcescu street. Drive to the arterial highway and then turn left. at the first light drive straight ahead and then turn right at the next joint. Turn right at the first light.
The Village Museum - Astra (Located in Dumbrava Forest, it is one of the largest museums of its kind in Romania enclosing houses, traditional crafts, local menus and means of transportation.
Turn left as you exit the museum, drive straight ahead, after you have passed the roundabout joint, turn left at the first light.
Guehring (Located in the industrial area of the city, the company is one of the main foreign investors in Sibiu. The facility produces drilling, milling, counter sinking and thread cutting tools
Coming from Guehring, turn left at the first T junction and drive straight ahead. After you passed Radu Stanca National Theatre on your left, turn right and at the next light turn right again. You will see Golden Tulip Ana Tower.
Harting Automotive SCS (Located in the industrial area of the city, the company is one of the main and first foreign investors in Sibiu. In the industrial area there are branches of other important multinational companies such as Takata, Brandl, Geiger, Metro Cash and Carry)
Siemens Sibiu Romania (Located in the industrial area of the city, the company is one of the main foreign investors in Sibiu. It manufactures electrical equipment and it is the first of its kind in Eastern Europe and is a part of the German Group.
Coming from Siemens, turn left at the first T junction and drive straight ahead. After you passed Radu Stanca National Theatre on your left, turn right and at the next light turn right again. You will see Golden Tulip Ana Tower.