Sibiu – a medieval town of the 21st century

Author: Oltea Zambori

Sibiu’s historic centre is full of testimonies and traces of the old medieval town, with a rich, 900 years old history. The fairy-tale atmosphere is provided by the old building architecture surrounding you, by the observation towers and the protection walls still standing today, but it is also enhanced by the beautiful landscape and the wonderful people animating the town.

The Bridge of Lies and The Stairs’ Passage are two of the constructions that used to connect the Upper City and the Lower City.

No wonder Sibiu is one of the main tourist attractions in Romania. In 2007, it was dubbed a European Cultural Capital, due to its significant cultural and economic growth. Consequently, Sibiu is not just a history-based town, but also a town where the medieval style and the modern style are combined in a pleasant manner. It is a town that managed to keep and valorise its history, even when new technologies and modernism started to blossom.

The numerous churches and cathedrals in this town are probably the result of the various ethnicities and religions living here together and turning Sibiu into a multi-cultural city.

The Church between the fir trees, the Big Synagogue, the Roman-Catholic Parochial Church, the Central Evangelic Church and the Metropolitan Cathedral are only some of the religious venues with special architecture, that can be visited in Sibiu.

Obviously, museums cannot be scarce in a town with such a heavy historic and cultural load.

The Brukenthal Palace, the oldest museum in Romania, is located right in Sibiu’s Grand Square and it must be visited by anyone who wants a taste of the old nobility’s lifestyle. For those who have a passion for history, ethnography, weapons, locomotives and drugstores, Sibiu has a lot of museums to offer, such as: The History Museum, The „Franz Binder”, Universal Ethnography Museum, the “Astra” Museum of Traditional Popular Civilisation, the German Minority’s  Museum of  Ethnography and Popular Arts – „Emil Sigerus”, The Drugstore History Museum, The Museum of Weaponry and Hunting Trophies  and the Museum of Steam Engine Locomotives.

The International Theatre Festival in Sibiu is held here every spring and it is seen as one of the most important theatre festivals in South-Eastern Europe. Every year, the following festivals are organised: The Medieval Arts Festival, the „La Strada” Non-Conventional Arts Festival, the International Festival of Electronic Music and Contemporary Arts “Transylvania Calling” and the International Jazz Festival in Sibiu. And, since 2014, we also have the Airfield Festival  taking place near Sibiu, on the Măgura Airfield.

Just like any town with a highly developed tourism, based on cultural events and having a rather young population, Sibiu is becoming more lively in the evenings, when plenty of bars and pubs host many joyous people. After a day of wonderful sightseeing and museum visits, you can relax with a good drink, in any one of the following venues. Whether you choose Pardon Cafe, Cheers Irish Pub, Oldies Pub Live Music, Rock N’Bike Club, or Union Retro Club, anyone who has been there before will guarantee you a nice evening, with happy, welcoming and open-minded people.

All these features turn Sibiu into a major attraction that any Romanian should know and any foreigner should visit.