Sibiu's historical center viewed from the west.


Sibiu
(German: Hermannstadt), a town located in the inner Carpathians (Rumania/Transsylvania). Founded by German settlers in the 12th century. Approximately 190.000 inhabitants in 1991. Administrative centre and capital of the Siebenbürger Sachsen, the German-speaking population of Transsylvania. Episcopalian seat of the German-Lutheran Regional Church and the Orthodox Metropolitan.
Business: International airport, industrial centre with foundries, machine tool, automotive, furniture, shoe, textile and printing industries.
Buildings: Bastions and defensive fortifications; stair tower (16th to 17th centuries); hospital; convent of St. Ursula (13th century); town hall (15th century); Palais Brukenthal (late Austrian baroque); Lutheran municipal church (original structure late-gothic baroque, largest organ of South-Eastern Europe, built by Sauer); Orthodox church (reconstruction of a Byzantine basilica); Roman-Catholic church (Austrian baroque, 1733).
Museums: Museum Brukenthal, including a gallery of predominantly Dutch paintings and a library with 120.000 volumes; Historical Museum, including collections of coins and weapons; Ethnographic Open-Air Museum (42 ha.), a museum of farming techniques, considered the most beautiful open-air museum in Europe; Museum of Natural Sciences.
Schools, universities: Three secondary schools („Gymnasien“; including one German-language school); industrial lyceum and other specialist schools; adult education centre; music school; university of Lutheran theology; orthodox seminary; university with 3.000 students and five departments.
Culture: Philharmonic orchestra (state-funded); theatre and puppet theatre with Rumanian and German departments; choirs (Bach choir, Brukenthal choir).

You can reach Sibiu by airplane - for more information please visit Tarom
and Carpatair.

View of the historical center of Sibiu.

Transsylvania and particularly Sibiu/Hermannstadt and Brasov/Kronstadt have been bridges between the West and the East for centuries, both in terms of
trade and business and in terms of sciences and art, most notably music. Transsylvania saw a growing interest in music from the 16th century onwards.
The lute player Valentin Greff-Bakfark (1507-1576), who had become famous in Austria, and Gregorius Ostermayer, a musician highly esteemed in Germany,
were born in Brasov. Michael Stollmann (1700-1750) from Sibiu is believed to have been one of Bach’s favourite students.
The governor of Sibiu, Samuel von Brukenthal, organised musical gatherings („Collegia musica“) from 1774 onwards. At these gatherings,
chamber music and string quartets were rehearsed . They soon became popular in educated Saxon households as “Hausmusik”.
Historical statistics counted almost 4.000 pianos compared with a population of 18.000 in Sibiu at the time. A Viennese author wrote about the popularity
of music in 1828: "Sibiu deserves to be called a musical town, as there is certainly one person in each household, who plays at least one instrument.“

The small square viewed from above.

In 1787, Sibiu already had its own theatre – earlier than Prague, Graz and Budapest. By 1788, this theatre showed more than 130 performances of
operas, most of which were part of the repertoire of the Viennese National Theatre. The author of a 1939 memorial publication honouring the 100th anniversary
of the „Hermannstädter Musikverein“ writes: „Music has always played an important role in Sibiu.
Thus it is no surprise that the quality of performances, for example of German operas conducted by Johann Strauss or of the great oratorios of
Joseph Haydn („The Creation“ in 1800 and „The Seasons“ in 1804) was comparable to performances in all Austrian provincial capitals.“
Over time, the wide-ranging musical activities of Sibiu had an increasing impact on musical creativity in all towns of the Saxon settlement area,
where musical associations, choral societies and choirs dominated artistic activities and provided a fertile ground for musical talent.
It was into this environment that Carl Filtsch, the „Transsylvanian child prodigy“ (Franz Liszt), was born in Sebes/Mühlbach, not far from Sibiu, in 1830.


Mountains near Sibiu.