Multidisciplinary Research

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Conference 2017

SIBIU - A CITY OF CULTURE, A CITY OF EUROPE

A city of history and tradition, Sibiu is one of the most representative cities of Romanian culture. A well-known city of modern times, a settlement that brings the ancient beauty and charm of medieval city life to the modern world, Sibiu emerged on the site of an earlier, probably Slavic settlement, right after the middle of the XIIth century. The city was founded by Saxon colonists coming from the Rhine-Moselle area. A messenger of Romanian culture, Sibiu currently enjoys a vivid cultural life, supported by 2 theaters, a philharmonic, 5 libraries, 5 cultural centers, 6 different cultural institutions and 10 museums, that have housed the works of famous artists over time. Sibiu is the place where the first museum in Romania, the Brukenthal Museum, was opened on February 25, 1817. It was the second museum opened in Europe and it bears the name the former governor of Transylvania, Samuel von Brukenthal, who donated his vast personal art collection and an impressive library to establish this museum, housed in the former residence. The Art Gallery of the museum houses paintings by Antonello da Messina, Lorenzo Lotto, Alessandro Magnasco, Albrecht Dürer, Rubens, Botticeli, Jan van Dyck and Titian. Sibiu is rightly regarded as one of the most beautiful and best-preserved historical cities in Romania and Europe, with an architectural heritage that covers about 80 hectares. Sibiu medieval fortress, has survived two world wars and the communist regime, and has preserved the spirit and atmosphere of centuries long gone. Sibiu surrounding areas, including the area of inestimable cultural value known as 'Marginimea Sibiu', Păltiniș mountain resort, the Fagaras Mountains spanning from Transfăgărășan to the Olt Valley, and the surrounding Saxon villages, contribute to an even greater extent to the reputation of Sibiu as one of the most important tourist destinations in Romania. Sibiu is located in the southern part of Transylvania, on the Cibin River, near the geographical center of Romania, in the Cibin depression, close to the Fagaras Mountains (20 km) Cibin Mountains (12 km) and Lotrului Mountains (about 15 km) that border the depression to the south-west. To the north and east, the city of Sibiu is bordered by Tarnavelor plateau, which goes up above the Cibin valley through Gusteritei Hill.

Landmarks of the city

The Town Hall Tower, No.1, Piata Mica
It is one of the most famous monuments of the city of Sibiu. Its name comes from the fact that it used to be the gateway to the second fortification site, and is located next to the building that housed the town hall of Sibiu, first attested in documents in 1324 (the building at Nr. 31, Piata Mica, now restored). In its current form, the Town Hall tower has the height of a seven floor building with the storeys withdrawn successively, facades marked by narrow openings in the form of battlements. The ground floor has a large vaulted passage. Access to the interior is possible through a small door, and a spiral staircase leads to the upper floors. The current building is the result of several phases of construction; it was successively built over and even incorporated in a group of buildings. Of the original building, probably only the part up to the first floor has been preserved..
The House of Arts, no. 21, Piata Mica
With its 8 arches, it is one of the most beautiful buildings in Sibiu. The building was erected in the 15th century and was known as the Butchers House due to the many butcher shops at the ground floor.
The Stairs Tower, Huet Square
It dates from the 13th century, and it is the only gate to the first fortification site preserved to this day. An inscription mentions the year 1542, when the tower was renovated. A vaulted arch gives access to the lower part of the town through leveled stairs.
The fortified walls
The third fortifications ring was erected in the 14th century and consolidated in the17th century. A segment of the wall along Coposu Avenue and Manejului Street, as well as three defense towers: the Arquebusiers Tower, the Potters Tower and the Carpenters Tower, have been preserved to this day.
The Thick Tower, C. Coposu Avenue
It was erected in the 16th century. The tower housed the first theater in Sibiu, starting with the year 1778. It has been recently renovated and integrated into Thalia Hall.
Haller Bastion
It is located at the end of Coposu Avenue and was built in 1552. Haller bastion is the starting point of the northern borderline of fortress, whose walls have been preserved along Manejului Street up to Ursuline Church.
The Old Town Hall
The building was erected at the end of the 15th century and is the largest Gothic architectural complex in Transylvania. The building housed the city hall between 1549 and 1948.
Haller House, no.10, Piata Mare
It was built in Renaissance style and preserves many elements of the original building dating from the 15th-16th centuries, such as the portal with the coat of arms, the arched access way, and the decorations. The house was owned by the Haller family for 345 years.
Bobel House, no. 16, Avram Iancu Street
It is among the oldest dwelling from Sibiu.
The Bridge of Lies
It is the first wrought iron bridge in Romania, built in 1859 by Fredericus Hutte. It connects Piata Mica and Huet Square.
The Grand Square
The Grand Square was first mentioned in 1411 as a grain market. It became the center of the old citadel starting with the 16th century. Public executions and public meetings were held here. It was called Grosser Ring or Grosser Platz for hundreds of years. Between the wars, it was called King Ferdinand Square, later the Communists called it the Republic Square and in 1990 it regained its original name. The square 142 m long and 93 m wide, which makes it one of the largest squares in Transylvania. Southern side of the square is considered an architectural monument.
The Small Square
The Small Square is an important landmark for any visitor, due to its medieval buildings preserved in their original form and to the numerous sites of tourist interest.. In the Middle Ages, this square (also referred to as 'circulus parvus' in documents) accommodated the houses and workshops of local craftsmen. Some of the major points of interest of the city are located here: the access gate to the Town Hall Tower, the Bridge of Lies, Franz Binder Museum, Emil Sigerus Museum, the Pharmacy Museum, Luxembourg House, as well as many restaurants and cafes.
Huet Square
Huet Square is the area surrounding the Evangelic Cathedral that dominates the place. It is placed on the site of the first fortification precinct of the town. Brukenthal High School was erected on the site of a 14th century school. The present building dates from the year 1786.
The Lower Town
9 Mai Street, the oldest street of the city, bore the name Elizabeth Street for a long time. The place where 9 Mai Street crosses Ocnei Street (Dragoner Square) is considered the center of the Lower Town. The name Dragoner Square comes from the fact that the building housing the headquarters of the Austrian dragons was placed right in the middle of the square until 1976. Azilului Street leads to Asylum Church and to the old people's nursing home, first mentioned in documents in 1292, when the Holy Spirit Church of the crusaders order set up here the first hospital in Sibiu for the sick and the poor. Turnului Street was one of the most important streets of the city in the Middle Ages. The place where Turnului Street crosses Faurului Street used to be called Coroana Square.
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