Location: Central Romania (County: Sibiu)
Elevation: 1,410 ft. (430 meters)
Size:46.7 sq. miles (121 sq. kilometers)
Inhabited since: 300 BC
First documented: 1191 AD
Sibiu (Hermannstadt in German) was the largest and wealthiest of the seven walled citadels* built in the 12th century by German settlers known as Transylvanian Saxons. The riches amassed by its guilds paid for the construction of both impressive buildings and the fortifications required to protect them.
Sibiu’s Old Town retains the grandeur of its earlier days when rich and powerful guilds dominated regional trade. Like Sighisoara and Brasov, it has a distinctly Germanic feeling. Sections of the medieval wall still guard the historic area, where narrow streets pass steep-roofed 17th century buildings with gable overhangs before opening into vast, church-dominated squares such as Great Square and Little Square.
Sibiu is a pedestrian-friendly city with two easily accessible levels: the Upper town, home to most of Sibiu’s historic sights, and the Lower town, lined with colorful houses on cobblestone streets and bounded by imposing city walls and defense towers overlooking the river Cibin.
In 1797, Samuel von Hahnemann opened in Sibiu the world’s first homeopathic laboratory. Sibiu is home to the first hospital in Romania (1292), the first pharmacy (1494) and the oldest museum in Romania, the Brukenthal Museum, opened in 1817
The first book in the Romanian language was printed in Sibiu in 1544
Traditionally, the Upper town was the wealthier part and commercial outlet, while the Lower town served as the manufacturing area. The historical centre includes the Great Square, Huet Square, the beautiful Passage of Steps connecting the upper town to the lower town, the well-known Bridge of Lies, Goldsmiths’ Square and the Small Square.