Hermannstadt / Nagyszeben
|Founded||1191 (first official record)|
|• Mayor||Astrid Fodor (FDGR)|
|• Total||121 km2 (47 sq mi)|
|Elevation||415 m (1,362 ft)|
|• Density||1,132/km2 (2,930/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
|Area code(s)||+40 269/369|
Sibiu (Romanian: [siˈbiw], antiquated Sibiiu; Latin: Cibinium; German: Hermannstadt [ˈhɛʁmanʃtat], Transylvanian Saxon: Härmeschtat, Hungarian: Nagyszeben [ˈnɒcsɛbɛn]) is a city in Transylvania, Romania, with a population of 147,245. Located some 275 km (171 mi) north-west of Bucharest, the city straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt. Now the capital of Sibiu County, between 1692 and 1791 and 1849–65 Sibiu was also the capital of the Principality of Transylvania.
Sibiu is one of the most important cultural centres of Romania and was designated the European Capital of Culture for the year 2007, along with the city of Luxembourg. Formerly the centre of the Transylvanian Saxons, the old city of Sibiu was ranked as "Europe's 8th-most idyllic place to live" by Forbes in 2008. The city also administers the village of Păltiniș, a ski resort located 35 kilometres to the south.
Sibiu was initially a Daco-Roman city called Cedonia. The town was refounded by the Saxons (German) settlers brought there by the king Géza II of Hungary. The first reference to the area was Cipin and Cibinium from 1191 when Pope Celestine III confirmed the existence of the free prepositure of the Saxons in Transylvania, the prepositure having its headquarters in Sibiu.
In the 14th century, it was already an important trade centre. In 1376, the craftsmen were divided in 19 guilds. Sibiu became the most important ethnic German city among the seven cities that gave Transylvania its German name Siebenbürgen (literally seven citadels). It was home to the Universitas Saxorum (Community of the Saxons), a network of pedagogues, ministers, intellectuals, city officials, and councilmen of the German community forging an ordered legal corpus and political system in Transylvania since the 1400s. In 1699, after the Ottomans withdrew to his base of power in Hungary and Transylvania, the town became capital of Principality of Transylvania (since 1570 the principality was mostly under suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire, however often had a dual vassalage). During the 18th and 19th centuries, the city became the second- and later the first-most important centre of Transylvanian Romanian ethnics. The first Romanian-owned bank had its headquarters here (The Albina Bank), as did the ASTRA (Transylvanian Association for Romanian Literature and Romanian's People Culture). After the Romanian Orthodox Church was granted status in the Austrian Empire from the 1860s onwards, Sibiu became the Metropolitan seat, and the city is still regarded as the third-most important centre of the Romanian Orthodox Church. Between the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 and 1867 (the year of the Ausgleich), Sibiu was the meeting-place of the Transylvanian Diet, which had taken its most representative form after the Empire agreed to extend voting rights in the region.
After World War I, when Austria-Hungary was dissolved, Sibiu became part of Romania; the majority of its population was still ethnic German (until 1941) and counted a large Romanian community, as well as a smaller Hungarian one. Starting from the 1950s and until after 1990, most of the city's ethnic Germans emigrated to Germany and Austria. Among the roughly 2,000 who have remained is Klaus Johannis, the current[update] President of Romania.
Sibiu is situated near the geographical center of Romania at Făgăraș Mountains, 12 km from the Cibin Mountains, and about 15 km from the Lotru Mountains, which border the depression in its southwestern section. The northern and eastern limits of Sibiu are formed by the Târnavelor Plateau, which descends to the Cibin Valley through Gușteriței Hill.. Set in the Cibin Depression, the city is about 20 km from the
The Cibin river as well as some smaller streams runs through Sibiu. The geographical position of Sibiu makes it one of the most important transportation hubs in Romania with important roads and railway lines passing through it.
The following districts are part of Sibiu. Some were villages annexed by the city but most were built as the city developed and increased its surface.
- Historic Center – Divided into the Upper Town and Lower Town
- Centru (Centre)
- Trei Stejari
- Vasile Aaron
- Hipodrom I, II, III, IV
- Valea Aurie (Golden Valley)
- Turnișor (Little Tower; German: Neppendorf)
- Piața Cluj
- Gușterița (German: Hammersdorf)
- Viile Sibiului
- Veteranilor de Război
The Southern part, including the ASTRA National Museum Complex and the Zoo, also falls within the city limits.
Sibiu's climate is humid continental with average temperatures of 8 to 9 °C (46 to 48 °F). The average rainfall is 627 l/m2, and there are about 120 days of hard frost annually.
|Climate data for Sibiu (1981–2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||15.6
|Average high °C (°F)||1.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−2.8
|Average low °C (°F)||−6.9
|Record low °C (°F)||−31.8
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||24.9
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||11.0
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||11.2||10.5||11.2||13.1||15.2||14.5||13.3||10.4||10.6||9.0||9.7||12.1||140.8|
|Average relative humidity (%)||87||79||71||67||68||71||71||72||76||78||80||86||75|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||68||97||138||164||215||228||248||238||172||148||89||61||1,866|
|Source #1: World Meteorological Organization, Ogimet (mean temperatures and sun 1981–2010)|
|Source #2: Romanian National Statistic Institute (extremes 1901–2000), NOAA (snowfall 1961–1990), Deutscher Wetterdienst (humidity, 1989–2008)|
As of 2011 census data, Sibiu has a population of 147,245, a decrease from the figure recorded at the 2002 census, making it the 14th-largest city in Romania. The ethnic breakdown was as follows:
A 2017 estimate placed the population at 169,316, a 14.98 percent increase since 2011. This increase brings Sibiu's population close to the numbers observed in 1992 when the highest population was recorded.
Population by religious denomination
|Confessions in Sibiu|
|Jewish||4%||< 1 %|
Despite the fact that nowadays ethnic Germans make up less than 2% of Sibiu's total population, Klaus Johannis, the former president of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania (FDGR/DFDR) and current president of Romania, served as mayor of the city between 2000 and 2014.
Johannis was overwhelmingly reelected in 2004 (with 88.7% of votes) and 2008 (with 83.3% of the votes cast) and his party gained an absolute majority in the city council during that same year. After the 2014 presidential elections, the ad interim function for the seat of the mayor of the city was filled by deputy mayor Astrid Fodor. Fodor subsequently gained a permanent mayor seat at the 2016 local elections.
|Democratic Forum of Germans||12|
|Social Democratic Party||6|
|National Liberal Party||5|
Sibiu is an important economic hub for Romania, with a high rate of foreign investments. It is also an important hub for the manufacturing of automotive components and houses factories belonging to ThyssenKrupp Bilstein-Compa, Takata Corporation, Continental Automotive Systems, and NTN-SNR ball bearings. Other local industries are machine components, textiles, agro-industry, and electrical components (Siemens).
The main industrial activities of Sibiu take place in two industrial zones located on the outskirts of the city:
- East industrial zone (East Economic Center), alongside the railway to Brașov and Râmnicu Vâlcea
- West industrial zone (West Economic Center), near the exit to Sebeș, close to the Airport
A commercial zone located in the Șelimbăr commune plays an important role in the economy of Sibiu. It houses a mall and other large retailers.
Another factor that plays an important role in the economy of the city is tourism, which has been increasing at a steady rate since 2007.
Sibiu is well served in terms of transport and infrastructure. In 2010 a city bypass was opened, significantly reducing the road traffic inside the city.
Sibiu International Airport is one of the most modern international airports in Romania, with direct connections to Germany, Austria, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, and Israel.
Sibiu is an important node in the European road network, being on two different European routes (E68 and E81). At a national level, Sibiu is located on three different main national roads, DN1, DN7 and DN14.
The Romanian Motorway A1 will link the city with Pitești and the Romanian western border, near Arad. From the remaining 332 km of motorway towards the border with Hungary Nadlac, a total of 276 km is completed and the last 56 km are currently under construction, while the timeline for the segment towards Pitești is targeted for completion for the year 2025 (construction will start no sooner than 2019). Sibiu' s ring road as part of A1 motorway was completed on 1 December 2010.
Sibiu is also an important hub for the international bus links with the biggest passenger transporter in Romania, Atlassib, based here. Transport companies are also providing coach connections from Sibiu to a large number of locations in Romania.
Sibiu is situated on the CFR-Romanian Railways Main Line 200 (Brasov – Făgăraș – Sibiu – Simeria – Arad – Romanian Western Border) and on Line 206 (Sibiu – Mediaș).
The city is served by five rail stations: the Main Station (Gara Mare), the Little Station (Gara Micǎ), Turnișor, Sibiu Triaj, Halta Ateliere Zonă . It has an important diesel-powered locomotives depot and a freight terminal.
Numerous Inter City trains (nicknamed Blue Arrows) connect Sibiu to other major cities in Romania: Cluj-Napoca, Brașov, Craiova, Timișoara and Bucharest.
Over the last six years, Sibiu has enjoyed a revival of cycling. The bicycle way in the city span for 43 kilometers.
Bicycle rentals have offered a boost for the local economy with several small rental centers and a bigger rental center that is administered by the I'Velo Bike Sharing group.
Sibiu is one of Romania's most culturally lively cities. It has 2 theatres and a philharmonic orchestra along with other smaller private theatrical venues and a theatre studio housed by the Performing Arts and Acting section of Lucian Blaga University, where students hold monthly representations.
The Radu Stanca National Theatre is one of the leading Romanian theatres. With origins dating back to 1787, it attracts some of the best-known Romanian directors, such as Gábor Tompa and Silviu Purcărete. It has both a Romanian-language and a German-language section, and presents an average of five shows a week.
The Gong Theatre is specialised in puppetry, mime and non-conventional shows for children and teenagers. It also presents shows in both Romanian and German.
The State Philharmonic of Sibiu presents weekly classical music concerts, and educational concerts for children and teenagers. The concerts take place in the newly restored Thalia Hall, a concert and theatre hall dating from 1787, situated along the old city fortifications. Weekly organ concerts are organised at the Evangelical Cathedral during summers, and thematic concerts are presented by the Faculty of Theology choir at the Orthodox Cathedral.
Museums and parks
Sibiu's museums are organised around two entities: the Brukenthal National Museum and the ASTRA National Museum Complex. The Brukenthal Museum consists of an Art Gallery and an Old Books Library located inside the Brukenthal Palace, a History Museum located in the old town hall building, a Pharmacy Museum located in one of the first apothecary shops in Europe, dating from the 16th century, a Natural History Museum and a Museum of Arms and Hunting Trophies.
The ASTRA National Museum Complex focuses on ethnography, and consists of a Traditional Folk Civilisation Museum, a 96-hectare open-air museum located in Dumbrava Forest south of Sibiu, a Universal Ethnography Museum, a Museum of Transylvanian Civilisation and a Museum of Saxon Ethnography and Folk Art. Also planned is a Museum of the Culture and Civilisation of the Romany People.
The Dumbrava Sibiului Natural Park stretches over 960 hectares and it is situated 4 km away from the center of the city in the southwest direction along the road towards Răşinari. Also, here you can find the Zoological Garden and Ethnography Museum.
The first park in the city was The Promenade, later called "The Disabled Promenade." established in 1791, today part of Parcul Cetății (Citadel Park). Current arrangement of the park, including the space between the walls, dates from 1928.
The Sub Arini Park, established between 1857 and 1859 based on plans of military engineer Michael Seyfried, is one of the biggest and best-maintained parks in Romania. There are other green spaces in the city center, the best known being Astra Park, established in 1879.
Tineretului Park, Reconstrucției Park, Corneliu Coposu Park, Petöfi Sándor Park, Piața Cluj Park, Ștrand Park, Cristianului Park, Țițeica Park, Vasile Aaron Park, Lira Park.
The distribution of green space is good compared to other Romanian cities.
Several festivals are organised yearly in Sibiu, the most prestigious of them being the Sibiu International Theatre Festival, organized each spring at the end of May. Medieval Festival organized every year in August, reviving the medieval spirit of Transylvania. The Artmania Festival is held every Summer since 2006 and as of 2008 the Rockin' Transilvania Festival is also held in Sibiu. The oldest Jazz Festival in Romania is organized here, as well as the "Carl Filtsch" festival for young classical piano players, the "Astra Film" documentary film festival, the Transylvania calling Festival a Multi Cultural 6 day Open Air Music festival! 26–31 July 2007, a medieval arts festival and many more smaller cultural events. Feeric Fashion Week is also hosted here. Sibiu was awarded by IGCAT (International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism) to be part of the European Regions of Gastronomy program, event that will promote in 2019 the region's culinary heritage, multi-ethnic traditions and multi-cultural community.
European Cultural Capital
The designation as a European Cultural Capital for 2007, owed greatly to the excellent collaboration with Luxembourg, but also to what many regard as a miraculous social rebirth taking place in the city during the last years. The Cultural Capital status was expected to bring about an abrupt increase in quantity and quality of cultural events in 2007.
In 2007, Sibiu was the European Capital of Culture (together with Luxembourg). This was the most important cultural event that has ever happened in the city, and a great number of tourists came, both domestic and foreign.
The city of Sibiu and its surroundings are one of the most visited areas in Romania. It holds one of the best preserved historical sites in the country, many of its medieval fortifications having been kept in excellent state. Its old center has begun the process for becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. Sibiu and its surrounding area have many significant museums, with 12 institutions housing art collections, paintings, and exhibits in decorative arts, archeology, anthropology, history, industrial archeology and history of technology and natural sciences.
The city also lies close to the Făgăraș Mountains – a popular trekking destination, close to the Păltiniș and Arena Platos ski resorts – both winter holiday destinations, and it is at the heart of the former Saxon communities in Transylvania renowned for its fortified churches.
Since 2007, a traditional Christmas market has been held in Sibiu. The first of its kind in Romania, it is inspired by Viennese Christmas markets, being a project developed by the Social Attaché of the Austrian Embassy in Romania, dr.h.c. Barbara Schöfnagel It was held in the "Lesser Square" (Piața Mică) with 38 small stalls, a small stage and an area dedicated to children, having several mechanical attractions installed there. Since 2008 the market is held in the "Grand Square" and grew to a number of about 70 stalls, a bigger stage was set up, where Christmas carols concerts are held. An ice skating rink and a children's workshop are also attractions which have been added in the following years. It was the first Christmas Market in Romania, but soon other Christmas markets emerged across the country. In 2013, the Sibiu Christmas markets was included in the "15 Of the Most Beautiful Christmas Markets in Europe"
In 2019 Sibiu will host the European Gastronomical capital, by encouraging the local producers and local businesses in the field of food production and culinary culture, traditional gourmet workshops in the villages of the region, promoting peasant farms and gastronomic circuits, or developing public programs to support small producers in gastronomy and of the hospitality industry in the Sibiu region.
Much of the city's aspect is due to its position, easily defensible, but allowing horizontal development. The old city of Sibiu lies on the right bank of the Cibin River, on a hill situated at about 200 m from the river. It consists of two distinct entities: the Upper Town and the Lower Town. Traditionally, the Upper Town was the wealthier part and commercial outlet, while the Lower Town served as the manufacturing area.
The Lower Town
(German: Unterstadt, Romanian: Orașul de jos) comprises the area between the river and the hill, and it developed around the earliest fortifications. The streets are long and quite wide for medieval city standards, with small city squares at places. The architecture is rather rustic: typically two-storey houses with tall roofs and gates opening passages to inner courts.
Most of the exterior fortifications were lost to industrial development and modern urban planning in the mid-late 19th century; only four towers still exist. A building associated with newer urbanism of the period is the Independența Highschool.
This area has the oldest church in the city – in fact the first mention of the city itself is the reconfirmation of the local provostship as praepositum Cibiniensem – that was the religious center of the Saxons until the 15th century. Whilst the Church between the Fir trees dates back to 1778.
The Upper Town (German: Oberstadt, Romanian: Orașul de sus) is organised around three city squares and a set of streets along the line of the hill. As the main area for burgher activities, the area contains most points of interest in the city.
(German: Großer Ring, Romanian: Piața Mare ) is, as its name suggests, the largest square of the city, and has been the center of the city since the 15th century. At 142 meters long and 93 meters wide, it is one of the largest ones in Transylvania.
Brukenthal Palace, one of the most important Baroque monuments in Romania, lies on the north-western corner of the square. It was erected between 1777 and 1787 as the main residence for the Governor of Transylvania Samuel von Brukenthal. It houses the main part of the National Brukenthal Museum, opened in 1817, making it one of the oldest museums in the world. Next to the palace is the Blue House or Moringer House, an 18th-century Baroque house bearing the old coat of arms of Sibiu on its façade.
On the north side is the Jesuit Church, along with its dependencies, the former residence of the Jesuits in Sibiu. Also on the north side, at the beginning of the 20th century an Art Nouveau building was constructed on the west part, now it houses the mayor's office.
Next to the Jesuit Church on the north side is the Council Tower, one of the city's symbols. This former fortification tower from the 13th century has been successively rebuilt over the years. The building nearby used to be the City Council's meeting place; beneath it lies an access way between the Grand Square and the Lesser Square.
On the south and east sides are two- or three-storey houses, having tall attics with small windows known as the city's eyes. Most of these houses are dated 15th to 19th centuries, and most of them are Renaissance or Baroque in style.
Lesser Square (Small Square, German: Kleiner Ring) as its name implies, is a smaller square situated in the northern part of the Upper Town. After the 2007 rehabilitation there has been an increase in the number of small businesses such as pubs and restaurants in this area.
The square is connected to the other two squares and to other streets by small, narrow passages. The main access from the Lower City is through Ocnei Street, which divides the square in two. The street passes under the Liar's Bridge – the first bridge in Romania to have been cast in iron (1859).
To the right of the bridge is another symbol of the city, The House of the Arts, a 14th-century arched building formerly belonging to the Butchers' Guild. On the left side of the bridge is the Luxemburg House, a Baroque four-storey building.
Huet Square is the third of the three main squares of Sibiu. Its most notable feature is the Evangelical Lutheran Cathedral in its center. It is the place where the earliest fortifications have been built in the late 12th century or early 13th century. The buildings around this square are mainly Gothic. On the west side lies the Brukenthal Highschool, in place of a former 14th-century school.
The Fortifications of Sibiu made the city one of the most important fortified cities in Central Europe. Multiple rings were built around the city, most of them out of clay bricks. The south-eastern fortifications are the best kept, and all three parallel lines are still visible. The first is an exterior earth mound, the second is a 10-meter-tall red brick wall, and the third line comprises towers linked by another 10-meter-tall wall. All structures are connected via a labyrinth of tunnels and passageways, designed to ensure transport between the city and lines of defense.
In the 16th century more modern elements were added to the fortifications, mainly leaf-shaped bastions. Two of these survived to this day, as the Haller Bastion (all the way down Coposu Boulevard) and "Soldisch Bastion".
The Passage of the Stairs, leads down to the lower section of Sibiu. It descends along some fortifications under the support arches. It is one of several passages linking the two sides of the old city.
Sibiu is one of the important medical centers of Romania, housing many important medical facilities:
- County Hospital
- Academic Emergency Hospital;
- Hospital of Pediatrics;
- Military Emergency Hospital;
- CFR Hospital (Romanian Railways Hospital);
- "Dr. Gheorghe Preda" Psychiatry Hospital
- other smaller private clinics
The city also houses one of the largest private hospitals in the country, Polisano.
The Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu was founded in 1990, with five faculties: Engineering and Sciences; Language Sciences; History and Law; Medicine; Food and Textile Processing Technology. Nowadays, there are 10 faculties and departments.
Sibiu also houses the Nicolae Bălcescu Land Forces Academy and the Military Foreign Language Center as well as two private universities, Romanian-German University and Alma Mater University.
In Sibiu there are 20 educational institutions on the secondary level, the most important of which are:
- Gheorghe Lazăr National College – sciences and informatics, first opened in 1692 as a Jesuit College
- Samuel von Brukenthal National College – German language high school
- Octavian Goga National College – social sciences, sciences, informatics and linguistics
- Onisifor Ghibu Theoretical Highschool – informatics, sciences, sports, theater and linguistics
- Andrei Șaguna National College – training for school teacher and linguistics
- Constantin Noica Theoretical Highschool – sciences and linguistics
- Daniel Popovici Barcianu Highschool – agricultural sciences
- George Baritiu National College – economic sciences
- Nicolae Iorga Elementary school
- Regina Maria Elementary school
The city houses a municipal stadium, a multi-functional arena building, a rugby court, a municipal pool and several private tennis courts.
Also, several sports international competitions are taking place every year: Sibiu Cycling Tour (in July), Red Bull Romaniacs Hard Enduro Rallye (around July), Sibiu Open (formerly held in September), Sibiu Rally (currently held in October).
- CSM Sibiu
- CSM Sibiu (men)
- CSS Sibiu (women)
- CSU Sibiu (men)
- CSM Sibiu (women)
- CSM Sibiu (men)
- Speed Skating
- CSS Sibiu
- Michael Gottlieb Agnethler, botanist
- Alexandru Apolzan, football player
- Arthur Arz von Straussenburg, Austro-Hungarian general
- Florin Barbu, bass player in Romanian bands Timpuri Noi and Proconsul
- Claudiu Baștea, judoka
- Ion Besoiu, Romanian actor
- Miklós Borsos, Hungarian sculptor
- Dan Burincă, Olympic artistic gymnast
- Andrei Codrescu, American writer
- Sabina Cojocar, Romanian gymnast
- Alexandru Curtean
- Steve Holmes, German pornographic actor
- Victor Iliu, Romanian film director
- Klaus Iohannis, 5th President of Romania
- Hermann Kusmanek von Burgneustädten, Austro-Hungarian general, see also Siege of Przemyśl
- Mircea Mureșan, Romanian film director
- Alexandru Mușina, Romanian poet
- Steliana Nistor, Romanian gymnast
- Hermann Oberth, space flight technology pioneer
- Nicolaus Olahus, Catholic archbishop of Esztergom
- Oskar Pastior, poet and translator
- Dan Perjovschi, Romanian artist
- Claudia Presecan, Romanian gymnast
- Iancu Sasul, Moldavian ruler
- Viorel Tilea, Romanian diplomat
- Adele Zay, Transylvanian-Saxon who established the kindergarten system in Hungary and then Romania
Sibiu has twinning agreements with:
- Bauru, Brazil, since 1995.
- Butuan, Philippines
- Columbia, Missouri, USA, since 1994.
- Deventer, the Netherlands, since 2007.
- Klagenfurt, Austria, since 1990.
- Landshut, Germany, since 2002.
- Marburg, Germany, since 2005.
- Mechelen, Belgium, since 1996.
- Rennes, France, since 1999.
- Valencia, Venezuela, since 1993.
- Wirral, United Kingdom, since 1994.
- Takayama, Gifu, Japan, since 2009.
Consulates in Sibiu
- Federal Republic of Germany – Consulate-General
- List of castles in Romania
- Timeline of Sibiu
- Tourism in Romania
- Seven Wonders of Romania
- Villages with fortified churches in Transylvania
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- "Istoricul Universitatii Alma Mater Sibiu – Universitatea Alma Mater Sibiu". www.uamsibiu.ro. Archived from the original on 4 May 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- (in Romanian) Sibiu Town Hall Official Site, Acordul de infratire intre Sibiu si orasul Deventer din Olanda Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, 23 May 2007
- Sibiu.ro: Official Sibiu Online website — tourism and history information and images. (in Romanian), (in English), (in German)
- Turism.sibiu.ro: Official Sibiu Tourism website (in Romanian), (in English), (in German)
- patrimoniu.sibiu.ro: Sibiu Heritage website (in Romanian), (in English)
- theFest.ro – Locuri si evenimente din Sibiu, Romania (in Romanian)
- RomaniaTourism.com: Sibiu — reference for surface area, population, etc. (2005).
- Sibiupeople.ro: Restoration of Historical Monuments in Sibiu —photo gallery and projects' report.
- Official Sibiu European Cultural Capital 2007 website (in Romanian), (in English), (in German)
- The Diplomat: article; "Sibiu as Capital of Culture" (in Romanian)
- Rozylowicz.com: photos, videos, and retirement information
- Descopera.net: Sibiu in pictures
- Pictures of Sibiu