Transylvania

ITEM!

History

85

Saxon Land & the Prahova

Valley

86

Bra§ov

86

Around Brajov

94

Poiana Bra§ov

96

Bran

98

Around Bran

100

Predeal

102

Bu^teni

104

Sinaia

107

Fagaraj Mountains

112

Sibiu

115

Around Sibiu

122

Sighi$oara

124

Fortified Saxon Churches

129

Szekely Land

132

Targu Mure;

132

Odorheiu Secuiesc

137

Around Odorheiu Secuiiesc

139

Miercurea Ciuc

139

Gheorgheni

141

Sfantu Gheorghe

142

Around Sfantu Gheorghe

144

Northern Transylvania

144

Cluj-Napoca

144

Turda

155

Huedin Microregion

156

Zalau

158

Cluj-Napoca To Bistrija

159

Bistrita

159

Bargau Valley

163

Southwest Transylvania

164

Abrud

164

Rosla Montana

164

Alba Julia

165

Deva

168

Hunedoara

170

The Dacian & Roman Citadels

171

Retezat Mountains

172

Measure the thickness of the walls of the Saxon fortified churches (pi 49) near Sighijoara

AVERAGE MONTHLY WAGE: €55

linusylvania - the word alone conjures up images of haunted castles, werewolves and umpires. There's Gothic galore here to keep visitors happy even if they're likely to leave without bite marks on their necks. The 14th-century castles at Ra?nov and Bran, for exam-|ili', <ould be straight out of a Count Dracula movie. Yet its connection to a literary myth i I nit a small part of what makes Transylvania an enchanting - not to mention romantic mul exciting - destination for travellers of all persuasions. Spectacular mountain ranges, Whose sheer rock faces appear like gigantic walls, offer some of Romania's best hiking mil skiing, not to mention pure eye candy that in Europe is matched only by Switzerland's mountain ranges.

The area is culturally vibrant thanks in part to Saxon and Hungarian communities living In towns their ancestors founded centuries ago. For medieval art and history buffs, liiinsylvania offers an unparalleled chance to experience an overlooked corner of the old 'Vuslro-Hungarian empire; it's a glimpse of what pre-lndustrial Europe was like.

Ii.insylvania forms the central region of Romania, bordered to the east, south and west liy the Carpathian Mountains. Southeastern Transylvania is dominated by the Prahova Valley Willi Romania's leading ski resorts. The Fagara$ Mountains and a string of medieval Saxon ■ Hies are within easy reach. Just north and east of here is Romania's Hungarian enclave, known as Szekely Land, the cradle of Magyar culture. The southwest of the region is home In ,i string of Dacian and Roman citadels, including the fantastic remains of the Roman i iipltal Sarmizegetusa.

I Pet wild wolves in the Carpathians near Piatra Craiului (pi 01)

Travel back In time while strolling through the medieval streets of Bra;ov (p86), Sighi;oara (pi24) and Sibiu (pi 15) Learn that some royal families do have good taste in furniture at Pele§ Castle in Sinaia (pi 09)

Go hiking, horseback riding and salt mining before plunging into Cluj-Napoca's wild nightlife (pi 44)

Measure the thickness of the walls of the Saxon fortified churches (pi 49) near Sighijoara

POPULATION: 4.47 MILLION AREA: 57,056 SQ KM

AVERAGE MONTHLY WAGE: €55

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