Transylvania (from the Latin “trans-sylvanus”, meaning the country “beyond the forests”) is an area formed of small plates, depressions and valleys delimited by the arc formed by the solid mass of Carpathians.
Formerly province of the Empire Austro-Hungarian it was attached to Romania in 1918 by the Treaty of Trianon. It is made up in major part of Romanians (74, 7%), of Magyars (Hungarian, 19,6%), of German (Saxon of Transylvania) and of various minorities: Gypsies, Ukkraniens, Bulgarian etc.
It wakes up in the spirits the images of the tops of the snow-covered mountains of and timbered valleys, of small churches out of wooden with the rich person icons and of perched high castles associated with a historical past disturbs, as famous Bran Castle where once lived Dracula. But there are also resorts of winter sports and thermal spas with hot sources or lakes with salt water, and myriads of lakes which are sheltered in superb valleys (150 lakes) of the hiking trails, the Retezat National park, of the medieval cities or baroques attractive.
The rural traditions are still present in the daily life. You will be able to buy on the roadside many products of soil: cheeses sold by the shepherds, eggs and farm poultries, red water melons, onions or mushrooms. The villagers carry their traditional bright coloured costumes with the occasion of the ceremonies (marriages or burials) and many festivals which.The craft industry is of an exceptional richness: spinning mill, weaving, embroideries in any kind, ceramic etc. One can really speak about age of wood in connection with the Carpathians: doors of the houses decorated with erudite sculptures, churches, monasteries and gantries out of wooden, objects current carved etc.You will have only the embarrassment of the choice to bring back authentic memories!
The Dracula legend
An important point of tourist attraction associated with the name of Transylvania is the legend of the Count Dracula. The legend speaks about the existence in Transylvania at the beginning of the Middle Ages of a prince, an impetuous combatant against the Turks. Left on the battle fields, its enemies spread the false report that he was killed.
When hearing that, his wife committed suicide of pain. Returned of the battle fields, the prince found his wife dead and annoyed against the divinity made a pact with the devil, while becoming an immortal vampire which, all the time, will seek in each woman the figure and the heart of his beloved wife.
This legend, at the origin in the old story of Romania states that during the reign of prince Vlad Dracul, was called by the people `Tepes’ (the empaler), because he punished the enemies or the criminals by impaling them. By its hard and cruel methods it succeeds in putting order in the country and ends up being liked by the people. Dissatisfied thanks to this policy, his enemies spread all kind of false reports by considering him a monster,a thirsty vampire of blood, a holy terror, from where the legend comes. Nowadays, the Bran Castle is visited by thousand of tourists who sees it as the Castle of Dracula, but which do not know that Vlad Tepes used the castle only for little time, his real residence being in another part, in the south of Transylvania with Poienari at the edge of the Arges river, and that Vlad Tepes was Prince of Walachia and not of Transylvania.
He came in Bran and Brasov, by having commercial connections with this area which it tackled several times like reprisals for the hostile policy of the German tradesmen. Following these attacks they invented false reports. One must mention that Bran represented the commercial node between Transylvania and Walachia.
The city of Sighisoara is the city most beautiful and best preserved from Transylvania. Sighisoara presents today a true museum city by offering to the modern visitor the chance to carry out a voyage in time, into a medieval environment dating centuries ago.
At its origin, Sighisoara was a city founded by the Romans and, thereafter, it became one of the largest medieval cities which exist now in the world. From the architectural point of view, the city is built in Gothic style, followed by the Revival and by the Baroque, to which other later influences were added. The whole city is a museum and each building is a monument. Within the Middle Ages, the city had about the same number of houses as it has today, approximately 150. Among most interesting we name: The Venetian House (which dates from the 16th century and imitates the Gothic Venetian style), the House Vlad Tepes (the birthplace of the Count Dracula seems to be oldest civil construction), the House with the Stag (named thus because the head of stag is fixed at the corner of the building; it is a specific construction of the Transylvanian Revival dating from the 17th century).