Sibiu (Hermannstadt) is a city in Transylvania, Romania, with a population of 147,245 inhabitants. Now the capital of Sibiu County, between 1692 and 1791 and 1849-1865 Sibiu was the capital of the Principality of Transylvania.
A medieval city with 900 years’ worth of history, Sibiu preserved many testimonies of the past which present a special interest for tourists. The walls of the old fortification belts, the towers named after the guilds of Sibiu, the central squares with their rich history, the old buildings abounding in stories which occurred throughout time, many of them having hosted the city’s personalities, the city’s museums and everything representing the cultural life of a historic city which breathes the air of modernity and Europeanism – all these create an advantage for Sibiu, due to which it inevitably attracts tourists of all ages. Sibiu impresses due to the history of a well-known medieval center, the assets of a city which takes pride in premieres in the field of innovation, engineering, education and culture, the dynamism of a city oriented towards Europe and the values it upholds, offering the diversity sought by tourists in the locations they choose to visit.
The nowadays Sibiu is a touristic location acknowledged at an international level and appreciated by specialists in the field, representatives of the mass media and by simple tourists visiting the city. But this statute was built step by step, due to the cooperation of all local actors: the local administration, touristic and cultural entities, personalities and simple members of the community.
In the year 2000 Sibiu was a dusty provincial town, which suffered a great deal because of the indifference of the authorities during the communist period. Both the historical center as well as the city districts needed extensive rehabilitation and modernization works. The local authorities understood this need and, starting in 2002, the amounts invested in such works constantly increased because they acknowledged the fact that a community, a city cannot evolve unless it benefits from a good and functional infrastructure, the statement being true in the case of the development of the touristic field as well. Over 50 million Euro have been invested in the past 14 years in the historical center. The streets were rehabilitated through the modernization of the networks of utilities, the suspended wires were lowered in the underground and the roads were repaved. The historical squares and passages were rehabilitated, the parts of the defense walls which still exist today have been also rehabilitated and adequately highlighted. The Lower Town also underwent rehabilitation, the squares and public spaces here regaining their picturesque. In order to display all these objectives, the public lighting was also reconfigured, its aspect being harmonized with the characteristics of a historical center. An architectural lighting was added in order to make the squares and the important buildings in the center more visible. The museums revived and promoted their priceless heritage, and the valuable buildings regained their charming aspect.
Sibiu was the European Capital of Culture in 2007, together with Luxemburg, being the first city in South-Eastern Europe to receive this title. Even before Romania adhered to the European Union, Sibiu was already being acknowledged as having a European character, from the point of view of its infrastructure, due to the fact that it is a cultural location and because of its European spirit. During this wonderful year Sibiu hosted over 2.000 events, very diverse in type: performing arts, film, photo, architecture, visual arts, literature, music, heritage, conferences. The public spaces and performance halls became the stage of a marathon of events. The Sibiu European Capital of Culture Program was a success, but the year 2007 was not the peak, but the engine of the city’s development which, since then, started on an upward trend in the field of culture, in the economical field as well as in the touristic field and even in the area of services and the infrastructure, gaining more and more visibility.
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.