Tag Archives: Sibiu

Astra open air traditional museum in Sibiu

The “ASTRA” Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization (Romanian: Muzeul Civilizaţiei Populare Tradiţionale “ASTRA”) is located in the Dumbrava Forest, 3 km south of Sibiu, on the road towards Răşinari, and is easily accessible by car, bus or tramway. Occupying an area of 0.96 square kilometres, it is the largest open-air museum in Romania and one of the largest in Central and Eastern Europe. It contains houses and workshops of the traditional Romanian folk culture from the pre-industrial era. Over 300 houses and other buildings are situated in the forest around two artificial lakes with over 10 km of walkways between them.

The exhibits are organised into six thematic groups:

food production and animal husbandry.production of raw materials.means of transportation.manufacture of household objects.public buildings.an exposition of monumental sculpture.

Some of the most spectacular buildings are a group of windmills from the Dobrudja area, a playing area for popice (skittles, an early form of bowling) from the Păltiniş monastery, a small mine from the Apuseni Mountains, a few water-mills, a wooden ferry, and a fishery from the Danube Delta. Also there are houses of shepherds, pottery workshops, iron workshops and others. There is also a working inn, a small pub and a dance pavilion. In the museum there is a wooden church from northern Transylvania brought in 1990-1992 from the village of Bezded in Sălaj County.


The wooden church with live worship service

A series of festivals and fairs take place in the museum annually, the most popular one being The Folk Craftsmen’s Fair which takes place each summer around the Saint Mary’s Dormition, an Orthodox holiday in the middle of August. Also, permanent and temporary exhibitions can be seen in a special pavilion inside the museum




A house from the Astra museum on the Romanian 10 lei bill


St. Mary Evangelical / Lutheran gothic style church in Sibiu, Romania

The Lutheran Cathedral of Saint Mary(GermanEvangelische Stadtpfarrkirche in HermannstadtRomanianBiserica Evanghelică din Sibiu) is the most famous Gothic-style church in SibiuTransylvania,Romania. Its massive 73.34 m high steeple is a landmark of the city. The four turrets situated on top of the steeple were a sign to let foreigners know that the town had the right to sentence to death.


The Sibiu Lutheran Cathedral was built in the 14th century on the location of another 12th-century church. For three centuries it served as a burial place for the mayors, earls and other personalities from Sibiu. This practice was banned in 1796 but one exception was made in 1803 when baron Samuel von Brukenthal was laid to rest in the crypt.

In 1671 a Slovakian craftsman built an organ to replace the previous one that was built in 1585. Today the newer organ is the largest in the southeastern region of Europe. During the summer, there are concerts every Wednesday night. (Source: Wikipedia)


Ground view of the Evangelical Cathedral


View of the Cathedral from the Councils Tower

The Evangelic Church is one of the most impressive buildings in Sibiu. It was raised in the 14th century on the location of an old Roman church dating from the 12th century. The building is dominated by the seven level tower with the four towers on the corners, a mark showing that the city had the right of condemnation. With a height of 73.34 meters, the tower is the tallest in Transylvania.

The cathedral’s tower is situated at the balcony on the southern wing and includes a Baroque style organ made by a Slovak craftsman in 1671 which replaced the first organ brought in Sibiu in 1585. The new organ was built by the Wilhelm Sauer Company (Frankfurt/Oder) and installed in this church in Sibiu in 1915. At the present there exist two other organs made by this company (in Berlin – Tempelhof and in Talin – Dom). In 1997 the organ undergoes complex renovation works, nowadays being the largest in the South-Eastern Europe.

The mobile inventory of the Evangelic Church in Sibiu, one of the most impressive gothic halidoms in Romania, is particularly valuable. Even though a series of cult pots, made in gilded silver by famous craftsmen in Sibiu such as Sebastian Hann, are not accessible to the public, other valuable pieces can be admired by the visitors inside the church. In the choir, in the church axis, one can find one of the most beautiful bronze fonts existing in our country. It has the shape of a calyx with a sole, foot, knot and basin, being decorated with a series of gothic inscriptions. Also, 228 booklets in relief adorn its surface, most of them being figurative representations of Byzantine influence. The font dates back from 1438 being the work of master Leonhardus. It is supposed that it was cast in the bronze resulting from the Turkish cannons captured by the inhabitants of Sibiu in 1437.
Starting with 1496, for a period of 300 years, the Church served as a burial place for mayors, county administrative leaders or other personalities in Sibiu. In 1796 burials in the church are prohibited, but an exception was made in 1803, when baron Samuel von Brukenthal’s body will be laid for eternal sleep in the vault built near the pulpit. The tombstones that covered the graves were dismantled from the church nave in 1853 and incorporated in the walls of the church ferula, thus obtaining a gallery of 67 tombstones, unique in Romania. 


The bells in the tower


View over Sibiu and the Councils tower from the Evangelical Tower


View over Sibiu


The inside of the tallest tower of Sibiu


The inside of the Cathedral at sunset

Visiting Peles Castle, on the way to Transylvania, with 2 US ladies

Peles Castle in Romania is one-of-kind castle. Located near Sibiu, in Prahova County, Romania on an existing medieval route linking Transylvania and Wallachia it was built between 1873 and 1914.

The cost of the work on the castle undertaken between 1875 and 1914 was estimated to be 16,000,000 Romanian lei in gold (approx. US$ 120 million today). Between three and four hundred men worked on the construction.

Visits are done within guided tour. One of the tours is limited to the ground floor, another adds the first floor and the complete tour includes the second floor. Admission is charged, and there is an additional photography fee. The visiting hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. On Tuesdays the hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The castle is closed on Mondays. These visiting hours are subject to change by the Romanian Culture Ministry. The castle is closed in November each year for maintenance and cleaning. Visit Wikipedia for more informations. If you want to get there, just Contact Us.

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