General History

Expeditions in the Central Region of Romania offer the visitors the opportunity to make an incursion in the Romanian ethnographic space, a land which still preserves impressive evidences of the remote past from the times of the Romanian people’s ancestors.

The archaeological discoveries from the Neolithic period indicate the fact that Alba County dates from ancient times, its historical denomination being “Petresti Culture”. The mine deposits of Apuseni made the region prolific for life, so that during the Roman domination there were built a series of settlements which today correspond to major cities of Romania: Apulum (Alba Iulia), Brucla (Aiud), Ampelum (Zlatna), Apulon (Piatra Craivii) and Albumus Maior (Rosia Montana).

On 1st November 1599, in Alba-Iulia took place the entrance of the Ruler Michael the Brave, the first leader who united the Romanian Principalities into one state. In 1784, the leaders of the peasant revolt leaders, Horia, Closca and Crisan were incarcerated in Alba-Iulia, investigated and then cruelly executed by breaking on the wheel on 28th February.

Perhaps the greatest historic event in Alba Iulia took place at the end of the First World War on 1st December 1918, meaning the Union of Transylvania with Romania irrevocably and solemnly decided by the Grand National Assembly.

Sibiu County was first mentioned in documents since the twelfth century under the name of Cibium in an ecclesiastical document from the Vatican, hence deriving the name of the river that crosses the city of Sibiu, Cibin. In 1241, Sibiu County was conquered and destroyed in large part by Mongol hordes. In XIV century, Sibiu became a major trade centre, being considered for centuries the most important German fortress of Transylvania.

Together with the expansion of Austrian influence, the Sibiu city became the capital of Transylvania and experienced a flourishing period, a time when the Brukenthal Palace was also built. After the end of the Second World War, the Saxons of Transylvania inhabitants remained in lesser number after deportations to Siberia and massive immigration in Germany.

The archaeological diggings from Ladauti, Valea Bradetilor and Sita Buzaului showed evidence that the territory of Covasna County was inhabited ever since the Palaeolithic.

The Dacians, together with other migratory people such as: Petchenegs, Slavs, Hungarians or Celts lived on the territory of Covasna. They settled in the region after the withdrawal of Roman legions. The County is also called the Three Chairs, being inhabited mostly by Hungarians (75%) and Romanians (24%). For centuries, the inhabitants of Covasna fought hard to defend the rights obtained by their ancestors, the Revolution of 1848 being a glorious moment in the history of Covasna. Once the coal mines were commissioned, in 1872 the actual industrial activities began towards the late nineteenth century followed by the textile and tobacco industry which also began to take shape. Besides, the entry into service of the railway between Brasov and Targu Secuiesc (1891) and the one towards Miercurea Ciuc (1897) represented a strong impulse for the industrial development in the area.

The fact that Harghita County has been inhabited ever since the Palaeolithic era is reflected by the fascinating archaeological evidences found in this region. The County history is defined by Szeklers until the last period of the modern era.

When the territory was conquered by the Romans in 106 B.C., its western lands became part of the Dacia province. In the thirteenth century the first Székely settlements appeared, the period when Scaunele Secuiesti formed being 1366-1427. After a long period of Habsburg domination, during which the Miko Fortress was built and Ciuc County, as well as Odorhei County  were established in 1784, following the construction of the first paved road Miercurea Ciuc – Odorheiul Secuiesc in 1819. Once the railroad crossing the area appeared, the Szeklers managed to register a significant development, except in difficult times marked by the two World Wars.

The oldest traces of the civilization that was born in Brasov County date back over 60,000 years. The Dacian-Roman sanctuary and the Rasnov-Hoghiz Roman Camp are vestiges of antiquity that visitors can admire today in this region. The first name that denominates the old city of Brasov is Cumidava. Brasov has remained in history as an area with high commercial activity, renowned for the quality of goods and for the weapons manufactured here. The strong guilds formed of goldsmiths, drapers, weavers, armourers, blacksmiths and braziers and tin coaters made Brasov a ​​perfect craft centre, with impressive commercial power.

In Mures County (documentary attested in 1409) developed a civilization comparable in terms of evolution to any other territory of the world. Weapons, ornaments and tools are artefacts that date back to the Neolithic. After the conquest of Dacia by the Romans, the territory is organized in fortified settlements called camps, which had strategic routes between them that facilitated communication between the nowadays Odorheiul Secuiesc and Inlaceni, Saraceni, Calugareni and Orheiu Bistritei. Targu-Mures, the capital of the county, maintained numerous contacts with rulers of Moldova and Romanian Country. From this city Roman “cancelists” led by Avram Iancu and Papiu Ilarian set out to fight for the freedom of the Romanian people.