It is called "The Spiritual Capital of Romania". Between 1541 and 1690 it was the capital of the Principality of Transylvania. The city has historical importance both for Romanians and the Hungarian community. For the Romanians, it is probably the most important geographical symbol of the nation: both the Medival union of Michael the Brave (year 1600) and the modern union (1918) of the three major Romanian regions (Transylvania, Moldavia and Wallachia) happened in Alba Iulia. The Romanian National Day, December 1st, is also celebrated mainly in the small Transylvanian city.
The city has a long political and religious tradition: it was the capital of the Roman province of Dacia, when its name was Apulum. It was also the capital of the first Medieval land established in Transylvania, Jula's Land (that gave the current name of the city, Iulia). It was the main center of the Catholic Church in Transylvania, and the main center of the Orthodox center of the region, as well as the Medieval capital of Transylvania. It was also the crowning city of the Romanian Monarchy: Ferdinand of Romania was crowned King of Romania in 1922. The city entered the Guinness Book of Records in 2009 for the longest chain made of people holding hands, surrounding the citadel; almost 10.000 people, including the President of Romania participated.
Places to visit in Alba Iulia, Romania
...will be opened in 2010 and will be one of the largest in Romania: almost 7 sq km. The park is actually a mountain surrounded by forests, placed in the western side of the city. An excellent place for biking and walking.The University's Park
...is a rather small but beautiful park placed behind the Union Hall, within the old citadel. It hosts the University of Alba Iulia and several old statues. It is a good place to relax after you have explored the citadel.Cetate Park
...is a wide pedestrian area in front of the Reunification Cathedral. It is the main gate to the Citadel.LANDMARKSThe Citadel
...the main historical area of Alba Iulia is the upper city, developed extensively and renamed Karlsburg, honoring the Habsburg emperor. The upper city's fortress with seven bastions in a stellar shape is the largest of this kind in south-eastern Europe, and was constructed between 1716 and 1735 by Giovanni Morando Visconti, using the Vauban fortification system.The Roman Catholic Cathedral
...built in the 13th century, it is the most representative Gothic building of Transylvania. One of the most important kings of Hungary John Hunyadi (of Romanian descent) and Isabell Jagiello, the Queen of Hungary are buried here.The Batthyaneum library
...is actually a late church, built in Baroque style. In 1780, the bishop of Transylvania adapted the inside of the establishment for its present use as a library. It is famous all over the world for its ample series of manscripts and incunabula, manuscripts and rare books, such as the Codex Aureus (9th century), also known as Lorsch Gospel. One half of the book is hosted by Batthyaneum, the other by the Vatican Museum. The first astronomical observatory in Transylvania was founded here in 1792.The Reunification Cathedral
...it is an Orthodox Cathedral built between 1921 and 1923. The first monarch of Romania, King Ferdinand and Queen Marie, were crowned here in 1922.Apor Palace
...it is situated nearby the Bathyaneum Library. It belonged to the Prince Apor, and was built in the second half of the 17th century. At the beginning of the 18th century it was the residence of the Austrian army leader. The palace was renovated in 2007.The Princely Palace
...was Michael the Brave's residence during the first political unification of the Romanians in 1600. The building is also called "The Palace of Transylvanian Princes". Foreign chronicles pictured it as an extremely luxurious building, richly adorned with frescos and marble stairs; it was destroyed in Ottoman and Tatar invasions and restored during the rule of the following Transylvanian princes, but not to its previous condition. From 1700 the building was used as a barracks.MUSEUMSNational Museum of Unification and the Union Hall
...is located in the Babylon Building. It was originally built for military purposes in 1851 and transformed into a museum a few decades later. The museum exhibits over 130,000 pieces of priceless works, organized chronologically. The Unification Hall, also belonging to the National Museum, was opened in 1895 as the Military Casino; it hosted in 1918, the rally of the Romanian delegates from all Transylvania, who determined the province's union with Romania.SHOPPING
The National Day
...the main host of the Romanian National Day is Alba Iulia. If you're in the city by December 1st, you'll attend the most important event happening in Alba.
The International Theatre Festival
...in October, gathering theatre companies from all across the continent.
The Alba Iulia's Days
...at the end of May, the locals celebrate their city with concerts, medieval knights and fireworks.