Transylvania and Bucharest
Transylvania, a brief history: the land of ethnic diversity
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. The region has been dominated by several different nations and countries throughout its history. It was once the nucleus of the Kingdom of Dacia (82 BC–106 AD). In 106 AD the Roman Empire conquered the territory, systematically exploiting its resources. After the Roman legions withdrew in 271 AD, it was overrun by a succession of various tribes, bringing the geographical region under the control of these tribes.
Under the rule of King Stephen I, the Kingdom of Hungary firmly established control over Transylvania in 1003.
After the Battle of Mohács in 1526, Transylvania became part of the Kingdom of Janos Zapolya and was transformed into the Principality of Transylvania in 1571, ruled primarily by Transylvanian Calvinist Hungarian-speaking princes. However, ethnic groups that lived in this principality also included numerous Germans, Seklers (Hungarian-speaking population living nowadays in the Eastern part of Transylvania) and Romanians. For most of this period, Transylvania, maintaining its internal autonomy, was under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire.
Shortly after the Battle of Vienna (1683), in 1711 the region was officially attached to the Habsburg Empire.
After the “Ausgleich” of 1867, the Principality of Transylvania was abolished and its territory was absorbed into the newly established Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Following defeat in World War I, Austria-Hungary disintegrated. The ethnic Romanian majority in Transylvania elected representatives, who then proclaimed their Union with Romania on December 1st 1918. There have been 95 years now since Transylvania became part of Romania.
Transylvania, leader of the Romanian economy
Transylvania accounts for around 35% of Romania's GDP, and has a GDP per capita (PPP) of around $11,500, around 10% higher than the Romanian average.
The most important towns in Transylvania are: Cluj Napoca, Sibiu, Brasov, Tg. Mures.
The 2002 census classified Transylvania as the entire region of Romania west of the Carpathians. This region has a population of 7,221,733, with a Romanian majority (75.9%). There are also sizeable Hungarian (19.6%), Roma (3.3%), German (also called Sachsen/Saxons, 0.7%) and Serb (0.1%) communities. The ethnic Hungarian population of Transylvania, largely composed of Seklers, forms a majority in the counties of Covasna and Harghita.
Transylvania, language and religion
Most Transylvanian Romanians belong to either the Romanian (Eastern) Orthodox Church or the Greek Catholic Church (a hybrid of Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism that the Habsburgs created in the late 1600s, with the aim of catholicizing Transylvania's Romanians). Among the other ethnic groups, only Serbs (living in the Banat) share the Orthodox religion with Romanians.
Hungarians in Transylvania have historically belonged to four faiths: Roman Catholicism, Calvinism, Lutheranism and Unitarianism.
The Germans from Transylvania belong to the Lutheran Church form Romania (Augsburg Confession).
The Rroma ethnic group from Transylvania is embracing any religion/Christian religion and they speak Romanian or Rromani.
is the capital city of Romania. It is also the cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania.
Bucharest was first mentioned in documents in 1459. It became the capital of Romania in 1862. The city architecture is a mix of historical (neo-classical), inter-war-period (Bauhaus and Art Deco), communist/socialist, modern and post-modern building style. At the beginning of the 20th century, the elegant architecture and the sophistication of high society earned Bucharest the nickname of "Little Paris". There are some traces left over from these glorious days.