Nicolae Balcescu-pedestrian str.
Favorite thing: One of the nicest/oldest streets in Sibiu, with a nice atmosphere and lot of teraces and shops.
This is actually part of Sibiu's heart, you'll love it for sure.
It starts from Piazza Unirii and ends on Piata Mare, the city center and the tourist's main goal.
Fondest memory: Probably the most interesting city in Romania.
I was impressed by people's behaviour and amability!
- Family Travel
Favorite thing: In a country where the Comunism destroyed part of the old buildings, Sibiu was somehow forgotten, at least the Center of the city.
Being in contact with the western architects, more than the rest of the country, Sibiu can now be proud with its gotic Cathedral, or Baroc churches but with the old romanian architectural touch too.
You'll find then together, in a small space, all of those touches to enjoy.
Favorite thing: As I mentioned a lot of times, one of the things we're doing in our trips is trying to get ourself lost on the old city centers, on the old-narrow streets.
Sibiu is a perfect place for doing this.
Go there without to much trip preparation and enjoy all the findings at each street corner.
Favorite thing: As far as I remember, it is one of the most interesting buildings I've seen in Sibiu.
It an eclectic architectural gem, I promissed to myself to go inside for a look , next time when I'll go to Sibiu.
As the building was finished only at the beginning of 20th century, it seems much older than it actually is :)
Favorite thing: The best preserved portion of Sibiu's medieval defences is to be found along STRADA CETATIL, where three towers and a long stretch of wall (pic #3) have survived the centuries in good condition. The three towers are named for the three guilds whose task it was to defend them - Turnul Archebuzierlor (Archers' Tower - pic #5) - Turnul Olarilor (Potters' Tower - pic #4) - Turnul Dulgherilor (Carpenters' Tower - pic #1).
The area alongside the wall has been turned into a pleasant park and is perfect for a morning walk. Just past the final tower is the home of Sibiu Philharmonic, while just past that is the Natural History Museum (pic #2).
Favorite thing: Located on Strada Mitropoliei 9, close to the Orthodox Cathedral is the REFORMED CHURCH - BISERICA REFORMATA. built in the Baroque style from 1783 - 1786. The church has a narrow facade with a simple, stone-framed portal and windows. I couldn't go in to take a peek as the doors were locked.
Attractive old houses
Favorite thing: With or without “eyes”, the old houses of Sibiu are for the most part really picturesque and photogenic. Many are painted in bright colours, and although their great age almost certainly makes them a challenge to live in and look after, it also ensures that they are full of character.
There seemed to me to be two typical designs – the small houses a little away from the hub of the Large and Small Squares in the Upper Town, and in many of the streets of the Lower Town too, are terraced much like those in my main photo (taken on Strada Cetatii). But the larger ones, for instance in and around the Large Square, and on Strada Nicholae Balcescu, are built around a central courtyard and can appear much smaller from the street than they actually are. It is quite easy to peer into these courtyards as you explore, and if you do so you will see that most of these bigger houses are these days divided into apartments. This was done on a major scale during the Communist era, and it was the same period that led to often-unsuccessful attempts at “modernising” the old properties – the house in photo two, just next to the pretty row in the main photo, has had some unfortunate additions in the shape of its balcony and bay window. Today however efforts to refurbish the old houses are usually more sympathetically undertaken, as photo three (taken in the Lower Town) shows – old house, new roof, but with the characteristic roof tiles and “eyes” retained.
So grab your camera and spend a few hours wandering around snapping pictures of these characterful old buildings.
Next tip: some architectural details
- Historical Travel
Favorite thing: If you visit my various pages and look at my photos you will learn that I love to seek out and photograph the details of interesting old buildings. And Sibiu is a wonderful place in which to do just that! The old houses have a wealth of detail to catch the eye – shuttered windows painted in bright or pastel colours, intricate mouldings and ornate handles on the doors, Baroque carvings and columns on the grander houses (see my photos taken on Strada Nicholae Balcescu for examples of these latter).
Several of the photos accompanying this tip, meanwhile, were taken in the streets just to the south of the Large Square – Archivelor, Tipografilor and Alexandru Papiu-Ilarian. These quiet streets away from the main tourist routes are a worthwhile place for a stroll if you want to appreciate the variety of Sibiu’s domestic architecture.
Others were taken in the Lower Town, so let us go there next.
PIATA AURARILOR - GOLDSMITHS SQUARE
Favorite thing: Named PIATA AURARILOR - GOLDSMITHS SQUARE because here were the
workshops of the goldsmiths. Three streets are starting up from the square, among them being Movilei Street, one of the most picturesque streets in Sibiu. Another incredible beautiful street starts from Goldsmiths' Square, reaching the Small Square through the Goldsmiths' Passage which preserved its original aspect since 1567. At the end of the passage there is a tower called the Goldsmiths' Tower. It is a two-storied building, the ground level being pierced by a passage in a cross shape. The upper floors host rooms used as a dwelling.
Favorite thing: I was fascinated by Sibiu's unique and wonderful houses, especially the ones with the eye=shaped skylights. I want to highlight some of these unique houses.
1) Casa Gollner
Located on Str. Samuel von Brukenthal #3
Once the home of Carol Gollner
Wooden Gothic framework
2) & 3) Casa Movert
Located on Str. Samuel von Brukenthal #1
Located in Piata Mare
Now the Volksbank
5) Sibiu's Oldest House
Located on Pasajul Scarilor
CASA ALTEMBERGER - OLD CITY HALL
Favorite thing: The Old City Hall - Primaria Veche - CASA ALTEMBERGER is now the Museum of History - Muzeul de Istorie. It was founded in 1959 and is part of National Brukenthal Museum.
It is also known as the Altemberger, after the name of its first owner, Thomas Altemberger who built it between 1470 and 1491. In 1545, the building was taken over by the city and was the City Hall until 1948.
MAIN STREET - STRADA NICOLAE BALCESCU
Favorite thing: Sibiu's Main Street - STRADA NICOLAE BALCESCU connects Piata Unirii - Union Square - to Piata Mare - Large Square. The Street is also pedestrianized. that is no cars are allowed, Along this street you will find many shops, restaurants, Pretzel kiosks and exchange offices. The supermarket, BILLA is located here, as is our Hotel Imparatul Romanilor and also Casa Frieda, just to name a few. Also, if you're in the mood for an ice cream, there are many little sidewalk ice cream kiosks. It is a very busy commercial street and in the evening, many stroll down the street looking for a place to have a drink or a bite to eat.
FORTIFICATION WALLS - ZID DE FORTIFICATIE
Favorite thing: The medieval town of Sibiu has well preserved FORTIFICATION WALLS - ZID DE FORTIFICATIE surrounding the town.
Most prominent are the walls along Str. Cetatii where the three Towers are. Also there are the walls near Turnul Barbierilor along Str. Manejului and the walls along the Stairs Passage - Pasajul Scarilor.
CARIATIDES HOUSE - CASA CU CARIATIDE
Favorite thing: Perhaps the most unique house I saw in Sibiu was the CARIATIDES HOUSE - CASA
CU CARIATIDE. Located on Str. Mitropoliei Nr. 13, the house was built in 1786. Two Cariatides statues guard the entrance to the house. They are not exact replicas of the original Caryatides at the Parthenon in Athens, but are a close resemblance. I would have loved to go inside this house, just to see what it looked like.
SIBIU CITY HALL - PRIMARIEI SIBIU
Favorite thing: Located in the Large Square - Piata Mare - between the Brukenthal Museum and the Roman Catholic Church, is the stunning building which houses SIBIU CITY HALL or Primariei Sibiu.
Built originally in 1906 to house the Agricultural Credit Bank, but has been the City Hall of Sibiu since 2006.
It is also used as a Tourist Information Center. I went there a few times, to get some information and to see if there were any brochures or booklets I could use. Also every time I went in, there was some type of exhibition going on, especially during the Sibiu Film Festival.