Sibiu – winter edition

You’ve probably figured out that Sibiu is one our favourite cities. Well, this winter we decided to go on a short 3 day trip near Sibiu and in Sibiu. Maybe you’ve already read the posts about the Bâlea Lake Ice Hotel and  Biertan Fortified Church which represent our last and our first day respectively. In the second day we decided to stay in Sibiu because heavy snow falls were announced in the area. So we made a plan to explore Sibiu buried under snow! 🙂

Christmas lights on Nicolae Bălcescu street
the famous net of lights in the Grand Square
 
First evening – amazed by the Christmas lights

We reached Sibiu late in the evening coming from Biertan. We checked in at a nice guest house right in the centre of Sibiu which welcome us with our Labrador Hany included 🙂 After this we immediately left the guest house and started wondering throughout Sibiu. Our target was Nicolae Bălcescu street where last year we missed the Christmas lights.

the famous net of lights in the Grand Square
the famous net of lights in the Grand Square + a small train for kids

We quickly cross the Grand Square in order to get to Nicolae Bălcescu street. We can see from a distance these unique Christmas lights and we can’t wait to see them up close. These massive decorations are impressive and can be seen on the entire length of this street. They are actually structured as a series of massive gates full of multicoloured led lights. The street is absolutely inundated in light of all colours. It is pretty AMAZING! 🙂 You can’t find anything like this anywhere else in Romania. Pictures below 🙂 

Christmas lights on Nicolae Bălcescu street
Christmas lights on Nicolae Bălcescu street
 
The Liars Bridge – tunnel of light between The Huet square and The Little Square

The Liars Bridge with Christmas lights

After we spent about two hours on Nicolae Bălcescu street to wonder at the great Christmas lights and decorations there, and after tens of pictures taken we head back to The Liars Bridge. The famous bridge in Sibiu and it’s said that if someone tells a lie while on the bridge, the bridge will collapse.
 
This bridge is very beautiful. It has a beautifully crafted steel frame with a lot of interesting decoration. It is a Sibiu must see. As you can see from the pictures, during the winter it is covered with a net of lights that create a magic place to be.

The Liars Bridge with Christmas lights
The Liars Bridge with Christmas lights
The Little Square – towards the Council Tower
 
Day 2. Visiting Sibiu under heavy snow falls 🙂

Our initial plan when we left Arad was to go to The Bâlea Lake Ice Hotel this day but we quickly changed our minds after hearing the news about the weather. It turned out to be a very good decision not only because we were safe in Sibiu but because Sibiu dressed up in winter clothes is beautiful! 🙂

We got a city map from our guest house that contained all the major tourist attractions in the city and based on it we created our itinerary. Below you can see a map with our exact itinerary that day: 

We started our itinerary on Funarilor street. You cross below the Bărbierilor Tower and you follow the sidewalk along the defence wall. This defence wall is no longer complete today and only portions of it are still visible. The defence wall once surrounded Sibiu city centre in the times when Sibiu was one of the most important trade centre in Transylvania.

sidewalk along the defence wall
1,5 meters wide street 🙂
tourist attractions have a plate with a QR code which you can use with your mobile to get an audio guide and more information about the respective place

Sibiu truly has a professional  tourism industry at the highest international standards. All the tourist attractions have plates which have a QR code printed on them. You can scan that code with your mobile and you’ll get an audio guide and other printed information regarding that place.

The audio guide is available in multiple languages as well. I think this is a very civilised way of doing tourism. Of course that there is no charge for this service. I think that these small things that help tourists are an example worth following by other Romanian cities that want to have a booming tourism industry like Sibiu does.

beautiful houses on top of the defence wall
The Thick Tower
The Thick Tower

We continue our tour outside the defence wall on Corneliu Coposu boulevard. You can see a lot of beautiful restored buildings some built right on top of the brick defence wall. You can also see impressive bastions which had the role of defending the inside of the city fortress. The most impressive bastion is The Thick Tower. The name is not in vain as you can see in the pictures above.

You can see how thick it is by looking at how deep the windows are. It is U – shaped and comes out about 25 meters from the line of the defence wall. It is a massive structure, built with brick and stone at the base. It was a true war machine. The first theatre in Sibiu was hosted by this tower from 1788 and now, after the restoration works, it hosts Thalia Hall, part of the Sibiu Philarmonic.

gate between the defence walls
Carpenters Tower

We continue and we climb to the right of the Thick Tower where we see another set of defence walls on Cetății street (Citadel street). Here on this pedestrian street we see another Sibiu symbol: The Carpenters Tower and the third line of defence walls. The tower and the defence wall are spectacular.

The structure is mainly built from rock. In the upper part of the wall you can see the Watch Road which was used to keep watch, of course 🙂 The name of the tower originates from the carpenters guild which was in charge to keep it running.

coffee with a view on snow? 🙂
Carpenters Tower and the 3rd line of defence wall
the 3rd line of defence wall
park between the defence walls

Our next target was the Evangelical Cathedral in Albert Huet Square. The cathedral was closed to the public in the past years due to consolidation works. We were lucky enough to catch it open to the public again 🙂 But before we got there we saw other beautiful places. So we got to Centumvirilor street where you have a picturesque view of the Evangelical Cathedral from a distance as you can see in the picture below.

str.Centumvirilor – view towards the Evangelical Cathedral

Next up is one of the most picturesque places in Sibiu: The Stairs Passageway. This passage way links the “City from above” to the “City from below“. Above the passageway you can see the cathedral supported by a thick and tall brick wall. It’s an impressive place. One of the many tight and romantic places in Sibiu.

The Stairs Passageway
The Journeymen House

After we climb out the Stairs Passageway to Albert Huet Square we stop at the famous Journeymen House. Each year craftsmen from all over the world come here in their mission to learn their respective craft. This mission takes 3 years and they can’t stay more than 3 months in one place and they can’t get closer than 50 kilometres to home. The majority come from Germany, Switzerland and France.

Stopping at the Journeymen House is part of their mission and you can see them during the summer in the city dressed in traditional costumes: starched white shirt with collar hard splay of corduroy pants, vest and jacket with pearl coloured buttons on the craft of each cylinder, bowler hat and black leather or felt, with large brim and black shoes.

towards Albert Huet Square
Evangelical Cathedral
Evangelical Cathedral – Gothic arches
Evangelical Cathedral – the organ
Evangelical Cathedral – side altar

We’ve reached the end of our tour through Sibiu’s historical centre, here at the Evangelical Cathedral, one of the most important symbols of Sibiu. It is placed in the Albert Huet Square, a very beautiful and romantic place. This square also hosts Samuel von Brukenthal National College, the best German teaching high school in Romania. Before we enter the cathedral we relax a bit in Cafe Wien located in the same square. This coffee place is very beautiful, romantic, chill and we recommend you relax here a bit.

After a hot tea  we entered the Evangelical Cathedral, one of the most beautiful and imposing Gothic buildings in Transylvania. It dates from the 14th century but most of the building we see today dates from 1520 when it underwent a capital restoration. The interior is in Gothic style, with arched vaults and tombstones on the Northern side. The building is dominated by the tall tower which has 7 floors and that you can also visit.

Panorama form The Evangelical Cathedral tower – towards The Council Tower
Panorama form The Evangelical Cathedral tower – towards the Council Tower and the Catholic Church

We paid a ticket and started climbing the 7 floors up to the top of the tower. This is the highest place in Sibiu and the best spot to take photos. You have an excellent view towards the Little Square and all the tight street of Sibiu. At the top, you have 4 smaller towers where you can go and take pictures from all angles possible in order to catch Sibiu in a 360 degrees panorama 🙂 We loved it here and we loved the fact that Sibiu was covered with snow. This produced such a nice contrast and highlighted the beautiful Saxon buildings that Sibiu is famous for.
 
You have several pictures left that prove the beauty of this city and we hope we convinced you come and visit the most beautiful city in Romania and the most tourist – friendly one 🙂 You can also visit the Sibiu’s tourism website for up to date information. Come and visit Sibiu! 🙂

Panorama form The Evangelical Cathedral tower -narrow streets of Sibiu
Little Square – The Council Tower
One of my favourite houses
Passageway from Goldsmith Square leading to Little Square
Lights in a box
Christmas decorated buildings
winter in Sibiu

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