Transylvania

Transylvania

Overview

Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains
Apuseni Mountains
The Apuseni Mountains is a mountain range in Transylvania, Romania, which belongs to the Western Carpathians, also called Occidentali in Romanian. Their name translates from Romanian as Mountains "of the sunset" i.e. "western". The highest peak is "Cucurbăta Mare" - 1849 metres, also called Bihor...

; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical regions of Crişana
Crisana
Crișana is a geographical and historical region divided today between Romania and Hungary, named after the Criș River and its three tributaries: the Crișul Alb, Crișul Negru and Crișul Repede....

, Maramureş
Maramures
Maramureș may refer to the following:*Maramureș, a geographical, historical, and ethno-cultural region in present-day Romania and Ukraine, that occupies the Maramureș Depression and Maramureș Mountains, a mountain range in North East Carpathians...

, and Romanian part of Banat
Banat
The Banat is a geographical and historical region in Central Europe currently divided between three countries: the eastern part lies in western Romania , the western part in northeastern Serbia , and a small...

.

Transylvania has been dominated by several different peoples and countries throughout its history. It was once the nucleus of the Kingdom of Dacia
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

 (82 BC–106 AD).
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Transylvania'
Start a new discussion about 'Transylvania'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia

Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains
Apuseni Mountains
The Apuseni Mountains is a mountain range in Transylvania, Romania, which belongs to the Western Carpathians, also called Occidentali in Romanian. Their name translates from Romanian as Mountains "of the sunset" i.e. "western". The highest peak is "Cucurbăta Mare" - 1849 metres, also called Bihor...

; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical regions of Crişana
Crisana
Crișana is a geographical and historical region divided today between Romania and Hungary, named after the Criș River and its three tributaries: the Crișul Alb, Crișul Negru and Crișul Repede....

, Maramureş
Maramures
Maramureș may refer to the following:*Maramureș, a geographical, historical, and ethno-cultural region in present-day Romania and Ukraine, that occupies the Maramureș Depression and Maramureș Mountains, a mountain range in North East Carpathians...

, and Romanian part of Banat
Banat
The Banat is a geographical and historical region in Central Europe currently divided between three countries: the eastern part lies in western Romania , the western part in northeastern Serbia , and a small...

.

Transylvania has been dominated by several different peoples and countries throughout its history. It was once the nucleus of the Kingdom of Dacia
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

 (82 BC–106 AD). In 106 AD the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 conquered the territory
Roman Dacia
The Roman province of Dacia on the Balkans included the modern Romanian regions of Transylvania, Banat and Oltenia, and temporarily Muntenia and southern Moldova, but not the nearby regions of Moesia...

 and after that its wealth was systematically exploited. After the Roman legions withdrew in 271 AD, it was overrun by a succession of various tribes, which subjected it to various influences. During this time areas of it were under the control of the Carpi (Dacian tribe), Visigoths, Huns
Huns
The Huns were a group of nomadic people who, appearing from east of the Volga River, migrated into Europe c. AD 370 and established the vast Hunnic Empire there. Since de Guignes linked them with the Xiongnu, who had been northern neighbours of China 300 years prior to the emergence of the Huns,...

, Gepids, Avars
Eurasian Avars
The Eurasian Avars or Ancient Avars were a highly organized nomadic confederacy of mixed origins. They were ruled by a khagan, who was surrounded by a tight-knit entourage of nomad warriors, an organization characteristic of Turko-Mongol groups...

, Slavs and Bulgarians
Bulgarians
The Bulgarians are a South Slavic nation and ethnic group native to Bulgaria and neighbouring regions. Emigration has resulted in immigrant communities in a number of other countries.-History and ethnogenesis:...

. It is subject of dispute whether elements of the mixed Daco–Roman population survived in Transylvania through the Dark Ages (becoming the ancestors of modern Romanians
Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

) or the first Vlachs
Vlachs
Vlach is a blanket term covering several modern Latin peoples descending from the Latinised population in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. English variations on the name include: Walla, Wlachs, Wallachs, Vlahs, Olahs or Ulahs...

 appeared in the area in the 13th century after a northwards migration from the Balkan Peninsula. There is an ongoing scholarly debate over the ethnicity of Transylvania's population before the Hungarian conquest (see Origin of the Romanians).

Among other peoples, the Hungarians conquered much of Central Europe at the end of the 9th century. According to Gesta Hungarorum
Gesta Hungarorum
Gesta Hungarorum is a record of early Hungarian history by an unknown author who describes himself as Anonymi Bele Regis Notarii , but is generally cited as Anonymus...

, Transylvania was ruled by Vlach voivode Gelou
Gelou
Gelou or Gelu was a Romanian duke mentioned in Gesta Hungarorum as having opposed the conquest of Transylvania by Tuhutum, one of the “seven dukes” of the Magyars. His story was recorded only by the anonymous writer of the 13th century Gesta...

 in the time of Hungarian arrival. Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

 firmly established its control over Transylvania in 1003, when king Stephen I, according to legend, defeated the prince entitled or named Gyula
Gyula III
Gyula III, also Gyula the Younger, Geula or Gyla, was an early medieval ruler who apparently ruled in Transylvania . His actual name was probably Prokui, yet Prokui cannot possibly be the same as Gyula. Around 1003, he and his family were attacked, dispossessed and captured by King Stephen I of...

. Between 1003 and 1526, Transylvania was a voivodeship
Voivodeship
Voivodship is a term denoting the position of, or more commonly the area administered by, a voivod. Voivodeships have existed since medieval times in Poland, Romania, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia and Serbia....

 in the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

, led by a voivode appointed by the King of Hungary
King of Hungary
The King of Hungary was the head of state of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1000 to 1918.The style of title "Apostolic King" was confirmed by Pope Clement XIII in 1758 and used afterwards by all the Kings of Hungary, so after this date the kings are referred to as "Apostolic King of...

. After the Battle of Mohács
Battle of Mohács
The Battle of Mohács was fought on August 29, 1526 near Mohács, Hungary. In the battle, forces of the Kingdom of Hungary led by King Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia were defeated by forces of the Ottoman Empire led by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent....

 in 1526, Transylvania became part of the Kingdom of Janos Szapolyai
Eastern Hungarian Kingdom
The Eastern Hungarian Kingdom was the name of the area under the rule of King John I of Hungary. John I of Hungary was the former voivode of Transylvania and the wealthiest and the most powerful landlord after Mohács, secured the eastern part of the kingdom with the help of the Ottomans...

 which, in 1571, was transformed into the Principality of Transylvania ruled primarily by Calvinist
Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

 Hungarian-speaking princes. However, ethnic groups that lived in this principality also included numerous Romanians
Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

 and Germans
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

. For most of this period, Transylvania, maintaining its internal autonomy, but was under the suzerainty
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

 of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

.

The Habsburgs
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

 acquired the territory shortly after the Battle of Vienna
Battle of Vienna
The Battle of Vienna took place on 11 and 12 September 1683 after Vienna had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months...

 in 1683. In 1687, the rulers of Transylvania recognized the suzerainty of the Habsburg emperor Leopold I
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
| style="float:right;" | Leopold I was a Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and King of Bohemia. A member of the Habsburg family, he was the second son of Emperor Ferdinand III and his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain. His maternal grandparents were Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria...

, and the region was officially attached to the Habsburg Empire. The Habsburgs acknowledged Principality of Transylvania as one of the Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen, but territory of principality was administratively separated from Habsburg Hungary and subjected to the direct rule of the emperor's governors. In 1699 the Turks legally conceded their loss of Transylvania in the Treaty of Karlowitz
Treaty of Karlowitz
The Treaty of Karlowitz was signed on 26 January 1699 in Sremski Karlovci , concluding the Austro-Ottoman War of 1683–1697 in which the Ottoman side had been defeated at the Battle of Zenta...

; however, some anti-Habsburg
Rákóczi's War for Independence
Rákóczi's War for Independence was the first significant attempt to topple therule of Habsburg Austria over Hungary. The war was fought by a group of noblemen, wealthy and high-ranking progressives and was led by Francis II Rákóczi Rákóczi's War for Independence (1703–1711) was the first...

 elements within the principality only submitted to the emperor in the 1711 Peace of Sathmar. After the Ausgleich
Ausgleich
The Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 established the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary. The Compromise re-established the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Hungary, separate from and no longer subject to the Austrian Empire...

 of 1867 the Principality of Transylvania was abolished and its territory was absorbed into Transleithania or Hungarian part of the newly established Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Following defeat in World War I, Austria-Hungary disintegrated. The ethnic Romanian
Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

 majority in Transylvania elected representatives, who then proclaimed Union with Romania
Union of Transylvania with Romania
Union of Transylvania with Romania was declared on by the assembly of the delegates of ethnic Romanians held in Alba Iulia.The national holiday of Romania, the Great Union Day occurring on December 1, commemorates this event...

 on December 1, 1918. The Proclamation of Union of Alba Iulia was adopted by the Deputies of the Romanians from Transylvania, and supported one month later by the vote of the Deputies of the Saxons from Transylvania. In 1920, the Treaty of Trianon
Treaty of Trianon
The Treaty of Trianon was the peace agreement signed in 1920, at the end of World War I, between the Allies of World War I and Hungary . The treaty greatly redefined and reduced Hungary's borders. From its borders before World War I, it lost 72% of its territory, which was reduced from to...

 established new border between Romania and Hungary, leaving whole Transylvania within Romanian state. Hungary protested against the new border, as over 1,600,000 Hungarian people (who were minority in Transylvania in comparison with 2,800,000 Romanians) were living on the Romanian side of the border, mainly in Székely Land
Székely Land
The Székely Land or Szekler Land refers to the territories inhabited mainly by the Székely, a Hungarian-speaking ethnic group from eastern Transylvania...

 of Eastern Transylvania, and along the newly created border, which was drawn through some areas with Hungarian majority. In August 1940, in the midst of World War II, Hungary gained about 40% of Transylvania by the Vienna Award
Second Vienna Award
The Second Vienna Award was the second of two Vienna Awards arbitrated by the Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Rendered on August 30, 1940, it re-assigned the territory of Northern Transylvania from Romania to Hungary.-Prelude and historical background :After the World War I, the multi-ethnic...

, with the aid of Germany and Italy. That territory was assigned back to Romania in 1945 and this was confirmed in the 1947 Paris Peace Treaties.

Transylvania is often associated with Dracula
Dracula
Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker.Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to relocate from Transylvania to England, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor...

 (Bram Stoker
Bram Stoker
Abraham "Bram" Stoker was an Irish novelist and short story writer, best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula...

's novel and its film adaptations), and the horror genre in general, while the region is also known for the scenic beauty of its Carpathian landscape and its rich history
History of Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of the Romania. In ancient times it was part of the Dacian Kingdom and Roman Dacia. Since the 10th century, Transylvania became part of the Kingdom of Hungary...

.

Etymology


  • Transylvania was first referred to in a Medieval Latin
    Medieval Latin
    Medieval Latin was the form of Latin used in the Middle Ages, primarily as a medium of scholarly exchange and as the liturgical language of the medieval Roman Catholic Church, but also as a language of science, literature, law, and administration. Despite the clerical origin of many of its authors,...

     document in 1075 as ultra silvam, meaning "beyond the forest" (ultra (+accusative) meaning "beyond" or "on the far side of" and the accusative case
    Accusative case
    The accusative case of a noun is the grammatical case used to mark the direct object of a transitive verb. The same case is used in many languages for the objects of prepositions...

     of sylva (sylvam) meaning "wood or forest"). Transylvania, with an alternative Latin prepositional prefix, means "on the other side of the woods". Hungarian historians claim that the Medieval Latin form Ultrasylvania, later Transylvania, was a direct translation from the Hungarian
    Hungarian language
    Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

     form Erdő-elve (not the Hungarian was derived from the Latin). That also was used as an alternative name in the Ukrainian language
    Ukrainian language
    Ukrainian is a language of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages. It is the official state language of Ukraine. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic alphabet....

     Залісся (Zalissya).
  • The German
    German language
    German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

     name Siebenbürgen means "seven fortresses", after the seven (ethnic German
    Ethnic German
    Ethnic Germans historically also ), also collectively referred to as the German diaspora, refers to people who are of German ethnicity. Many are not born in Europe or in the modern-day state of Germany or hold German citizenship...

    ) Transylvanian Saxons
    Transylvanian Saxons
    The Transylvanian Saxons are a people of German ethnicity who settled in Transylvania from the 12th century onwards.The colonization of Transylvania by Germans was begun by King Géza II of Hungary . For decades, the main task of the German settlers was to defend the southeastern border of the...

    ' cities in the region. The order in which they were settled in Transylvania being as follows : — Mediasch
    Medias
    Mediaș is the second largest city in Sibiu County, Transylvania, Romania.-Geographic location:Mediaș is located in the middle basin of Târnava Mare River, at 39 km from Sighișoara and 41 km from Blaj. The health resort Bazna, officially recognized for the first time in 1302, is...

    , 1142 ; Muhlenbach
    Sebes
    Sebeș is a city in Alba County, central Romania, southern Transylvania.-Geography:The city lies on the Mureș River valley and it straddles the Sebeș river...

    , 1150 ; Hermannstadt
    Sibiu
    Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, Romania with a population of 154,548. Located some 282 km north-west of Bucharest, the city straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt...

    , the capital, 1160 ; Clausenburg
    Cluj-Napoca
    Cluj-Napoca , commonly known as Cluj, is the fourth most populous city in Romania and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest , Budapest and Belgrade...

    , 1178; Schässburg
    Sighisoara
    Sighişoara is a city and municipality on the Târnava Mare River in Mureş County, Romania. Located in the historic region Transylvania, Sighişoara has a population of 27,706 ....

    , 1178 ; Reussmarkt
    Miercurea Sibiului
    Miercurea Sibiului is a town in the west of Sibiu County, in southern Transylvania, central Romania, 34 km to the west of the county capital Sibiu.-Administration:...

    , 1198 ; Broos
    Orastie
    Orăștie is a city in Hunedoara County, south-western Transylvania, Romania.-History:7th–9th century – on the site of an old swamp , which today is the old center of town, it was a human settlement whose traces have been scattered into the X-th century by the construction of the first...

    , 1200. To these seven were subsequently added two others, Bistritz
    Bistrita
    Bistrița is the capital city of Bistriţa-Năsăud County, Transylvania, Romania. It is situated on the Bistriţa River. The city has a population of approximately 80,000 inhabitants, and it administers six villages: Ghinda, Sărata, Sigmir, Slătiniţa, Unirea and Viişoara.-History:The earliest sign of...

    , 1206 ; and Kronstadt
    Brasov
    Brașov is a city in Romania and the capital of Brașov County.According to the last Romanian census, from 2002, there were 284,596 people living within the city of Brașov, making it the 8th most populated city in Romania....

    , 1208. This is also the origin of many other languages' names for the region, such as the Polish
    Polish language
    Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

     Siedmiogród and the Ukrainian
    Ukrainian language
    Ukrainian is a language of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages. It is the official state language of Ukraine. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic alphabet....

     Семигород (Semyhorod).
  • The Hungarian form Erdély was first mentioned in the 12th century Gesta Hungarorum
    Gesta Hungarorum
    Gesta Hungarorum is a record of early Hungarian history by an unknown author who describes himself as Anonymi Bele Regis Notarii , but is generally cited as Anonymus...

     as "Erdeuleu". Erdel, the Turkish
    Turkish language
    Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

     equivalent originates from this form, too.
  • The first known written occurrence of the Romanian
    Romanian language
    Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

     name Ardeal appeared in a document in 1432 as Ardeliu.

History



Early history


In its early history, the territory of Transylvania belonged to a variety of empires and states, including Dacia
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

, the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, the Hun Empire and the Gepid Kingdom
Gepid
The Gepids were an East Germanic tribe who were closely related to the Goths. The Gepids were recorded in the area along the southern Baltic coast in the 1st century AD, having migrated there from southern Sweden some years earlier...

. There were also periods when autonomous political entities arose under the control of the Byzantine and the Bulgarian Empire
First Bulgarian Empire
The First Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state founded in the north-eastern Balkans in c. 680 by the Bulgars, uniting with seven South Slavic tribes...

.

It is subject of controversy whether elements of the mixed Daco–Roman population survived in Transylvania through the Dark Ages (becoming the ancestors of modern Romanians
Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

) or the first Vlachs
Vlachs
Vlach is a blanket term covering several modern Latin peoples descending from the Latinised population in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. English variations on the name include: Walla, Wlachs, Wallachs, Vlahs, Olahs or Ulahs...

 appeared in the area in the 13th century after a northwards migration from the Balkan Peninsula. There is an ongoing scholarly debate over the ethnicity of Transylvania's population before the Hungarian conquest (see Origin of the Romanians).

The Kingdom of Dacia
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

 was in existence at least as early as the beginning of the 2nd century BC when, Rubobostes
Rubobostes
Rubobostes was a Dacian king in Transylvania, during the 2nd century BC.He was mentioned in Gnaeus Pompeius Trogus's Prolegomena. Trogus wrote that during his rule, the Dacians' power increased, as they defeated the Celts who previously held the power in the region.Trogus Pompeius and Justin...

, a Dacian king from the territory of present-day Transylvania, undertook the control of the Carpathian basin by defeating the Celts who previously held the power in the region.

Dacia reached its maximum extent under the rule of Burebista
Burebista
Burebista was a king of the Getae and Dacians, who unified for the first time their tribes and ruled them between 82 BC and 44 BC. He led plunder and conquest raids across Central and Southeastern Europe, subjugating most of the neighbouring tribes...

. The area now constituting Transylvania was the political center of the ancient Kingdom of Dacia, where several important fortified cities were built; among them was the capital Sarmizegetusa
Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa
Colonia Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica Sarmizegetusa was the capital and the largest city of Roman Dacia, later named Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa after the former Dacian capital, located some 40 km away. Built on the ground of a camp of the Fifth Macedonian Legion, the city was populated with...

, located near the current Romanian town of Hunedoara
Hunedoara
Hunedoara is a city in Hunedoara County, Transylvania, Romania. It is located in southeastern Transylvania near the Poiana Ruscă Mountains, and administers five villages: Boş, Groş, Hăşdat, Peştişu Mare and Răcăştia....

.

In 101-102 and 105-106 AD, Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 armies under the Emperor Trajan
Trajan
Trajan , was Roman Emperor from 98 to 117 AD. Born into a non-patrician family in the province of Hispania Baetica, in Spain Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in Spain, in 89 Trajan supported the emperor against...

 fought a series of military campaigns to subjugate the wealthy Dacian Kingdom. The Romans under Trajan succeeded by 106 to subdue the south and the center regions of Dacia. After the conquest, the Romans seized an enormous amount of wealth (the Dacian Wars were commemorated on Trajan's Column
Trajan's Column
Trajan's Column is a Roman triumphal column in Rome, Italy, which commemorates Roman emperor Trajan's victory in the Dacian Wars. It was probably constructed under the supervision of the architect Apollodorus of Damascus at the order of the Roman Senate. It is located in Trajan's Forum, built near...

 in Rome) and immediately started to exploit the Dacian gold and salt mines located in today territory of Transylvania. Roman influence was broadened by the construction of modern roads, and some existing major cities, like Sarmizegetusa
Sarmizegetusa
Sarmizegetusa Regia was the capital and the most important military, religious and political center of Dacians...

 and Dierna (today Orsova
Orsova
Orșova is a port city on the Danube river in southwestern Romania's Mehedinți County. It is one of four localities in the county located in the Banat historical region. It is situated just above the Iron Gates, on the spot where the Cerna River meets the Danube.- History :The first documented...

) were made colonies
Colonia (Roman)
A Roman colonia was originally a Roman outpost established in conquered territory to secure it. Eventually, however, the term came to denote the highest status of Roman city.-History:...

. The new province was divided under Hadrian: Dacia Superior, that corresponded roughly to Transylvania and Dacia Inferior, similar to the region of South Romania (Walachia). During Antoninus Pius (138-161) the same territory was included in the provinces Dacia Porolissensis (capital at Porolissum
Porolissum
Porolissum was an ancient Roman city in Dacia. Established as a military camp in 106 during Trajan's Dacian Wars, the city quickly grew through trade with the native Dacians and became the capital of the province Dacia Porolissensis in 124. The site is one of the largest and best-preserved...

) and Dacia Apulensis (capital at Apulum
Alba Iulia
Alba Iulia is a city in Alba County, Transylvania, Romania with a population of 66,747, located on the Mureş River. Since the High Middle Ages, the city has been the seat of Transylvania's Roman Catholic diocese. Between 1541 and 1690 it was the capital of the Principality of Transylvania...

, today Alba-Iulia city in Romania). The Romans built new mines, roads and forts in the province. Colonists from other Roman provinces were brought in to settle the land and found cities like Apulum (now Alba Iulia
Alba Iulia
Alba Iulia is a city in Alba County, Transylvania, Romania with a population of 66,747, located on the Mureş River. Since the High Middle Ages, the city has been the seat of Transylvania's Roman Catholic diocese. Between 1541 and 1690 it was the capital of the Principality of Transylvania...

), Napoca (now Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca , commonly known as Cluj, is the fourth most populous city in Romania and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest , Budapest and Belgrade...

), Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa and Aquae. During the Roman administration also Christianity entered in the current territory of Transylvania from the neighboring Roman provinces where, according to the tradition of the Romanian Orthodox Church, St. Andrew preached.

The Migration period


Due to increasing pressure from the Visigoths, the Romans abandoned the province during the reign of the Emperor Aurelian
Aurelian
Aurelian , was Roman Emperor from 270 to 275. During his reign, he defeated the Alamanni after a devastating war. He also defeated the Goths, Vandals, Juthungi, Sarmatians, and Carpi. Aurelian restored the Empire's eastern provinces after his conquest of the Palmyrene Empire in 273. The following...

 in 271. The history of the aftermath of the abandonment of the province by the Romans is controversial. The theory of Daco-Romanian continuity asserts that as across much of Europe, a period of chaos and conquests followed after the collapse of Roman rule, however, archeological research shows that many of the Roman cities continued to exist, building fortifications. It is also asserted that Christianity survived which is proven by great number of artifacts discovered. The theory refers with emphasis to a donarium from Biertan (4th century) having the inscription 'Ego Zenovius votvm posui' (I, Zenovie, offered this). The Migration theory denies that any significant Romanized population continued to exist in the former province after its occupation by the Visigoths. It is asserted that the rare and isolated Latin inscriptions may be attributed to slaves captured by the Goths in the territory of the Roman Empire and even these disappear within a few decades. The Goths themselves were Christians, so Christian artifacts do not prove for the continuity of a Romanized population. The territory fell under the control of the Visigoths and Carpians
Carpians
The Carpi or Carpiani were an ancient people that resided, between not later than ca. AD 140 and until at least AD 318, in the former Principality of Moldavia ....

 until they were, in their turn, displaced and subdued by the Huns
Huns
The Huns were a group of nomadic people who, appearing from east of the Volga River, migrated into Europe c. AD 370 and established the vast Hunnic Empire there. Since de Guignes linked them with the Xiongnu, who had been northern neighbours of China 300 years prior to the emergence of the Huns,...

 after 376. After the disintegration of Attila
Attila the Hun
Attila , more frequently referred to as Attila the Hun, was the ruler of the Huns from 434 until his death in 453. He was leader of the Hunnic Empire, which stretched from the Ural River to the Rhine River and from the Danube River to the Baltic Sea. During his reign he was one of the most feared...

's empire, the Huns were succeeded by the Gepid
Gepid
The Gepids were an East Germanic tribe who were closely related to the Goths. The Gepids were recorded in the area along the southern Baltic coast in the 1st century AD, having migrated there from southern Sweden some years earlier...

s, who were defeated by the Eurasian Avars who ruled the region until around 800 AD. During the Avar rule, after the 6th century, the region was influenced by massive Slavic
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

 immigration.

At the beginning of the 9th century, Transylvania, along with eastern Pannonia
Pannonia
Pannonia was an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia....

, was under the control of the First Bulgarian Empire
First Bulgarian Empire
The First Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state founded in the north-eastern Balkans in c. 680 by the Bulgars, uniting with seven South Slavic tribes...

. After a brief period of Bulgarian rule the territory was partially under Byzantine control.

Hungarian rule



The Hungarians (Magyars) conquered the area at the end of the 9th century and firmly established their control over it in 1003, when king Stephen I, according to legend, defeated the native prince entitled or named Gyula.

According to the theory of Daco-Romanian continuity, Hungary took possession of Transylvania in the 11th century, a territory that probably had a mixed but basically Romanian
Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

 population.
According to Hungarian historiography, the population of Transylvania at the time of the Hungarian conquest in 895-96 consisted of Slavs and probably some Eurasian Avars. In this view, Romanians did not live in Transylvania in that period and appeared there only as from the 12th century.

After the occupation the Hungarian crown encouraged immigration in order to strengthen against outside invasion. Most important was the settlement of the Székely
Székely
The Székelys or Székely , sometimes also referred to as Szeklers , are a subgroup of the Hungarian people living mostly in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania, Romania...

s and the Germans
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

, who came in the 12th century. As a political entity, (Southern) Transylvania is mentioned from the 12th century as a county
County
A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain modern nations. Historically in mainland Europe, the original French term, comté, and its equivalents in other languages denoted a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain...

 (Alba) of the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

 (M. princeps ultrasilvanus - comes Bellegratae). Transylvania's seven counties were brought under the voivode's (count of Alba Iulia
Alba Iulia
Alba Iulia is a city in Alba County, Transylvania, Romania with a population of 66,747, located on the Mureş River. Since the High Middle Ages, the city has been the seat of Transylvania's Roman Catholic diocese. Between 1541 and 1690 it was the capital of the Principality of Transylvania...

) rule in 1263. Although Transylvania was part of the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

, it retained wide autonomous privileges and status and after 1526 became a fully autonomous principality under nominal Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 suzerainty
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

.

Since medieval times, the population of the region has been a mixture of ethnic Romanians (historically known as Vlachs
Vlachs
Vlach is a blanket term covering several modern Latin peoples descending from the Latinised population in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. English variations on the name include: Walla, Wlachs, Wallachs, Vlahs, Olahs or Ulahs...

), Hungarians, the ethnic Hungarian Székely
Székely
The Székelys or Székely , sometimes also referred to as Szeklers , are a subgroup of the Hungarian people living mostly in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania, Romania...

 people, Germans (known as Saxons
Transylvanian Saxons
The Transylvanian Saxons are a people of German ethnicity who settled in Transylvania from the 12th century onwards.The colonization of Transylvania by Germans was begun by King Géza II of Hungary . For decades, the main task of the German settlers was to defend the southeastern border of the...

), Bulgarians
Bulgarians
The Bulgarians are a South Slavic nation and ethnic group native to Bulgaria and neighbouring regions. Emigration has resulted in immigrant communities in a number of other countries.-History and ethnogenesis:...

 (see Şchei
Schei
Şcheii Braşovului is the old ethnically Bulgarian and Romanian neighborhood of Braşov, a city in Transylvania, Romania. This village-like section of the town is mostly made up of small houses built along narrow roads with gardens and small fields on the sides of the mountains. Until the 17th...

, Şcheii Braşovului, Banat Bulgarians
Banat Bulgarians
The Banat Bulgarians are a distinct Bulgarian minority group which settled in the 18th century in the region of the Banat, which was then ruled by the Habsburgs and after World War I was divided between Romania, Serbia, and Hungary...

), Armenians (especially in Gherla (Armenopolis)
Gherla
Gherla is a city in Cluj County, Romania . It is located 45 km from Cluj-Napoca on the Someşul Mic River, and has a population of 24,083....

, Gheorgheni
Gheorgheni
Gheorgheni is a city in Harghita County, Romania.It lies in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania. The city administers four villages:*Covacipeter / Kovácspéter*Lacu Roşu / Gyilkostó*Vargatac / Vargatag*Visafolio / Visszafolyó...

 and Târnăveni
Târnaveni
Târnăveni is a city and municipality in central Romania, Mureş County. It lies on the Târnava Mică River in central Transylvania. The city administers three villages: Bobohalma, Botorca and Cuştelnic; the last was part of Găneşti Commune until 2002....

), Jews and Roma (known as Gypsies or "tatars" - Tatern in Transylvanian Saxon
Transylvanian Saxons
The Transylvanian Saxons are a people of German ethnicity who settled in Transylvania from the 12th century onwards.The colonization of Transylvania by Germans was begun by King Géza II of Hungary . For decades, the main task of the German settlers was to defend the southeastern border of the...

 or tătăraşi in Romanian
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

).

Between 1003 and 1526, Transylvania was a voivodeship
Voivodeship
Voivodship is a term denoting the position of, or more commonly the area administered by, a voivod. Voivodeships have existed since medieval times in Poland, Romania, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia and Serbia....

 of the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

, led by a voivode appointed by the Hungarian King
King of Hungary
The King of Hungary was the head of state of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1000 to 1918.The style of title "Apostolic King" was confirmed by Pope Clement XIII in 1758 and used afterwards by all the Kings of Hungary, so after this date the kings are referred to as "Apostolic King of...

. After the Battle of Mohács
Battle of Mohács
The Battle of Mohács was fought on August 29, 1526 near Mohács, Hungary. In the battle, forces of the Kingdom of Hungary led by King Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia were defeated by forces of the Ottoman Empire led by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent....

 in 1526, Transylvania became part of the Eastern Hungarian Kingdom
Eastern Hungarian Kingdom
The Eastern Hungarian Kingdom was the name of the area under the rule of King John I of Hungary. John I of Hungary was the former voivode of Transylvania and the wealthiest and the most powerful landlord after Mohács, secured the eastern part of the kingdom with the help of the Ottomans...

 which, in 1571, was transformed into the Principality of Transylvania (1571–1711) ruled primarily by Calvinist
Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

 Hungarian princes. For most of this period, Transylvania, maintaining its internal autonomy, was under the suzerainty
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

 of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

.

The early 11th century was marked by the conflict between King Stephen I of Hungary and his uncle Gyula
Gyula III
Gyula III, also Gyula the Younger, Geula or Gyla, was an early medieval ruler who apparently ruled in Transylvania . His actual name was probably Prokui, yet Prokui cannot possibly be the same as Gyula. Around 1003, he and his family were attacked, dispossessed and captured by King Stephen I of...

, the ruler of Transylvania. The Hungarian ruler was successful in these wars, and Transylvania was incorporated into the Christian Kingdom of Hungary. The Transylvanian Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 bishopric
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

 and the comitatus system
Comitatus (Kingdom of Hungary)
A county is the name of a type of administrative units in the Kingdom of Hungary and in Hungary from the 10th century until the present day....

 were organised. By the early 11th century the ethnic Hungarian Székely
History of the Székely people
The history of the Székely people, a Transylvanian subgroup of the Hungarians, spans nine centuries, although many historians consider that the formation of the Székely people had taken place before the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin in 895-896.-Myths:...

 were established in southeastern Transylvania as a border population of ready warriors, and in the 12th and 13th centuries, the areas in the south and northeast were settled by German
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 colonists called Saxons
Transylvanian Saxons
The Transylvanian Saxons are a people of German ethnicity who settled in Transylvania from the 12th century onwards.The colonization of Transylvania by Germans was begun by King Géza II of Hungary . For decades, the main task of the German settlers was to defend the southeastern border of the...

. Romanians maintained control over a few autonomous regions called 'terrae': Făgăraş, Amlas, Haţeg, Maramureş, Lapus. However, the autonomy was taken by the end of Árpád dynasty
Árpád dynasty
The Árpáds or Arpads was the ruling dynasty of the federation of the Hungarian tribes and of the Kingdom of Hungary . The dynasty was named after Grand Prince Árpád who was the head of the tribal federation when the Magyars occupied the Carpathian Basin, circa 895...

 in 1301.

In 1241–1242, during the Mongol invasion of Europe
Mongol invasion of Europe
The resumption of the Mongol invasion of Europe, during which the Mongols attacked medieval Rus' principalities and the powers of Poland and Hungary, was marked by the Mongol invasion of Rus starting in 21 December 1237...

, Transylvania was among the territories devastated by the Golden Horde. A large portion of the population perished. This was followed by a second Mongol invasion in 1285, led by Nogai Khan
Nogai Khan
Nogai , also called Isa Nogai, was a general and de facto ruler of the Golden Horde and a great-great-grandson of Genghis Khan. His grandfather was Baul/Teval Khan, the 7th son of Jochi...

. To escape the deprecations, Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

n (Romanian) settlers moved into the mountain fastness of the Carpathians. The rulers of the Kingdom of Hungary established programs of colonization in eastern and southern Hungary. Saxon Germans
Transylvanian Saxons
The Transylvanian Saxons are a people of German ethnicity who settled in Transylvania from the 12th century onwards.The colonization of Transylvania by Germans was begun by King Géza II of Hungary . For decades, the main task of the German settlers was to defend the southeastern border of the...

, Székely
Székely
The Székelys or Székely , sometimes also referred to as Szeklers , are a subgroup of the Hungarian people living mostly in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania, Romania...

s, Slavs
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

, and Wallachians settled in the peripheral areas which had suffered so greatly from the Mongol invasion.

Following this devastation, Transylvania was reorganized according to a class
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...

 system of Estates, which established privileged groups (universitates) with power and influence in economic and political life, as well as along ethnic lines. The first Estate was the lay and ecclesiastic aristocracy, ethnically heterogeneous, but undergoing a process of homogenization around its Hungarian nucleus. The other Estates were Saxons, Székelys and Romanians (or Vlachs
Vlachs
Vlach is a blanket term covering several modern Latin peoples descending from the Latinised population in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. English variations on the name include: Walla, Wlachs, Wallachs, Vlahs, Olahs or Ulahs...

 - Universitas Valachorum
Universitas Valachorum
Universitas Valachorum is the Latin denomination for an Estate, an institution of self-government of the Romanians in medieval Transylvania....

), all with an ethnic and ethno-linguistic basis (Universis nobilibus, Saxonibus, Syculis et Olachis). The general assembly (congregatio generalis) of the four Estates had few genuine legislative powers in Transylvania, but it sometimes took measures regarding order in the country.

After the Decree of Turda
Decree of Turda
The Decree of Turda was a decree by Louis I Anjou of Hungary. It had longstanding consequences for the constitutional order and social structure of Transylvania....

 (1366), which openly called for "to expel or to exterminate in this country malefactors belonging to any nation, especially Romanians" in Transylvania, the only possibility for Romanians to retain or access nobility was through conversion
Religious conversion
Religious conversion is the adoption of a new religion that differs from the convert's previous religion. Changing from one denomination to another within the same religion is usually described as reaffiliation rather than conversion.People convert to a different religion for various reasons,...

 to Roman Catholicism. Some Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 Romanian nobles converted, being integrated in the Hungarian nobility, but the most of them declined, thus losing their status and privileges.

In some regions in the north (Maramureş) and south (Ţara Haţegului
Hateg
Hațeg is a town in Hunedoara County, Romania with a population of 12,507. Three villages are administered by the town: Nălațvad, Silvașu de Jos and Silvașu de Sus.Țara Hațegului is the region around Hațeg town...

, Făgăraş
Fagaras
Făgăraș is a city in central Romania, located in Braşov County . Another source of the name is alleged to derive from the Hungarian language word for "partridge" . A more plausible explanation is that the name is given by Fogaras river coming from the Pecheneg "Fagar šu", which means ash water...

, Banat
Banat
The Banat is a geographical and historical region in Central Europe currently divided between three countries: the eastern part lies in western Romania , the western part in northeastern Serbia , and a small...

) where Romanians
Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

 formed a majority of the population, the Orthodox Romanian ruling class of nobilis kenezius
Knyaz
Kniaz, knyaz or knez is a Slavic title found in most Slavic languages, denoting a royal nobility rank. It is usually translated into English as either Prince or less commonly as Duke....

 (classed as lesser and middle nobility in the Kingdom as a whole) enjoyed a period of prosperity at the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century, reflected in the reconstruction and decoration of some Orthodox churches. A Romanian archbishop is mentioned in 1377 in Transylvania; other Orthodox hierarchs were established in St. Michael's monastery at Feleac, near Cluj
Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca , commonly known as Cluj, is the fourth most populous city in Romania and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest , Budapest and Belgrade...

 and Peri. Nevertheless, because of the gradual loss of a nobility of its own, Romanians were no longer able to keep their Universitas Valachorum.

A key figure to emerge in Transylvania in the first half of the 15th century was John Hunyadi
John Hunyadi
John Hunyadi John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János , Medieval Latin: Ioannes Corvinus or Ioannes de Hunyad, Romanian: Iancu (Ioan) de Hunedoara, Croatian: Janko Hunjadi, Serbian: Сибињанин Јанко / Sibinjanin Janko, Slovak: Ján Huňady) John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János , Medieval Latin: ...

/János Hunyadi
John Hunyadi
John Hunyadi John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János , Medieval Latin: Ioannes Corvinus or Ioannes de Hunyad, Romanian: Iancu (Ioan) de Hunedoara, Croatian: Janko Hunjadi, Serbian: Сибињанин Јанко / Sibinjanin Janko, Slovak: Ján Huňady) John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János , Medieval Latin: ...

/Iancu de Hunedoara
John Hunyadi
John Hunyadi John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János , Medieval Latin: Ioannes Corvinus or Ioannes de Hunyad, Romanian: Iancu (Ioan) de Hunedoara, Croatian: Janko Hunjadi, Serbian: Сибињанин Јанко / Sibinjanin Janko, Slovak: Ján Huňady) John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János , Medieval Latin: ...

, a native of Transylvania, born in a family of Romanian origins. (According to the usage of Hungarian noblemen of the time, Iancu/John/János took his family name after his landed estate.) He was one of the greatest military figures of the time, being Hungarian general, voivode of Transylvania and then governor of the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

 from 1446 to 1452. He was a Transylvanian noble of Romanian
Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

 origin some sources indicating him as the son of Voicu/Vajk, a Romanian boyar
Boyar
A boyar, or bolyar , was a member of the highest rank of the feudal Moscovian, Kievan Rus'ian, Bulgarian, Wallachian, and Moldavian aristocracies, second only to the ruling princes , from the 10th century through the 17th century....

 from Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

. Hungarian historians claim that his mother was Erzsébet Morzsinay the daughter of a Hungarian noble family.
His fame was built in the effective wars of defence against the Turkish attacks, waged from 1439. With his private mercenary army John rapidly rose to the heights of power. His military campaigns against the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 brought him the status of Transylvanian governor
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

 in 1446 and papal
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 recognition as the Prince of Transylvania in 1448. Continuing his military activity, he won an important victory at Belgrade in 1456, which halted the Ottomans' advance for several decades, but died shortly afterwards during an epidemic.

After the suppression of the Budai Nagy Antal
Bobâlna revolt
The Budai Nagy Antal Revolt or Bobâlna Revolt , of 1437 in Transylvania was the only significant popular revolt in the Kingdom of Hungary prior to the great peasant war of 1514...

-revolt in 1437, the political system was based on Unio Trium Nationum
Unio Trium Nationum
Unio Trium Nationum Unio Trium Nationum Unio Trium Nationum (Latin for "Union of the Three Nations" was a pact of mutual aid formed in 1438 by three Estates of Transylvania: the (largely Hungarian) nobility, the Saxon (i.e. German) burghers, and the free Szeklers...

 (The Union of the Three Nations). According to the Union, which was explicitly directed against serfs
Serfdom
Serfdom is the status of peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to Manorialism. It was a condition of bondage or modified slavery which developed primarily during the High Middle Ages in Europe and lasted to the mid-19th century...

 and other peasants, society was ruled by three privilege
Privilege
A privilege is a special entitlement to immunity granted by the state or another authority to a restricted group, either by birth or on a conditional basis. It can be revoked in certain circumstances. In modern democratic states, a privilege is conditional and granted only after birth...

d Estates of the nobility
Nobility and royalty of the Kingdom of Hungary
This article deals with titles of the nobility and royalty of the Kingdom of Hungary.-Earlier usage :Before the accession of the Habsburgs, the nobility was structured according to the offices held in the administration of the Kingdom...

 (mostly ethnic Hungarians), the Székely
Székely
The Székelys or Székely , sometimes also referred to as Szeklers , are a subgroup of the Hungarian people living mostly in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania, Romania...

s, also an ethnic Hungarian people who primarily served as warriors, and the ethnic German, Saxon burghers
Bourgeoisie
In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...

.

The only possibility for Romanians to retain or access nobility in Hungarian Transylvania was through conversion
Religious conversion
Religious conversion is the adoption of a new religion that differs from the convert's previous religion. Changing from one denomination to another within the same religion is usually described as reaffiliation rather than conversion.People convert to a different religion for various reasons,...

 to Catholicism. Some Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 Romanian nobles converted, becoming integrated into the Hungarian nobility. These circumstances marked the beginning of a conflict between ethnic Hungarian Catholics and ethnic Romanian Orthodox (and ethnic Romanian Greek Catholics also) in the territory of Transylvania which in some regions remains unresolved to this very day.

Principality of Transylvania



The 16th century in Southeastern Europe was marked by the struggle between the Muslim
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 and the Catholic Habsburg Empire.
After the Hungarian defeat at Mohács, Hungary was divided between the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 and Habsburg
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

 empires.


Transylvania became an Ottoman vassal state, where native princes, who paid the Turks tribute, ruled with considerable autonomy. Austrian and Turkish influences vied for supremacy for nearly two centuries.
It is this period of independence and Turkish influence that contributed to Transylvania being seen as exotic
Orientalism
Orientalism is a term used for the imitation or depiction of aspects of Eastern cultures in the West by writers, designers and artists, as well as having other meanings...

 in the eyes of Victorians
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 such as Bram Stoker
Bram Stoker
Abraham "Bram" Stoker was an Irish novelist and short story writer, best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula...

, whose novel Dracula
Dracula
Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker.Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to relocate from Transylvania to England, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor...

 was published in 1897.

Because Transylvania was now beyond the reach of Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 religious authority, Protestant preaching such as Lutheranism and Calvinism were able to flourish in the region. In 1568 the Edict of Turda
Edict of Turda
The Edict of Torda in 1568, also known as the Patent of Toleration, was an early attempt to guarantee religious freedom in Christian Europe, that was born due the special political, social and religious situation in the Kingdom of Hungary in the 16 Century.- The original edict :King John II...

 proclaimed four religious expressions in Transylvania - Latin Rite or Eastern Rite Catholicism
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, Lutheranism, Calvinism
Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

 and Unitarianism
Unitarianism
Unitarianism is a Christian theological movement, named for its understanding of God as one person, in direct contrast to Trinitarianism which defines God as three persons coexisting consubstantially as one in being....

 (Unitarian Church of Transylvania
Unitarian Church of Transylvania
The Unitarian Church of Transylvania is a church of the Unitarian denomination, based in the city of Cluj in the Principality of Transylvania, present day in Romania...

), while Eastern Orthodoxy
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

, which was the confession of almost the entire ethnic Romanian part of the population, was proclaimed as "tolerated" (tolerata).

The Báthory
Báthory
The Báthory were a Hungarian noble family of the Gutkeled clan. The family rose to significant influence in Central Europe during the late Middle Ages, holding high military, administrative and ecclesiastical positions in the Kingdom of Hungary...

, a Hungarian noble family, began to rule Transylvania as princes under the Ottomans in 1571, and briefly under Habsburg
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

 suzerainty until 1600. The latter period of their rule saw a four-sided conflict in Transylvania involving the Transylvanian Báthorys, the emerging Austrian Empire
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

, the Ottoman Empire, and the Romanian voivoideship (province) of Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

. This included a one year period of Romanian rule after the conquest of the territory by Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

n voivod Michael the Brave. There are some late interpretations stating: as he subsequently extended his rule over Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

, Michael the Brave unified all the territories where Romanians lived, rebuilding the mainland of the ancient Kingdom of Dacia
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

, although in Michael's time, the concept of the Romanian nation and the desire for unification did not exist, and the absence of any national element in Michael's politics, holding that Michael's lack of desire to join the principalities' administrations proved his actions were not motivated by any such concept.


The Calvinist magnate of Bihar county Stephen Bocskai managed to obtain, through the Treaty of Vienna
Treaty of Vienna (1606)
The Treaty of Vienna was signed on June 23, 1606 between Stephen Bocskay, a Hungarian noble, and Archduke Matthias. Based on the terms of the treaty, all constitutional and religious rights and privileges were granted to the Hungarians in both Transylvania and Royal Hungary...

 (June 23, 1606), religious liberty and political autonomy for the region, the restoration of all confiscated estates, the repeal of all "unrighteous" judgments, as well as his own recognition as independent sovereign prince of an enlarged Transylvania. Under Bocskai's successors, most notably Gabriel Bethlen
Gabriel Bethlen
Gabriel Bethlen was a prince of Transylvania , duke of Opole and leader of an anti-Habsburg insurrection in the Habsburg Royal Hungary. His last armed intervention in 1626 was part of the Thirty Years' War...

 and George I Rákóczi
George I Rákóczi
György Rákóczi I was elected Hungarian prince of Transylvania from 1630 until his death. During his influence Transylvania grew politically and economically stronger.-Biography:...

, Transylvania passed through a golden age
Golden Age
The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology and legend and refers to the first in a sequence of four or five Ages of Man, in which the Golden Age is first, followed in sequence, by the Silver, Bronze, and Iron Ages, and then the present, a period of decline...

 for many religious movements and for the arts and culture. Transylvania became one of the few European States where Roman Catholics, Calvinists, Lutherans and Unitarians
Unitarianism
Unitarianism is a Christian theological movement, named for its understanding of God as one person, in direct contrast to Trinitarianism which defines God as three persons coexisting consubstantially as one in being....

 lived in peace, although Orthodox
Romanian Orthodox Church
The Romanian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church. It is in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox churches, and is ranked seventh in order of precedence. The Primate of the church has the title of Patriarch...

 Romanians
Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

 continued to be denied equal recognition.

This golden age and relative independence of Transylvania ended with the reign of George II Rákóczi
George II Rákóczi
György Rákóczi II , a Transylvanian Hungarian ruler, was the eldest son of George I and Susanna Lorantffy....

. The prince, coveting the Polish crown, allied with Sweden and invaded Poland in spite of the Turkish Porte clearly prohibiting any military action. Rákóczi's defeat in Poland, combined with the subsequent invasions of Transylvania by the Turks and their Crimean Tatar allies, the ensuing loss of territory (most importantly, the loss of the most important Transylvanian stronghold, Oradea
Oradea
Oradea is the capital city of Bihor County, in the Crișana region of north-western Romania. The city has a population of 204,477, according to the 2009 estimates. The wider Oradea metropolitan area has a total population of 245,832.-Geography:...

) and diminishing manpower led to the complete subordination of Transylvania, which now became a powerless vassal of the Ottoman Empire.

Habsburg rule


The Habsburgs
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

 acquired the territory shortly after the Battle of Vienna
Battle of Vienna
The Battle of Vienna took place on 11 and 12 September 1683 after Vienna had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months...

 in 1683. The Habsburgs, however, recognized the
Hungarian sovereignty over Transylvania, while the Transylvanians recognized the suzerainty of the Habsburg emperor Leopold I
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
| style="float:right;" | Leopold I was a Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and King of Bohemia. A member of the Habsburg family, he was the second son of Emperor Ferdinand III and his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain. His maternal grandparents were Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria...

 (1687), and the region was officially attached to the Habsburg Empire, separated in all but name from Habsburg controlled Hungary and subjected to the direct rule of the emperor's governors. In 1699 the Turks legally conceded their loss of Transylvania in the Treaty of Karlowitz
Treaty of Karlowitz
The Treaty of Karlowitz was signed on 26 January 1699 in Sremski Karlovci , concluding the Austro-Ottoman War of 1683–1697 in which the Ottoman side had been defeated at the Battle of Zenta...

; however, anti-Habsburg
Rákóczi's War for Independence
Rákóczi's War for Independence was the first significant attempt to topple therule of Habsburg Austria over Hungary. The war was fought by a group of noblemen, wealthy and high-ranking progressives and was led by Francis II Rákóczi Rákóczi's War for Independence (1703–1711) was the first...

 elements within the principality only submitted to the emperor in the 1711 Peace of Szatmár. After the Ausgleich
Ausgleich
The Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 established the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary. The Compromise re-established the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Hungary, separate from and no longer subject to the Austrian Empire...

 of 1867 the region was fully reabsorbed into Hungary as a part of the newly established Austro-Hungarian Empire.

After the defeat of the Ottomans at the Battle of Vienna
Battle of Vienna
The Battle of Vienna took place on 11 and 12 September 1683 after Vienna had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months...

 in 1683, the Habsburgs gradually began to impose their rule on the formerly autonomous Transylvania. Apart from strengthening the central government and administration, the Habsburgs also promoted the Roman Catholic Church, both as a uniting force and also as an instrument to reduce the influence of the Protestant nobility. In addition, they tried to persuade Romanian Orthodox clergymen to join the Greek (Byzantine Rite) Catholic Church in union with Rome
Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic
The Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic is an Eastern Catholic Church which is in full union with the Roman Catholic Church. It is ranked as a Major Archiepiscopal Church and uses the Byzantine liturgical rite in the Romanian language....

. As a response to this policy, several peaceful movements of the Romanian Orthodox population advocated for freedom of worship for all the Transylvanian population, most notably being the movements led by Visarion Sarai, Nicolae Oprea Miclăuş and Sofronie of Cioara
Sofronie of Cioara
Sofronie of Cioara is a Romanian Orthodox saint. He was an Eastern Orthodox monk who advocated for the freedom of worship of the Romanian population in Transylvania.-Early life:...

. Additional Germans settled in the principality under official colonization schemes and a large number of Romanians, fleeing the Turkish rule in their own principalities, also moved in to occupy vacant lands.


From 1711 onward, the princes of Transylvania were replaced with imperial governors and in 1765 Transylvania was declared a Grand Principality of Transylvania, further consolidating its special separate status within the Habsburg Empire established by the Diploma Leopoldinum in 1691. The Hungarian historiography sees this as a mere formality. Within the Habsburg-controlled Kingdom of Hungary there was a separate administrative Hungary and Transylvania.

The revolutionary year 1848 was marked by a great struggle between the Hungarians, the Romanians and the Habsburg Empire. The Hungarians promised for Romanians the abolition of serfdom for their support against Austria. The Romanians rejected the offer and instead rose against the Hungarian national state. Warfare erupted in November with both Romanian and Saxon troops, under Austrian command, battling the Hungarians led by the Polish born general Józef Bem
Józef Bem
Józef Zachariasz Bem was a Polish general, an Ottoman Pasha and a national hero of Poland and Hungary, and a figure intertwined with other European nationalisms...

 in Transylvania. He carried out a sweeping offensive through Transylvania, and Avram Iancu
Avram Iancu
Avram Iancu was a Transylvanian Romanian lawyer who played an important role in the local chapter of the Austrian Empire Revolutions of 1848–1849. He was especially active in the Ţara Moţilor region and the Apuseni Mountains...

 managed to retreat to the harsh terrain of the Apuseni Mountains
Apuseni Mountains
The Apuseni Mountains is a mountain range in Transylvania, Romania, which belongs to the Western Carpathians, also called Occidentali in Romanian. Their name translates from Romanian as Mountains "of the sunset" i.e. "western". The highest peak is "Cucurbăta Mare" - 1849 metres, also called Bihor...

, mounting a guerrilla
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 campaign on Bem's forces. After the intervention by the armies of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia
Nicholas I of Russia
Nicholas I , was the Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855, known as one of the most reactionary of the Russian monarchs. On the eve of his death, the Russian Empire reached its historical zenith spanning over 20 million square kilometers...

, Bem's army was defeated decisively at the Battle of Timişoara
Timisoara
Timișoara is the capital city of Timiș County, in western Romania. One of the largest Romanian cities, with an estimated population of 311,586 inhabitants , and considered the informal capital city of the historical region of Banat, Timișoara is the main social, economic and cultural center in the...

 (Temesvár, Hun.) on 9 August 1849.

Having quashed the revolution, Austria imposed a repressive regime on Hungary, ruled Transylvania directly through a military governor and granted citizenship to the Romanians.

The 300-year long special separate status came to an end by the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, which established the dual monarchy
Dual monarchy
Dual monarchy occurs when two separate kingdoms are ruled by the same monarch, follow the same foreign policy, exist in a customs union with each other and have a combined military but are otherwise self-governing...

 and reincorporated Transylvania into Hungary. On 20 June 1867, the Diet
Diet (assembly)
In politics, a diet is a formal deliberative assembly. The term is mainly used historically for the Imperial Diet, the general assembly of the Imperial Estates of the Holy Roman Empire, and for the legislative bodies of certain countries.-Etymology:...

 was dissolved by royal decree, and an ordinance abrogated the legislative acts of the Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca , commonly known as Cluj, is the fourth most populous city in Romania and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest , Budapest and Belgrade...

 provincial assembly. The department of the interior inherited the responsibilities of the Transylvanian Gubernium, and the government reserved the right to name Transylvania's royal magistrates as well as the Saxon bailiff of the Universitas Saxorum. Hungarian legislation also came to supersede the Austrian code of civil procedure, penal law, commercial law, and regulations for bills of exchange.

The new unity of Austria-Hungary created a process of Magyarization
Magyarization
Magyarization is a kind of assimilation or acculturation, a process by which non-Magyar elements came to adopt Magyar culture and language due to social pressure .Defiance or appeals to the Nationalities Law, met...

 affecting Transylvania's Romanians and German Saxons. After the Ausgleich
Ausgleich
The Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 established the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary. The Compromise re-established the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Hungary, separate from and no longer subject to the Austrian Empire...

 of 1867, when an autonomous government for the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

 was formed within Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

, the importance of Transylvania as a core territory was once again illustrated when Hungarian leaders successfully demanded and secured Transylvania's return to the Hungarian Kingdom. By the 1890s, the Hungarians government began implementing vigurous Magyarization
Magyarization
Magyarization is a kind of assimilation or acculturation, a process by which non-Magyar elements came to adopt Magyar culture and language due to social pressure .Defiance or appeals to the Nationalities Law, met...

 policies in an attempt to integrate the territories of the Hungarian Kingdom. Those Magyarization policies were primarily directed at Transylvania. In an important sense, Transylvania was the historical breeding ground of Hungarian romantic nationalism. Its Magyar-led anti-Habsburg struggles preceded the popular nationalism that emerged among the Pannonian Magyars in the early nineteenth century. Even after the revolution of 1848 and the 1867 Ausgleich separating Austria from Hungary, Transylvanian aristocrats continued to exert a high degree of power since Hungary adopted what some historians call an official nationalism.


Although Romanians formed the majority of Transylvania's population (59%), they had not been awarded legal status as a nation. In 1892 the leaders of the Romanians of Transylvania sent a Memorandum
Transylvanian Memorandum
The Transylvanian Memorandum was a petition sent in 1892 by the leaders of the Romanians of Transylvania to the Austro-Hungarian Emperor-King Franz Joseph, asking for equal ethnic rights with the Hungarians, and demanding an end to persecutions and Magyarization attempts.-Status:After the Ausgleich...

 to the Austro-Hungarian Emperor-King Franz Joseph, asking for equal ethnic rights with the Hungarians, and demanding an end to persecutions and Magyarization attempts. Franz Josef forwarded the memorandum to Budapest, and the authors were tried for "homeland betrayal" in May 1894, being sentenced to long prison terms.

Clickable Map of the Grand Duchy of Transylvania

Union with Romania


Following defeat in World War I, Austria-Hungary began to disintegrate. The ethnic Romanian
Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

 majority elected representatives, who then proclaimed Union
Union of Transylvania with Romania
Union of Transylvania with Romania was declared on by the assembly of the delegates of ethnic Romanians held in Alba Iulia.The national holiday of Romania, the Great Union Day occurring on December 1, commemorates this event...

 with the Kingdom of Romania
Kingdom of Romania
The Kingdom of Romania was the Romanian state based on a form of parliamentary monarchy between 13 March 1881 and 30 December 1947, specified by the first three Constitutions of Romania...

 on December 1, 1918. The Proclamation of Union of Alba Iulia was adopted by the Deputies of the Romanians from Transylvania, and supported one month later by the vote of the Deputies of the Saxons from Transylvania. In 1920, the Allies confirmed the union in the Treaty of Trianon
Treaty of Trianon
The Treaty of Trianon was the peace agreement signed in 1920, at the end of World War I, between the Allies of World War I and Hungary . The treaty greatly redefined and reduced Hungary's borders. From its borders before World War I, it lost 72% of its territory, which was reduced from to...

. Hungary protested against the detach, as over 1,600,000 Hungarian people were living in the area in question, mainly in Székely Land
Székely Land
The Székely Land or Szekler Land refers to the territories inhabited mainly by the Székely, a Hungarian-speaking ethnic group from eastern Transylvania...

 of Eastern Transylvania, and along the newly created border, which was partially drawn through areas with compact Hungarian population. In August 1940, in the midst of World War II, Hungary regained about 40% of Transylvania by the Vienna Award
Second Vienna Award
The Second Vienna Award was the second of two Vienna Awards arbitrated by the Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Rendered on August 30, 1940, it re-assigned the territory of Northern Transylvania from Romania to Hungary.-Prelude and historical background :After the World War I, the multi-ethnic...

, with the aid of Germany and Italy. The territory, however, was returned to Romania in 1945; this was confirmed in the 1947 Paris Peace Treaties.

As Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

 disintegrated at the end of World War I, the nationalities living there proclaimed their independence from the empire. The 1228-member National Assembly of Romanians of Transylvania and Hungary, headed by leaders of Transylvania's Romanian National Party
Romanian National Party
The Romanian National Party , initially known as the Romanian National Party in Transylvania and Banat , was a political party which was initially designed to offer ethnic representation to Romanians in the Kingdom of Hungary, the Transleithanian half of Austria-Hungary, and especially to those in...

 and Social Democratic Party, passed a resolution calling for unification of all Romanians in a single state on 1 December in Alba Iulia
Alba Iulia
Alba Iulia is a city in Alba County, Transylvania, Romania with a population of 66,747, located on the Mureş River. Since the High Middle Ages, the city has been the seat of Transylvania's Roman Catholic diocese. Between 1541 and 1690 it was the capital of the Principality of Transylvania...

. This was approved by the National Council of the Germans from Transylvania and the Council of the Danube Swabians
Danube Swabians
The Danube Swabians is a collective term for the German-speaking population who lived in the former Kingdom of Hungary, especially alongside the Danube River valley. Because of different developments within the territory settled, the Danube Swabians cannot be seen as a unified people...

 from the Banat
Banat
The Banat is a geographical and historical region in Central Europe currently divided between three countries: the eastern part lies in western Romania , the western part in northeastern Serbia , and a small...

, on 15 December in Mediaş
Medias
Mediaș is the second largest city in Sibiu County, Transylvania, Romania.-Geographic location:Mediaș is located in the middle basin of Târnava Mare River, at 39 km from Sighișoara and 41 km from Blaj. The health resort Bazna, officially recognized for the first time in 1302, is...

. In response, the Hungarian General Assembly of Cluj
Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca , commonly known as Cluj, is the fourth most populous city in Romania and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest , Budapest and Belgrade...

 reaffirmed the loyalty of Hungarians from Transylvania to Hungary on December 22, 1918. (See also: Union of Transylvania with Romania
Union of Transylvania with Romania
Union of Transylvania with Romania was declared on by the assembly of the delegates of ethnic Romanians held in Alba Iulia.The national holiday of Romania, the Great Union Day occurring on December 1, commemorates this event...

)
The Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

 placed Transylvania under the sovereignty of Romania, an ally of the Triple Entente
Triple Entente
The Triple Entente was the name given to the alliance among Britain, France and Russia after the signing of the Anglo-Russian Entente in 1907....

, and the Treaty of St. Germain (1919) and the Treaty of Trianon
Treaty of Trianon
The Treaty of Trianon was the peace agreement signed in 1920, at the end of World War I, between the Allies of World War I and Hungary . The treaty greatly redefined and reduced Hungary's borders. From its borders before World War I, it lost 72% of its territory, which was reduced from to...

 (signed in June 1920) further elaborated the status of Transylvania and defined the new border between the states of Hungary and Romania. King Ferdinand I of Romania
Ferdinand I of Romania
Ferdinand was the King of Romania from 10 October 1914 until his death.-Early life:Born in Sigmaringen in southwestern Germany, the Roman Catholic Prince Ferdinand Viktor Albert Meinrad of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, later simply of Hohenzollern, was a son of Leopold, Prince of...

 and Queen Maria of Romania
Marie of Edinburgh
Marie of Romania was Queen consort of Romania from 1914 to 1927, as the wife of Ferdinand I of Romania.-Early life:...

 were crowned at Alba Iulia in 1922 as King and Queen of all Romania.
One of the new administration's objective was to enforce the Romanianization
Romanianization
Romanianization or Rumanization is the term used to describe a number of ethnic assimilation policies implemented by the Romanian authorities during the 20th century...

 of Transylvania in a social-political fashion, after centuries of Hungarian rule. The goal was to create a Romanian middle and upper class that would be promoted to assume the role of the former Hungarian ruling elites. The Hungarian language was expunged from administration, a field that it solely occupied before, and all place-names were Romanianized. About 197,000 Transylvanian Hungarians fled to Hungary between 1918 and 1922, and a further group of 169,000 emigrated over the remainder of the interwar period. In 1930, Romanians formed the majority of the Transylvanian population (58.2%, up from 53.8% in 1910), while Magyars (26.7%, down from 31.6% in 1910), Germans (9.8%, down from 10,7% in 1910) and Jews (3.2% in 1930, counted as Magyars in 1910) were minority groups. The expropriation of the estates of Magyar magnates, the distribution of the lands to the Romanian peasants, and the policy of cultural Romanianization that followed were major causes of friction between Hungary and Romania.

World War II and Communist Romania


In August 1940, the second Vienna Award
Vienna Awards
The Vienna Awards are two arbitral awards by which arbiters of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy sought to enforce peacefully the claims of Hungary on territory it had lost in 1920 when it signed the Treaty of Trianon...

 granted the Northern Transylvania
Northern Transylvania
Northern Transylvania is a region of Transylvania, situated within the territory of Romania. The population is largely composed of both ethnic Romanians and Hungarians, and the region has been part of Romania since 1918 . During World War II, as a consequence of the territorial agreement known as...

 to Hungary. After the Treaty of Paris
Paris Peace Treaties, 1947
The Paris Peace Conference resulted in the Paris Peace Treaties signed on February 10, 1947. The victorious wartime Allied powers negotiated the details of treaties with Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland .The...

 (1947), at the end of World War II, the territory was returned to Romania. The post-World War II borders with Hungary, agreed on at the Treaty of Paris, were identical with those set out in 1920.

After World War II and especially after the fall of Communism, almost all of the German-speaking population left Transylvania, as most of them departed for Germany.

Recent history (1989 to present)


After the Romanian Revolution of 1989
Romanian Revolution of 1989
The Romanian Revolution of 1989 was a series of riots and clashes in December 1989. These were part of the Revolutions of 1989 that occurred in several Warsaw Pact countries...

, some ethnic Hungarians began advocating greater autonomy for the Székely Region (the counties of Harghita and Covasna
Covasna
Covasna is a town in Covasna county, Transylvania, Romania, at an altitude of 550–600 m.Known as the "town of 1,000 mineral springs," Covasna is famous for its mineral waters. Each spring has a different mixture of minerals, chiefly carbon dioxide, sulfur, and ammonia...

 and part of Mureş County
Mures County
Mureș is a county of Romania, in the historical region of Transylvania, with the administrative centre in Târgu Mureș.-Geography:The county has a total area of 6,714 km²....

) where ethnic Hungarians outnumber ethnic Romanians. There have been tensions in Transylvania between Romanians and ethnic Hungarians who wanted autonomy in the 1990s. The Hungarians said they were the target of attacks by Romanian politicians and news organizations. Autonomy advocates claimed the attacks were an attempt to forcibly assimilate the Hungarian minority of 1.43 million people, or 6.6% of the Romanian population (according to the census of 2002). Some ethnic Romanians chided the autonomy advocates because of their refusal to integrate and in some cases for their ignorance of the Romanian language.

In 1996 Romania and Hungary signed a Basic Treaty on Understanding, Cooperation, and Good-Neighborliness, aiming to protect and develop the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of the Hungarian minority in Romania and the Romanian minority in Hungary receiving good feedback from US and EU members in the context of NATO enlargement.

In 2003, the Székely National Council was founded - a local Hungarian group with autonomy
Autonomy
Autonomy is a concept found in moral, political and bioethical philosophy. Within these contexts, it is the capacity of a rational individual to make an informed, un-coerced decision...

 as its stated goal. Unlike the Kosovars, Székely pro-autonomy organizations seek autonomy within Romania rather than complete independence, leaving foreign policy
Foreign policy
A country's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries...

 and national defense
Defense (military)
Defense has several uses in the sphere of military application.Personal defense implies measures taken by individual soldiers in protecting themselves whether by use of protective materials such as armor, or field construction of trenches or a bunker, or by using weapons that prevent the enemy...

 in the hands of the government in Bucharest.

Ethnic Hungarians in Transylvania have traditionally voted for the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania
Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania
The Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania, is the main political organisation representing the ethnic Hungarians of Romania....

, a centrist organization with a long record of cooperating with Romanian parties, both in government and in opposition. The more radical Hungarian Civic Party positions itself as an alternative and has advocated more vocally for the autonomy of the Székely region. The ethnic-Hungarian politician, László Tőkés
László Tokés
László Tőkés is a Romanian politician of Hungarian ethnicity, currently serving as a Member of the European Parliament and Vice President of the European Parliament ....

, one of the party's leaders, holds that Romanian and Hungarian authorities should reach an agreement regarding the status of the Hungarian community and the Székely Land.

However, relations between Romania and Hungary have improved significantly in the 2000s. The governments of Hungary and Romania held their second annual joint session in 2006. The main objective is convergence of Hungarian and Romanian National Development Plans. In particular they are keen to increase co-operation aimed at improving their absorption capacity of EU funds and to ensure development in line with EU standards. The two countries are also working closely on policies to promote the welfare of ethnic Romanians living in Hungary and ethnic Hungarians in Romania.

Geography and ethnography




The Transylvanian plateau, 300 to 500 metres (1,000-1,600 feet) high, is drained by the Mureş
Mures River
The Mureș is an approximately 761 km long river in Eastern Europe. It originates in the Hășmașu Mare Range in the Eastern Carpathian Mountains, Romania, and joins the Tisza river at Szeged in southeastern Hungary....

, Someş
Someş River
The river Someş flows through Romania and Hungary.It rises from two headstreams, the Someşul Mare, in the Rodna Mountains in Bistriţa-Năsăud County and the Someşul Mic in the Apuseni Mountains of Cluj County...

, Criş, and Olt
Olt River
The Olt River is a river in Romania. It is the longest river flowing exclusively through Romania. Its source is in the Hăşmaş Mountains of the eastern Carpathian Mountains, near the village Bălan. It flows through the Romanian counties Harghita, Covasna, Braşov, Sibiu, Vâlcea and Olt...

 rivers, as well as other tributaries of the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

. This core of historical Transylvania roughly corresponds with nine counties of modern Romania. Other areas to the west and north, which also united with Romania in 1918 (inside the border established by peace treaties in 1919-20), are since that time widely considered part of Transylvania.
  • Transylvania proper:
    • Amlaş
    • Ţara Bârsei (Burzenland)
    • Chioar
    • Făgăraş
      Fagaras
      Făgăraș is a city in central Romania, located in Braşov County . Another source of the name is alleged to derive from the Hungarian language word for "partridge" . A more plausible explanation is that the name is given by Fogaras river coming from the Pecheneg "Fagar šu", which means ash water...

    • Haţeg
      Hateg
      Hațeg is a town in Hunedoara County, Romania with a population of 12,507. Three villages are administered by the town: Nălațvad, Silvașu de Jos and Silvașu de Sus.Țara Hațegului is the region around Hațeg town...

    • Kalotaszeg
      Kalotaszeg
      Kalotaszeg is a region in Romania, belonging to the area of Transylvania which was formerly part of the Hungarian Kingdom. It is one of the few areas in Western Romania with a significant Hungarian population, and it is a stronghold of old Transylvanian Hungarian folk traditions.- Geography...

       (Ţara Călatei)
    • Mărginimea Sibiului
      Marginimea Sibiului
      Mărginimea Sibiului is an area which comprises 18 Romanian localities in the south-western part of the Sibiu County, in southern Transylvania, all of them having a unique ethnological, cultural, architectural and historical heritage.-Position:...

    • The Transylvanian Plain
      Transylvanian Plain
      The Transylvanian Plain is an ethnogeographical area in Transylvania, Romania, located between the Someş River and the Mureş River....

       (Câmpia Transilvaniei/Mezőség)
    • Székely Land
      Székely Land
      The Székely Land or Szekler Land refers to the territories inhabited mainly by the Székely, a Hungarian-speaking ethnic group from eastern Transylvania...

    • Ţara Moţilor
      Tara Motilor
      Țara Moților , also known as Țara de Piatră is an ethnogeographical region of Romania in the Apuseni Mountains, on the superior basin of the Arieș and Crişul Alb River rivers...

    • Ţara Năsăudului (Nösnerland)
    • Ţinutul Pădurenilor
  • Banat
    Banat
    The Banat is a geographical and historical region in Central Europe currently divided between three countries: the eastern part lies in western Romania , the western part in northeastern Serbia , and a small...

  • Crişana
    Crisana
    Crișana is a geographical and historical region divided today between Romania and Hungary, named after the Criș River and its three tributaries: the Crișul Alb, Crișul Negru and Crișul Repede....

    • Ţara Zarandului
  • Maramureş
    • Ţara Lǎpuşului
    • Ţara Oaşului
      Oas Country
      Oaş Country is an etnographic region of Romania located in the North-East part of Satu Mare County, 50 km from the city of Satu Mare...



See also Administrative divisions of the Kingdom of Hungary
Administrative divisions of the Kingdom of Hungary
The following lists show the administrative divisions of the lands belonging to the Hungarian crown at selected points of time. The names are given in the main official language used in the Kingdom at the times in question....

. In common reference, the Western border of Transylvania has come to be identified with the present Romanian-Hungarian
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 border, settled in the Treaty of Trianon, although geographically the two are not identical.

Administrative divisions


The area of the historical Voivodeship is 21,292 sq mi/55,146 km2.

The region granted to Romania in 1920 covered 23 counties including nearly 102,200 km² (102,787–103,093 in Hungarian sources and 102,200 in contemporary Romanian documents) now due to the several administrative reorganisations Transylvania covers 16 present-day counties
Counties of Romania
The 41 judeţe and the municipality of Bucharest comprise the official administrative divisions of Romania. They also represent the European Union' s NUTS-3 geocode statistical subdivision scheme of Romania.-Overview:...

 (Romanian
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

: judeţ
Judet
A județ is an administrative division in Romania, and was also used for some time in Moldova, before that country switched to raions.Județ translates into English as jurisdiction, but is commonly mistranslated as county .The territory of Romania is divided for administrative purposes into 41...

) which include nearly 99,837 km² of central and northwest Romania. The 16 counties are:
  • Alba
    Alba County
    Alba is a county of Romania, in Transylvania, its capital city being Alba-Iulia with a population of 66,406.- Demographics :In 2002, it had a population of 382,747 and the population density was 61/km².* Romanians - 90.4%* Hungarians - 5.4%...

  • Arad
    Arad County
    Arad is an administrative division of Romania roughly translated into county in the western part of the country on the border with Hungary, mostly in the region of Crişana and few villages in Banat. The administrative center of the county lies in the city of Arad...

  • Bihor
    Bihor County
    Bihor is a county of Romania, in Crişana, with capital city at Oradea. Together with Hajdú-Bihar County in Hungary it constitutes the Biharia Euroregion.-Demographics:...

  • Bistriţa-Năsăud
    Bistrita-Nasaud County
    Bistrița-Năsăud is a county of Romania, in Transylvania, with the capital city at Bistrița.-Demographics:In 2002, it had a population of 311,657 and the population density was 58/km².*Romanians – 90.3%*Hungarians – 5.9%*Roma – 3.6%...

  • Braşov
    Brasov County
    Brașov ; ) is a county of Romania, in Transylvania, with the capital city at Brașov. The county incorporates within its boundaries most of the Medieval "lands" Burzenland and Făgăraș Land.-Demographics:...

  • Caraş-Severin
    Caras-Severin County
    Caraș-Severin is a county of Romania, in the historical region of Banat and few villages in Transylvania, with the county seat at Reșița.-Demographics:The county is part of the Danube-Kris-Mureș-Tisza euroregion....

  • Cluj
    Cluj County
    Cluj ; is a county of Romania, in Transylvania, with the capital city at Cluj-Napoca.-Demographics:In 2007, it had a population of 692,316 and a population density of 104/km².*Romanians – 80%*Hungarians – 17.5%*Roma – 2.5%-Geography:...

  • Covasna
    Covasna County
    Covasna is a county of Romania, in Transylvania, with the capital city at Sfântu Gheorghe.-Demographics:In 2002, it had a population of 222,449 and the population density was 60/km².*Hungarians – 73.79% *Romanians – 23.28%...

  • Harghita
    Harghita County
    Harghita is a county in the center of Romania, in eastern Transylvania, with the county seat at Miercurea-Ciuc.-Demographics:In 2002, it had a population of 326,222 and a population density of 52/km².*Hungarians- 85%...

  • Hunedoara
    Hunedoara County
    Hunedoara is a county of Romania, in Transylvania, with its capital city at Deva.-Demographics:In 2002, it had a population of 485,712 and the population density was 69/km².*Romanians - 92%*Hungarians - 5%*Romas - 2%*Germans under 1%....

  • Maramureş
    Maramures County
    Maramureș is a county of Romania, in the Maramureș region. The county seat is Baia Mare.- History :* The 10th century frontier county of Borsova was founded by Stephen I of Hungary. Since then Máramaros served as the north-eastern border of the Hungarian Kingdom until 1920, the Trianon Peace...

  • Mureş
    Mures County
    Mureș is a county of Romania, in the historical region of Transylvania, with the administrative centre in Târgu Mureș.-Geography:The county has a total area of 6,714 km²....

  • Sălaj
    Salaj County
    Sălaj is a county of Romania, in the historical regions of Crișana and Transylvania, with the capital city at Zalău.-Geography:Sălaj county has a total area of ....

  • Satu Mare
    Satu Mare County
    Satu Mare County is a county of Romania. The capital city is Satu Mare. Besides Romanians , Satu Mare features a significant ethnic minority of Hungarians .-Demographics:...

  • Sibiu
    Sibiu County
    Sibiu is a county of Romania, in the historical region Transylvania, with the capital city Sibiu.-Demographics:In 2002, it had a population of 421,724 and the population density was 78/km²....

  • Timiş
    Timis County
    Timiș , , Banat Bulgarian: ) is a county of western Romania, in the historical region Banat, with the county seat at Timișoara. It is the largest county in Romania in terms of land area....



The most populous cities (as of 2002 census):
  • Cluj-Napoca
    Cluj-Napoca
    Cluj-Napoca , commonly known as Cluj, is the fourth most populous city in Romania and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest , Budapest and Belgrade...

     (317,953)
  • Timişoara
    Timisoara
    Timișoara is the capital city of Timiș County, in western Romania. One of the largest Romanian cities, with an estimated population of 311,586 inhabitants , and considered the informal capital city of the historical region of Banat, Timișoara is the main social, economic and cultural center in the...

     (317,660)
  • Braşov
    Brasov
    Brașov is a city in Romania and the capital of Brașov County.According to the last Romanian census, from 2002, there were 284,596 people living within the city of Brașov, making it the 8th most populated city in Romania....

     (284,596)
  • Oradea
    Oradea
    Oradea is the capital city of Bihor County, in the Crișana region of north-western Romania. The city has a population of 204,477, according to the 2009 estimates. The wider Oradea metropolitan area has a total population of 245,832.-Geography:...

     (206,614)
  • Arad
    Arad, Romania
    Arad is the capital city of Arad County, in western Romania, in the Crişana region, on the river Mureş.An important industrial center and transportation hub, Arad is also the seat of a Romanian Orthodox archbishop and features two universities, a Romanian Orthodox theological seminary, a training...

     (172,827)
  • Sibiu
    Sibiu
    Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, Romania with a population of 154,548. Located some 282 km north-west of Bucharest, the city straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt...

     (154,892)
  • Târgu Mureş (150,041)
  • Baia Mare
    Baia Mare
    Baia Mare is a municipality in northwestern Romania and the capital of Maramureş County. The city is situated about 600 kilometres from Bucharest, the capital of Romania, 70 kilometres from the border with Hungary and 50 kilometres from the border with Ukraine...

     (137,921)
  • Satu Mare (115,142)

Historical population



Official censuses with information on Transylvania's population have been conducted since the 18th century. On May 1, 1784 the Emperor Joseph II
Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor
Joseph II was Holy Roman Emperor from 1765 to 1790 and ruler of the Habsburg lands from 1780 to 1790. He was the eldest son of Empress Maria Theresa and her husband, Francis I...

 calls for the first official census of the Habsburg Empire
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

, including Transylvania. The data were published in 1787, and this census shows only the overall population (1,440,986 inhabitants). Fényes Elek, Hungarian statistician of the nineteenth century, estimated in 1842 that in the population of Transylvania years 1830-1840 the majority were 62.3% Romanians
Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

 and 23.3% Hungarians.

The first official census in Transylvania that made a distinction between nationalities (distinction made on the basis of mother tongue) was performed by Austro-Hungarian
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

 authorities in 1869, distributed among the ethnic groups as follows: Romanians 59.0%, Hungarians 24.9%, Germans
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 11.9%.

In the last quarter of the 19th century, the Hungarian population of Transylvania increased from 24.9% in 1869 to 31.6%, as indicated in the 1910 Hungarian census. In the same time, the percentage of Romanian population decreased from 59.0% to 53.8% and the percentage of German population decreased from 11.9% to 10.7%, for a total population of 5,262,495. Policies of Magyarization
Magyarization
Magyarization is a kind of assimilation or acculturation, a process by which non-Magyar elements came to adopt Magyar culture and language due to social pressure .Defiance or appeals to the Nationalities Law, met...

 greatly contributed to this shift.

The percentage of Romanian majority has significantly increased since the union of Transylvania with Romania after World War I in 1918. Indeed, the proportion of Hungarians in Transylvania is in steep decline as more of the region's inhabitants move into urban areas, where the pressure to assimilate and Romanianize is greater.

The expropriation of the estates of Magyar magnate
Magnate
Magnate, from the Late Latin magnas, a great man, itself from Latin magnus 'great', designates a noble or other man in a high social position, by birth, wealth or other qualities...

s, the distribution of the lands to the Romanian peasants, and the policy of cultural Romanianization
Romanianization
Romanianization or Rumanization is the term used to describe a number of ethnic assimilation policies implemented by the Romanian authorities during the 20th century...

 that followed the Treaty of Trianon
Treaty of Trianon
The Treaty of Trianon was the peace agreement signed in 1920, at the end of World War I, between the Allies of World War I and Hungary . The treaty greatly redefined and reduced Hungary's borders. From its borders before World War I, it lost 72% of its territory, which was reduced from to...

 were major causes of friction between Hungary and Romania. Other factors include the emigration of non-Romanian peoples, assimilation and internal migration within Romania (estimates show that between 1945 and 1977, some 630,000 people moved from the Old Kingdom
Romanian Old Kingdom
The Romanian Old Kingdom is a colloquial term referring to the territory covered by the first independent Romanian nation state, which was composed of the Danubian Principalities—Wallachia and Moldavia...

 to Transylvania, and 280,000 from Transylvania to the Old Kingdom, most notably to Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

).

Current population


The 2002 Romanian census classified Transylvania as the entire region of Romania west of the Carpathians. This region has a population of 7,221,733, with a large Romanian
Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

 majority (75.9%). There are also sizeable Hungarian (19.6%), Roma
Roma minority in Romania
The Roma constitute one of the major minorities in Romania. According to the 2002 census, they number 535,140 people or 2.5% of the total population, being the second-largest ethnic minority in Romania after Hungarians...

 (3.3%), German
Transylvanian Saxons
The Transylvanian Saxons are a people of German ethnicity who settled in Transylvania from the 12th century onwards.The colonization of Transylvania by Germans was begun by King Géza II of Hungary . For decades, the main task of the German settlers was to defend the southeastern border of the...

 (0.7%) and Serb (0.1%) communities. The ethnic Hungarian population of Transylvania, largely composed of Székely
Székely
The Székelys or Székely , sometimes also referred to as Szeklers , are a subgroup of the Hungarian people living mostly in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania, Romania...

, form a majority in the counties of Covasna
Covasna County
Covasna is a county of Romania, in Transylvania, with the capital city at Sfântu Gheorghe.-Demographics:In 2002, it had a population of 222,449 and the population density was 60/km².*Hungarians – 73.79% *Romanians – 23.28%...

 and Harghita
Harghita County
Harghita is a county in the center of Romania, in eastern Transylvania, with the county seat at Miercurea-Ciuc.-Demographics:In 2002, it had a population of 326,222 and a population density of 52/km².*Hungarians- 85%...

.

Economy


Transylvania is rich in mineral resources, notably lignite
Lignite
Lignite, often referred to as brown coal, or Rosebud coal by Northern Pacific Railroad,is a soft brown fuel with characteristics that put it somewhere between coal and peat...

, iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

, lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

, manganese
Manganese
Manganese is a chemical element, designated by the symbol Mn. It has the atomic number 25. It is found as a free element in nature , and in many minerals...

, gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

, copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

, natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

, salt
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

 and sulfur
Sulfur
Sulfur or sulphur is the chemical element with atomic number 16. In the periodic table it is represented by the symbol S. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow...

.

There are large iron and steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

, chemical, and textile
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

 industries. Stock raising, agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

 production and fruit growing are important occupations. Timber
Timber
Timber may refer to:* Timber, a term common in the United Kingdom and Australia for wood materials * Timber, Oregon, an unincorporated community in the U.S...

 is another valuable resource.

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.

Tourist attractions


  • Bran Castle
    Bran Castle
    Bran Castle , situated near Bran and in the immediate vicinity of Braşov, is a national monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia, on DN73...

    , also known as Dracula
    Dracula
    Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker.Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to relocate from Transylvania to England, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor...

    's Castle
  • The medieval cities of Alba Iulia
    Alba Iulia
    Alba Iulia is a city in Alba County, Transylvania, Romania with a population of 66,747, located on the Mureş River. Since the High Middle Ages, the city has been the seat of Transylvania's Roman Catholic diocese. Between 1541 and 1690 it was the capital of the Principality of Transylvania...

    , Cluj-Napoca
    Cluj-Napoca
    Cluj-Napoca , commonly known as Cluj, is the fourth most populous city in Romania and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest , Budapest and Belgrade...

    , Sibiu
    Sibiu
    Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, Romania with a population of 154,548. Located some 282 km north-west of Bucharest, the city straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt...

     (European Capital Of Culture-2007), Târgu Mureş and Sighişoara
    Sighisoara
    Sighişoara is a city and municipality on the Târnava Mare River in Mureş County, Romania. Located in the historic region Transylvania, Sighişoara has a population of 27,706 ....

     (the supposed birthplace of Vlad Dracula)
  • The city of Braşov
    Brasov
    Brașov is a city in Romania and the capital of Brașov County.According to the last Romanian census, from 2002, there were 284,596 people living within the city of Brașov, making it the 8th most populated city in Romania....

     and the nearby Poiana Braşov
    Poiana Brasov
    Poiana Braşov is the most popular Romanian ski resort and an important tourist centre preferred by many tourists not only from Romania, but also from Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and other European states....

     ski resort
  • The city of Hunedoara
    Hunedoara
    Hunedoara is a city in Hunedoara County, Transylvania, Romania. It is located in southeastern Transylvania near the Poiana Ruscă Mountains, and administers five villages: Boş, Groş, Hăşdat, Peştişu Mare and Răcăştia....

     with the 14th century Hunyadi Castle
  • The citadel and the Art Nouveau
    Art Nouveau
    Art Nouveau is an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that were most popular during 1890–1910. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art"...

     city centre of Oradea
    Oradea
    Oradea is the capital city of Bihor County, in the Crișana region of north-western Romania. The city has a population of 204,477, according to the 2009 estimates. The wider Oradea metropolitan area has a total population of 245,832.-Geography:...

  • The Densus Church
    Densus Church
    The Densuş Church in the village of Densuş, Hunedoara County, Romania is one of the oldest Romanian churches still standing....

    , the oldest church in Romania in which services are still officiated
  • The Dacian Fortresses of the Orăştie Mountains
    Dacian Fortresses of the Orastie Mountains
    Built in murus dacicus style, the six Dacian Fortresses of the Orăștie Mountains, in Romania, were created in the 1st centuries BC and AD as protection against Roman conquest....

    , including Sarmizegetusa
    Sarmizegetusa
    Sarmizegetusa Regia was the capital and the most important military, religious and political center of Dacians...

  • The Maramureş region including:
    • The Merry Cemetery of Săpânţa
      Merry Cemetery
      The Merry Cemetery is a cemetery in the village of Săpânţa, Maramureş county, Romania. It is famous for its colourful tombstones with naïve paintings describing, in an original and poetic manner, the persons that are buried there as well as scenes from their lives...

       (the only of that kind in the world)
    • The Wooden Churches
      Wooden Churches of Maramures
      The Wooden Churches of Maramureş in the Maramureş region of northern Transylvania are a group of almost one hundred churches of different architectural solutions from different periods and areas. They are Orthodox churches. The Maramureş churches are high timber constructions with characteristic...

    • The cities of Baia Mare
      Baia Mare
      Baia Mare is a municipality in northwestern Romania and the capital of Maramureş County. The city is situated about 600 kilometres from Bucharest, the capital of Romania, 70 kilometres from the border with Hungary and 50 kilometres from the border with Ukraine...

       and Sighetu Marmaţiei
      Sighetu Marmatiei
      Sighetu Marmației , formerly Sighet, is a city in Maramureş County near the Iza River, in north-western Romania. It administers five villages: Iapa, Lazu Baciului, Șugău, Valea Cufundoasă and Valea Hotarului.-Geography:...

      .
    • The villages on the Iza
      Maramures County
      Maramureș is a county of Romania, in the Maramureș region. The county seat is Baia Mare.- History :* The 10th century frontier county of Borsova was founded by Stephen I of Hungary. Since then Máramaros served as the north-eastern border of the Hungarian Kingdom until 1920, the Trianon Peace...

      , Mara
      Maramures County
      Maramureș is a county of Romania, in the Maramureș region. The county seat is Baia Mare.- History :* The 10th century frontier county of Borsova was founded by Stephen I of Hungary. Since then Máramaros served as the north-eastern border of the Hungarian Kingdom until 1920, the Trianon Peace...

      , and Viseu
      Maramures County
      Maramureș is a county of Romania, in the Maramureș region. The county seat is Baia Mare.- History :* The 10th century frontier county of Borsova was founded by Stephen I of Hungary. Since then Máramaros served as the north-eastern border of the Hungarian Kingdom until 1920, the Trianon Peace...

       Valleys.
  • The Saxon fortified churches
  • Romanian
    Folklore of Romania
    A feature of Romanian culture is the special relationship between folklore and the learned culture, determined by two factors. First, the rural character of the Romanian communities resulted in an exceptionally vital and creative traditional culture. Folk creations were the main literary genre...

     traditions and folk culture, ASTRA National Museum Complex
    ASTRA National Museum Complex
    "ASTRA" National Museum Complex is a museum complex in Sibiu, Romania, which gathers under the same authority four ethnology and civilisation museums in the city, a series of laboratories for conservation and research, and a documentation centre. It is the successor of the ASTRA museum that has...

    , Sibiu
    Sibiu
    Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, Romania with a population of 154,548. Located some 282 km north-west of Bucharest, the city straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt...

  • Hungarian traditions and folk culture
  • The cafe culture
    Coffeehouse
    A coffeehouse or coffee shop is an establishment which primarily serves prepared coffee or other hot beverages. It shares some of the characteristics of a bar, and some of the characteristics of a restaurant, but it is different from a cafeteria. As the name suggests, coffeehouses focus on...

    , street theatre
    Street theatre
    Street theatre is a form of theatrical performance and presentation in outdoor public spaces without a specific paying audience. These spaces can be anywhere, including shopping centres, car parks, recreational reserves and street corners. They are especially seen in outdoor spaces where there are...

     and cosmopolitan society
    Multiculturalism
    Multiculturalism is the appreciation, acceptance or promotion of multiple cultures, applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level, e.g...

     of Sibiu
    Sibiu
    Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, Romania with a population of 154,548. Located some 282 km north-west of Bucharest, the city straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt...

     and Cluj-Napoca
    Cluj-Napoca
    Cluj-Napoca , commonly known as Cluj, is the fourth most populous city in Romania and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest , Budapest and Belgrade...

  • The Apuseni Mountains:
    • Ţara Moţilor
      Tara Motilor
      Țara Moților , also known as Țara de Piatră is an ethnogeographical region of Romania in the Apuseni Mountains, on the superior basin of the Arieș and Crişul Alb River rivers...

    • The Bears Cave
      Pestera Ursilor
      Bear Cave , was discovered in 1975, by "Speodava", an amateur speleologist group, and is considered to be an interesting site-seeing location. The cave is located in the western Apuseni Mountains, on the outskirts of Chişcău Village, in Bihor County, Romania....

      , one of the most beautiful caves in Europe
    • Scarisoara Ice Cave, that has a gigantic and astonishing underground glacier, actually the third largest glacier cave in the world
  • The Rodna Mountains
    Rodna Mountains
    Rodna Mountains are a subdivision of the Eastern Carpathians in Northern Romania. The name comes from the nearby Rodna Veche village.The Rodna Mountains have one of the longest continuous ridges in Romania, with over 50 km from west to east...

    .

Film Festivals

  • ALTER-NATIVE - International Short Film Festival, Târgu-Mureş
    Târgu-Mures
    Târgu Mureș is the seat of Mureș County in the north-central part of Romania. As of January 1, 2009 the city had a population of 145,151 inhabitants, making it the 16th most-populated city in Romania.-Names and etymology:...

  • Astra Film Festival
    Astra Film Festival
    Astra Film Festival is an international film festival of documentary film and visual anthropology, organized biannually by Astra Film in Sibiu, Romania....

    , Sibiu
    Sibiu
    Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, Romania with a population of 154,548. Located some 282 km north-west of Bucharest, the city straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt...

  • Comedy Cluj
    Comedy Cluj
    Comedy Cluj is an international film festival of comedy film organized annually in October in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania.- History :The first edition of Comedy Cluj was held in 2009 and comprised 70 films coming from 19 countries as well as several workshops, street theater shows,...

    , Cluj-Napoca
    Cluj-Napoca
    Cluj-Napoca , commonly known as Cluj, is the fourth most populous city in Romania and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest , Budapest and Belgrade...

  • Gay Film Nights
    Gay Film Nights
    Gay Film Nights is an LGBT film festival organised annually in Cluj-Napoca, Romania by the LGBT association Be An Angel. By presenting a series of films with LGBT themes, it seeks to showcase LGBT culture and cinema, while also initiating a dialogue with other members of society...

    , Cluj-Napoca
    Cluj-Napoca
    Cluj-Napoca , commonly known as Cluj, is the fourth most populous city in Romania and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest , Budapest and Belgrade...

  • Transilvania International Film Festival
    Transilvania International Film Festival
    The Transilvania International Film Festival is a film festival held in Cluj-Napoca, Romania and established in 2001 by Romanian Film Promotion...

    , Cluj-Napoca
    Cluj-Napoca
    Cluj-Napoca , commonly known as Cluj, is the fourth most populous city in Romania and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest , Budapest and Belgrade...

  • Timishort, Timişoara
    Timisoara
    Timișoara is the capital city of Timiș County, in western Romania. One of the largest Romanian cities, with an estimated population of 311,586 inhabitants , and considered the informal capital city of the historical region of Banat, Timișoara is the main social, economic and cultural center in the...


Music Festivals

  • Festivalul Plai
    Festivalul Plai
    Festivalul Plai is a music festival taking place annually in Timişoara, Romania. The festival is hosted by Muzeul Satului Bănăţean, an outdoors ethnographic museum...

    , Timişoara
    Timisoara
    Timișoara is the capital city of Timiș County, in western Romania. One of the largest Romanian cities, with an estimated population of 311,586 inhabitants , and considered the informal capital city of the historical region of Banat, Timișoara is the main social, economic and cultural center in the...

  • Golden Stag Festival
    Golden Stag Festival
    The Golden Stag Festival is an annual international music festival held in Braşov, Romania. The main organiser is Televiziunea Română, Romania's state-run television network. The festival has two main components: an international contest and guest performances by both Romanian and foreign stars...

    , Braşov
    Brasov
    Brașov is a city in Romania and the capital of Brașov County.According to the last Romanian census, from 2002, there were 284,596 people living within the city of Brașov, making it the 8th most populated city in Romania....

  • Gărâna Jazz Festival
    Gărâna Jazz Festival
    Gărâna Jazz Festival is a music festival taking place annually in Gărâna, Romania.-2009 lineup:17 July Nik Bärtsch Ronin Terje Rypdal Group Jazz de Necaz Andrzej Jagodzinski Trio18 July ...

    , Gărâna
  • Peninsula / Félsziget Festival
    Peninsula / Félsziget Festival
    Peninsula / Félsziget is a music festival taking place annually in July or August in Târgu Mureş, Transylvania, Romania.- History :The first edition of the festival goes back to 2003...

    , Târgu-Mureş
    Târgu-Mures
    Târgu Mureș is the seat of Mureș County in the north-central part of Romania. As of January 1, 2009 the city had a population of 145,151 inhabitants, making it the 16th most-populated city in Romania.-Names and etymology:...

     - Romania's biggest music festival
  • Toamna Muzicală Clujeană
    Toamna Muzicala Clujeana
    Toamna Muzicală Clujeană is a classical music festival organised since 1965, by the Transylvania Philharmonic in Cluj-Napoca.-External links:*...

    , Cluj-Napoca
    Cluj-Napoca
    Cluj-Napoca , commonly known as Cluj, is the fourth most populous city in Romania and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest , Budapest and Belgrade...

  • Transilvania International Guitar Festival
    Transilvania International Guitar Festival
    The Transilvania International Guitar Festival is a guitar festival organized by the Transilvania Guitar Association and the Municipal House of Culture Cluj-Napoca in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. The Transilvania International Guitar Festival is opened to contestants of all ages and endeavours to promote...

    , Cluj-Napoca
    Cluj-Napoca
    Cluj-Napoca , commonly known as Cluj, is the fourth most populous city in Romania and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest , Budapest and Belgrade...


Historical coat of arms of Transylvania




The first heraldic representations of Transylvania date from the 16th century. One of the predominant early symbols of Transylvania was the coat of arms of Sibiu
Sibiu
Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, Romania with a population of 154,548. Located some 282 km north-west of Bucharest, the city straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt...

 city. In 1596 Levinus Hulsius
Levinus Hulsius
Levinus Hulsius or Levin Hulsius He was a maker and dealer of fine scientific instruments; publisher and printer; linguist and lexicographer; wrote extensively on the construction of geometrical instruments...

 created a coat of arms for the imperial province of Transylvania, consisting of a shield party per fess
Division of the field
In heraldry, the field of a shield can be divided into more than one area of different tinctures, usually following the lines of one of the ordinaries and carrying its name...

, with a rising eagle in the upper field and seven hills with towers on top in the lower field. He published it in his work "Chronologia", issued in Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Nuremberg[p] is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city. The population is 505,664...

 the same year. The seal from 1597 of Sigismund Báthory
Sigismund Báthory
Sigismund Báthory was Prince of Transylvania.-Biography:Hailing from the Báthory family's Somlyó branch, he was the son of Christopher Báthory, Voivod of Transylvania, and nephew of Stephen Báthory, King of Poland...

, prince of Transylvania, reproduced the new coat of arms with some slight changes: in the upper field the eagle was flanked by a sun and a moon and in the lower field the hills were replaced by simple towers.

The seal of Michael the Brave from 1600 depicts the territory of the former Dacian kingdom
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

: Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

, Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

 and Transylvania:
  • The black eagle (Wallachia
    Wallachia
    Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

    )
  • The auroch head (Moldavia
    Moldavia
    Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

    )
  • The seven hills (Transylvania).
  • Over the hills there were two rampant lions affronts, supporting the trunk of a tree, as a symbol of the reunited Dacian Kingdom
    Dacia
    In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

    .


The Diet
Transylvanian Diet
The Transylvanian Diet was the constitutional and political body of Principality of Transylvania, and later of the Grand Principality of Transylvania...

 of 1659 codified the representation of the privileged nations in Transylvania's coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

. It depicted a black turul
Turul
The Turul is the most important bird in the origin myth of the Magyars .It is a divine messenger, and perches on top of the tree of life along with the other spirits of unborn children in the form of birds...

 on a blue background, representing the Hungarian nobility, a Sun
Sun
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields...

 and the Moon
Crescent
In art and symbolism, a crescent is generally the shape produced when a circular disk has a segment of another circle removed from its edge, so that what remains is a shape enclosed by two circular arcs of different diameters which intersect at two points .In astronomy, a crescent...

 representing the Székely
Székely
The Székelys or Székely , sometimes also referred to as Szeklers , are a subgroup of the Hungarian people living mostly in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania, Romania...

s, and seven red towers on a yellow background representing the seven fortified cities of the Transylvanian Saxons
Transylvanian Saxons
The Transylvanian Saxons are a people of German ethnicity who settled in Transylvania from the 12th century onwards.The colonization of Transylvania by Germans was begun by King Géza II of Hungary . For decades, the main task of the German settlers was to defend the southeastern border of the...

. The red dividing band was originally not part of the coat of arms.

Currently, unlike the counties included in it, the region of Transylvania does not have its own official coat of arms. Nonetheless, the historical coat of arms is currently present in the coat of arms of Romania
Coat of arms of Romania
The coat of arms of Romania was adopted in the Romanian Parliament on 10 September 1992 as a representative coat of arms for Romania. It is based on the Lesser Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Romania , redesigned by Victor Dima. As a central element it shows a golden aquila holding a cross in its...

, alongside the traditional coats of arms of the rest of Romanian's historical regions.

Transylvania in fiction


Following the publication of Emily Gerard
Emily Gerard
Emily Gerard was a nineteenth century author best known for the influence her collections of Transylvanian folklore had on Bram Stoker's Dracula...

's The Land Beyond the Forest (1888), Bram Stoker
Bram Stoker
Abraham "Bram" Stoker was an Irish novelist and short story writer, best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula...

 wrote his gothic horror
Gothic fiction
Gothic fiction, sometimes referred to as Gothic horror, is a genre or mode of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance. Gothicism's origin is attributed to English author Horace Walpole, with his 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto, subtitled "A Gothic Story"...

 novel Dracula
Dracula
Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker.Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to relocate from Transylvania to England, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor...

 in 1897, using Transylvania as a setting. With the success of the later work, Transylvania became associated in the English-speaking world with vampire
Vampire
Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person...

s. Since then it has been represented in fiction and literature as a land of mystery and magic. For example, in Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist.-Biography:Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He attended a Jesuit school. As a teenager, Coelho wanted to become a writer. Upon telling his mother this, she responded with "My dear, your father is an engineer. He's a logical,...

's novel The Witch of Portobello
The Witch of Portobello
The Witch of Portobello is a fiction work by Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho published in 2007, about a woman born in Transylvania to a Romani mother, who is orphaned and later adopted by a wealthy Lebanese couple.-Style:...

, the main character, Sherine Khalil, is described as a Transylvanian orphan with a Romani mother, in an effort to add to the character's exotic mystique. The so-called Transylvanian trilogy of historical novels by Miklos Banffy
Miklós Bánffy
Count Miklós Bánffy de Losoncz was a Hungarian nobleman, politician, and novelist. His books include The Transylvanian Trilogy , and The Phoenix Land.The Bánffy family emerged in 15th century Transylvania and established itself among the foremost dynasties of the...

, The Writing on the Wall, is an extended treatment of the 19th and early 20th century social and political history of the country.

Juliet Marillier's young adult fiction Wildwood Dancing, takes place in Transylvania and gets into the folk stories plus the lifestyle of Transylvanians.

Further reading

  • Patrick Leigh Fermor
    Patrick Leigh Fermor
    Sir Patrick "Paddy" Michael Leigh Fermor, DSO, OBE was a British author, scholar and soldier, who played a prominent role behind the lines in the Cretan resistance during World War II. He was widely regarded as "Britain's greatest living travel writer", with books including his classic A Time of...

    , Between the Woods and the Water (New York Review of Books Classics, 2005; ISBN 1-59017-166-7). Fermor travelled across Transylvania in the summer of 1934, and wrote about it in this account first published more than 50 years later, in 1986.
  • Zoltán Farkas and Judit Sós, Transylvania Guidebook

External links