Travel Planner: More of Sibiu – around the city and a bit of Marginimea Sibiului

We continue our trip to Sibiu with a short view of what’s to be seen around this beautiful city in Central Romania. More about Sibiu here and here

Paltinis

Paltinis is a touristic resort located at 32 km North – West from the city of Sibiu, being the highest (1,440 m altitude) and the oldest resort  in Romania. It was founded in 1894 by the Transylvanian Carpathian Society. The Paltinis resort preserves old villas and historic monuments such as the House of the Tourists (built in 1894), the House of the Doctors (built in 1895), the Monaco Hall (built in 1898), Romanian philosopher Constantin Noica’s house and the Hermitage, a wooden church built in 20th century, where Constantin Noica was buried.

Paltinis isn’t only a place full of monuments, it is also a resort where you will find snow six months a year and a very good skiing track on the Oncesti Mountain, which has a tele chair, a tele ski and a baby lift. Palitinis is a pointing start for touristic tracks in Cibin Mountains to Cibin Gorges, where there are also various hiking opportunities. The resort has plenty of hotels, villas, chalets, restaurants, bars and a new residential area. Tourists can get to Paltinis by bus and by car from the city of Sibiu.

Ocna Sibiului

Ocna Sibiului is located at an altitude of 400 meters, in the North West part of the depression of Sibiu, 15 kilometers from the city. Ocna Sibiului  was first mentioned in documents in 1263, but was inhabited from ancient times. Ocna Sibiului is a resort with high quality, salty waters whose therapeutic effect was discovered in 1598. The salty waters have healing properties for rheumatism, pre-arthritis and arthritis, as well as various gynecology illnesses.

Ocna Sibiului also has a chain of lakes : “The bottomless lake”, (declared monument of nature), “Deserted Ocna Lake” (the deepest anthropic – saline lake in Romania) and “Brâncoveanu Lake”, with the highest level of salinity in Ocna Sibiului, i.e. of 310 g/l. The Ocna Sibiului Spa was first officially opened in September 1846. In 2006, after revamping, the Ocna Sibiului Health & Spa was reopened. The restoring kept the original design from the Viennese architects who built it in th 19th century. Ocna Sibiului too is reachable from Sibiu by train, by car and by bus.

Marginimea Sibiului

Marginimea Sibiului is a very famous and unique ethnographic area in Romania. It lays in the west of Sibiu and includes 18 villages. Some of the most famous and well know of them are Rasinari, Saliste, Poiana Sibiului. Due its geopolitical position – at Southern border of Transylvania with Tara Romaneasca, and nearby the city of Sibiu, this region has an interesting mix of economical, traditional crafts and ethno-folkloric traditions.

Very relevant to the area is the ASTRA museum of Traditional Folk Civilization, considered the most famous ethnographic museum in Romania. It was created by the Transylvanian Association of Romania Literature and Culture of the Romanian People in 1861. The first exhibition of the ASTRA National Museum Complex was opened in August 1905 showing the need of Romanians from Transylvania, who lived in the multicultural Austro-Hungarian Empire, to define their national identity.

The ASTRA museum is located in the natural reservation of Dumbrava Sibiului, on the road between Rasinari village and Paltinis resort, 8 kilometers away from the centre of Sibiu. The museum is built in open air on a area of 40 hectares, being the largest open air ethnographic exhibition in Europe.

It has over 400 monuments of folk architecture from various parts of Romania, a museum of folk technology, a collection of mills, wooden churches, traditional homesteads and a collection of ethnographic heritage objects. The museum has six themed sectors and 36 thematic groups and subgroups. It is an authentic national cultural space where traditional fairs, folk festivals, specialized workshops, performances, religious ceremonies are also organized.

The surroundings of the museum are amazing, a very agreeable setting all seasons of the year.

In our next article, we’ll delve more into the beauties of Marginimea Sibiului.

By Mariana Ganea, Guest Writer

Mariana holds a PhD in Economics and she has been working in banking since 1991. Now, she is senior training consultant in banking and she is also freelance authorized trainer in soft skills and financial banking techniques. She studied banking techniques, communication, sales, NPL, coaching and transactional analysis. She is passionate about education, travel, history, politics, music, reading, movies, cultural events and photography.

The views expressed are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of Romania Insider.com.

(photo source and credits: Mariana Ganea)

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