The region of Transylvania, Romania
(‘beyond the forest’ – the literal meaning of Transylvania)
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania, surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains. It is over one-third of the territory of Romania, near 100,000 square kilometers of wild mountains, lush pastures, wildflower meadows, lakes and gorges. It is home to some of Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns, fortresses, and as well as some of the last surviving traditional villages in Europe where people still make a living as shepherds, weavers, blacksmiths and carpenters. With its snowy peaks, pristine mountain lakes, pine forests, rich wildlife, and highly varied flora and fauna Transylvania is one of the most undisturbed and wild areas of Europe.
The medieval cities, castles, and fortified churches of Transylvania contribute to its charm, and are living remnants of the area’s colorful, turbulent, and ancient history.
Considering the small territory of Transylvania, the variety of sites to see is endless considering both their genre and variety, therefore we can safely state that Transylvania holds one of the largest concentration of different types of attractions in Europe.
Due to its varied history the population of Transylvania is ethnically, linguistically, culturally and religiously diverse. The people of Transylvania belong to various ethnic groups (such as Romanian, Hungarian, German) have different traditions, folk dresses, foods, and languages, but they all have one thing in common: an extremely archaic lifestyle, deeply rooted in ancient tradition and history. The originality and uniqueness of its people makes Transylvania an interesting, and in many ways, pleasantly challenging and charming place to visit.
Food & Wines of Transylvania
Transylvania might not have a world-famous cuisine, but this is just a side effect of centuries of isolation. The food of these areas is prepared by traditional methods from locally produced bio-ingredients, everyday dishes bring on tastes of great complexity. Combining the cooking methods of many different ethnic groups provides for a cuisine of large variety in dishes and excellence in taste. Mixing high-grade, gourmet ingredients and refined techniques with the ancient ways of cooking on wood-burning inside and outside stoves, and on open fire, provides for some of the best dishes in the world.
Transylvanians - among whom the Szeklers and Saxons - are not only artisans in producing fragrant, pleasant and light wines, but also sophisticated double-distilled liquors: pálinka, horinca and rachie. These are made of fruits, particularly plums, apples, and pears, aged in mulberry tree barrels, acquiring a golden color and a taste often rivaling whisky.
Transylvania's vineyards produce high-quality white-wines, combining successfully the local-traditional methods with new technology. The wines produced here are noble and also original, with nuances of taste and smell you can't find elsewhere in the world.