By Holger Wermke and Mateo Urquijo
Since being the European Cultural Capital in 2007, Sibiu has become especially well known far beyond Romanian borders. Previously, it had enjoyed renown as the Jewel of Southern Transylvania, though perhaps not quite as polished as the present moment. Five years later, the city still offers a broad cultural program throughout the year.
Like numerous other cities in the region, its origins can be found in a settlement founded by German colonists in the 12th century. Is is said that a certain Hermann was the leader of these settlers, so the village – initially mentioned in 1223 – was baptized and carries his name unofficially even today: Hermannstadt.