Sibiu, Romania: The Capital City of My Heart – Lower Town

As I passed under the Council Tower after visiting the Upper Town of Sibiu, I walked towards the Lower Town to Piaţa Mica deeper into the city of Sibiu, my love deepened.

Piata Mica

Piata Mica

Don't the building's eyes look heavy? They need an afternoon nap.

When you walk out onto Piaţa Mica  you see more terraces and the Arts House beside the Liars’ Bridge. In the Arts House you can find just that, Romanian arts including hand-painted clay pottery, traditional clothing and decorations for the house among other must-have souvenirs.

Liars Bridge from below

Liars' Bridge- view from below

Arts House

Arts House

Arts House

Inside the Arts house - there are 4 rooms

After spending a good hour looking in the Arts House, you can stand on the Liars’ Bridge. Legend has it that if you ask someone (often a lover) a question and they lie, the bridge will break. Lined with pink flowers and artistic cast iron railings, you could stand on top and under the bridge taking photos from all angles. There is also a great café on the other side of the bridge. It’s a perfect spot to enjoy a cool drink under the shade of the umbrellas in the heat of the afternoon. You might even get lucky and see storks in their nest atop a medieval building.

Liars Bridge

Liar's Bridge

view from Liar's Bridge

View of Piata Mica from Liar's Bridge

Storks

Storks

View of Lower Town from Liar's Bridge

If you come back at nightfall, the café places round tables fit for two along either side of the bridge where couples can enjoy a romantic moment in candle light while listening to a live pianist woo you with the sweet sounds of summer evenings. Can anyone say perfect proposal spot?

Traveler’s Tip (for men): Gentlemen, plan your proposals on the Liar’s Bridge in Sibiu rather than the Eiffel Tower. It will ooze romance and you will be sure to get extra points for creativity and you can even ask you future fiancé an important question before you propose and if she lies, well, the bridge will break and you will have saved yourself before getting down on one knee. If, it doesn’t break, then maybe you could ask the storks nearby to bring you a baby.

After enjoying time on the Liar’s Bridge, you can take the stairs down to the Lower Town. The medieval architecture alone is enough to keep you wandering the wide streets for the rest of the day. You will see the rustic gates for nearly every house, which lead to an inner courtyard. If you have the chance, sneak a peak through the cracks in the wood.

Make sure you see the Holy Trinity (Orthodox) Cathedral – the most awe-inspiring cathedral I’ve seen in all of Europe. From the outside its impressive as are the intricate carvings on the big wood doors, but when I stepped inside I literally lost my breath. I was stunned and I stop and my head whirled around to admire all of the paintings. Every inch of space from the floor to the roof is covered in paint or decoration. Andrei Şaguna (Metropolitan Bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Transylvania) asked Emperor Franz Joseph I (Austria) for permission to raise funds. The Emperor along with governor of Transylvania were the first to make donations in 1857. Work on the cathedral began in 1902 and finished in 1904. Now the Byzantine-style Cathedral stands as a jewel and its magnificence is hard to turn your back on. I didn’t want to leave.

Cathedral

Side door to the Cathedral - check out that wood carving!

Cathedral interior

Walking in the sweet warmth and being greeted by the beauty of the orange, pink and yellow scared buildings was comforting. There is a stairway that leads to the one of the multiple walls built around the city. Sibiu was one of the most important fortified cities in Central Europe. The wall, like the buildings, streets and museums are so well preserved that it feels like you are walking on same streets that the people walked on centuries ago. The walls and towers are connected by a labyrinth of tunnels and passageways designed to ensure transport between the city and its lines of defense.

Back of the Cathedral

Another area that cannot be missed is the Passage of the Stairs. It descends to the lower part of the town and as you walk down the steps, you can see the plaques (probably placed there in 2007 when it was Europe’s Capital of Culture). The plaques tell you which century the houses were built in and what function they used to have. I was pleased that they kept these plaques on the walls throughout the city even after 2007 because it’s so nice to read and know exactly just how old the buildings are.

Walking through this area made me feel very tall because the houses are so short. I know that in general people were much shorter centuries ago than they are now, but you can only visualize how different people and life was back then when you walk through the depths of a medieval town.

Make sure you stay long enough to see Sibiu at night because a whole new beauty is revealed. Having a traditional Romanian meal in Piaţa Mica while the sun sets and then meandering around the dark cobblestoned passageways, lit by lamps on the walls is the best ending.

perfect "Europe at night" photo

Sibiu captured my heart within a few short hours and I when I look back at the pictures, I feel the same joy and warmth as I did during my visit. We will meet again Sibiu. We will meet again.

So who wants to go to Sibiu?

Until next time,
Nicole

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© Nicole Basaraba. Content and photos.

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About Nicole Basaraba

Nicole Basaraba is a Canadian writer focusing on topics of travel (Mondays), writing and literature (Wednesdays), lifestyle (Fridays) and her experiences living in the capital city of Europe: Brussels, Belgium.
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18 Responses to Sibiu, Romania: The Capital City of My Heart – Lower Town

  1. Oh, gosh, Nicole. I want to be there! Great story about the liar’s bridge. Absolutely wonderful pics.

  2. Minna says:

    Great blog with very nice pictures!

  3. wundiverse says:

    Love the pics, especially the sunset ones. Sibiu was the place I wish I’d got to in Romania, but the weather gods conspired against me. I did make it to Sighisoara, which was pretty spectacular. Will just have to go back I suppose!

  4. Those stairs–and the street. How does anyone traverse something so steep!I’ll never complain about the hill outside my front door again.

  5. *waves hand frantically* I want to go to Sibu. I live i Tucson AZ and the oldest building is maybe 200 years old. To see the antiquity and beauty of Sibu is amazing.

  6. Rose says:

    Beautiful post, and not just because it is a piece of Romania, but you manage to capture these beautiful places in such a great way! Loved to read about it, it’s been a while since I’ve been there, thank you for reminding me how much magic this city has.

  7. Marcia says:

    Beautiful pics, Nicole! it sounds like a great place to visit. What is a traditional Romanian meal? And I’ve been curious for some time as to what prompted you to move to Belgium. Must be such fun exploring!

    • Ahh Marcia, good question. There are lots of traditional Romanian meals, but my favorite is fasole cu carnati (which in English is beans and sausages). There is a restaurant in the Piata Mica in Sibiu that has the best fasole cu carnati I’ve ever tasted.

  8. Romanian food is completely different than English or German. Romanian’s LOVE meat. They eat a lot of it and they eat a lot of greasy meats and use oil in just about everything they cook. Romanian sausage is red and very tasty. I think the sausages in Sibiu I had were smoked and then grilled to perfection. They use white beans and stew them in a tomato sauce. yumm.

  9. Marcia says:

    Delish! Thanks, Nicole!

  10. Hartford says:

    Stunning. It’s so wonderful to be able to explore another part of the world that I hadn’t even known or thought about from your perspective sitting at my computer. It’s a delicious treat and your ahhhmazing photography totally transports me to this other world. Thanks for sharingg!

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