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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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