This medieval Saxon city has become one of Europe’s official culture capitals, drawing attention to centuries-old buildings that were once ordered demolished during Romania’s communist period.
Sibiu, in the region of Transylvania, set off fireworks and held concerts and light shows to celebrate its designation, timed to coincide with Romania’s accession to the European Union on New Year’s Day.
“Sibiu shows clearly this year an important aspect of what Romania brings to the EU: its cultural contribution,” Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu said at inauguration of a newly built library.
Sibiu, also known by its German name of Hermannstadt, joined Luxembourg as an official European city of culture for 2007.
The European Parliament each year names the countries that hosts the European Capitals of Culture.
Authorities and private foundations have repaired Sibiu’s fortified wall, two towers and three fortresses, and renovated dozens of old buildings in the center.