Transylvania, the Famous

The principality was the only European country where Roman Catholics, Calvinists, Lutherans, and Unitarians lived in mutual tolerance and the chief center of Hungarian culture and humanism, the main bulwark of Protestantism in East Europe.

At the time of the turkish wars (15th and 17th cent.) Transylvania and Hungary functioned as a bastion of the european civilisation.

The first observatory in Europe was founded in the 12th century at the city of Nagyvárad, by the way here went through the Meridian of Varadinum before Greenwich.

In the 14th century two Transylvanian Hungarian brothers, Márton and György Kolozsvári, were famous sculptors in Europe. Most of their works were demolished through the many wars, except the well known statue of St.George in the city of Prague, which is today recognized as one of the greatest monuments of Gothic sculpture.

During the most troubled times of Central European history, when the conflict between Catholicism and Protestantism set fire to the emotions, in Transylvania the Hungarian preacher and philosopher Ferenc Dávid (1535-1579) was able to found and establish the Unitarian Church, and persuade the Congress of Torda in 1568 to declare, for the first time in the world, the freedom of religion.

The Edict of Torda (1568) recognized four different religions in Erdély - the first to do so in Europe!

The first English-Tibetan dictionary was published in 1834 by a young Transylvanian Hungarian explorer, Sándor Kőrösi Csoma. The era between 1820 and 1867 is also regarded by many as the "golden age" of Hungarian national literature, brought forth by Habsburg oppression. Many of the great names in Hungarian literature were from Transylvania, such as Ferenc Kölcsey, János Arany, Mihály Tompa and others.

Elie Wiesel, awarded with the Congressional Medal of Freedom and with the Nobel Prize for Peace (1986), was born in the town of Máramarossziget (North-Transylvania).

Béla Bartók the great composer, pianist, and folklorist of the 20th century was born in Nagyszentmiklós (Sannicolau Mare).

and so on...

Transylvanian Folk Art

If we examine the folk art, which is the most telltale expression of early influences, we find that the embroideries and architecture of the Transylvanian Germans relates to the embroideries and architecture of those districts of Germany where these settlers came from in the 12th and 13th centuries. In the same way, the folk art of the Transylvanian Romanians is identical with those of Moldavia and Wallachia, and they clearly show the Slavic influences, the Bulgarian, Greek, and important Albanian motifs, picked up by the migrating Vlach herdsmen on their way from the Albanian border to their present location. On the other hand, the famous art creations of the Transylvanian Hungarians, like those of Kalotaszeg, Csík, Haromszék, Udvarhely carry a basic similarity with those of other parts of Hungary, and clearly relate back to ancient Turanian (Scythian) motifs of Sumeria and Babilon.