Alba Iulia

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Alba Iulia
Coat of arms of Alba Iulia
Alba Iulia (Romania)
Paris plan pointer b jms.svg
Basic data
State : RomaniaRomania Romania
Historical region : Transylvania
Circle : Alba
Coordinates : 46 ° 4 '  N , 23 ° 35'  E Coordinates: 46 ° 4 '10 "  N , 23 ° 34' 30"  E
Time zone : EET ( UTC +2)
Height : 230  m
Area : 103.65  km²
Residents : 63,536 (October 20, 2011)
Population density : 613 inhabitants per km²
Postal code : 510118
Telephone code : (+40) 02 58
License plate : FROM
Structure and administration (as of 2016)
Community type : Municipality
Structure : Alba Iulia, Bărăbanț , Miceşti , Oarda , Pâclişa
Mayor : Mircea-Gheorghe Hava ( PNL )
Postal address : Calea Moților 5A
orașul Alba Iulia, jud. Alba, RO-510118
Website :
Aerial view of the old town (fortress) of Alba Iulia
Alba Iulia (Carlsburg) and fortress, in the Josephine land survey from 1769–1773.
Model construction of the heptagonal fortress

Alba Iulia ( pronunciation ? / I ; German Karlsburg or Weißenburg , Hungarian Gyulafehérvár ) is the capital of the Alba district in the Transylvania region . It is also the seat of the Central Romania planning region. Audio file / audio sample  

The place used to be known as Romanian Bălgrad, German Weißenburg and Balgrad, and Hungarian Erdélyifehérvár , Fehérvár and Fejérvár . The German name Karlsburg and the Hungarian Károlyfehérvár were only given in 1711 after Emperor Charles VI.

Geographical location

Gate I of the fortress
Gate III of the fortress
Gate IV of the fortress

The city of Alba Iulia is located in the west of the Transylvanian Basin, east of the Trascău Mountains (Munții Trascăului), at the confluence of the Ampoi in the Mureș (Mieresch) and the European route 81 and the Alba Iulia – Târgu Mureș railway . Alba Iulia is about 15 kilometers from Sebeş in the south and about 27 kilometers from Aiud in the north.



The area of ​​today's Alba Iulia belonged to Dacia until 107 AD . Since the center of the Dacian Empire was nearby, the Romans - after the occupation of Dacia - built the Castrum Apulensis here as an administrative center. During the next 160 years the settlement was named Apulum and developed into an administrative center for the gold and silver mines in the western Transylvanian Ore Mountains and the port of the Roman province of Dacia.

The settlement of the place goes back to the Neolithic Age . Finds of this kind were made in 1942 in an archaeological site in the northeast of the city, in Lumea Nouă .

During the imperial crisis of the 3rd century , the Romans withdrew from Apulum in 271. The city was devastated by the migrating people . One after the other, the area was inhabited by East Germanic tribes ( Ostrogoths , Gepids ) and semi-nomadic horsemen ( Avars and Hungarians ). Possibly as early as the 6th century, when the Slavs began to move into the region under Avar rule, they called the city Bălgrad (“white castle” or “the white city”) because of the white-painted buildings . At the latest when the southern Carpathian Basin came under Bulgarian rule , a revival of the strategically important fortress can be assumed. It served to monitor the salt trade.

Hungarian rule

The Hungarians took over the Slavic name and called it Fehérvár ("Weißenburg"). To distinguish between the various white castles in the territory of the Magyars (see: Székesfehérvár , Nándorfehérvár ) it was added after the Gyula resident there . Gyula was not a name at that time, but the title of the second most powerful Hungary before the Christianization of the Magyars. The German name Alba iulias Karlburg received White Castle after removal of the fortress under the Habsburg Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Charles VI.

The Gyulas ruled the southeastern Carpathian Basin from Alba Iulia since the 9th century. At the end of the 10th century, the Roman Catholic King Stephen I began to unite all Hungarian tribes and to promote the Christianization of the still partly pagan people. In 1003, Stephan I took the city of his uncle Gyula Prokuj, who, like his father Zsombor, had in vain orientated himself towards Byzantium . The eastern part of the Carpathian Basin became an integral part of the now Christian feudal kingdom of Hungary . The title Gyula was never given again, but has been preserved in the name of the city to this day.

With the completion of the borders of the Archdiocese of Weissenburg (Gyulafehérvár) on behalf of the Pope by the Bishop of Ostia, Weissenburg became the seat of the ecclesiastical organization of Transylvania in 1009. The first bishop of Weißenburg was Buldus (1009-1046), followed by Franco. In the 12th century Weißenburg received privileges from the Hungarian crown, but was devastated by a Tatar invasion in 1241 . For the reconstruction, Ladislaus IV , King of Hungary, donated the Turda salt mine (Thorenburg) to the cathedral chapter of Weissenburg .

Capital of Transylvania

After the occupation of Buda by Suleyman I and the collapse of the Hungarian kingdom , the city was from 1451 to 1690 the cultural and administrative center of the principality of Transylvania, which was under Ottoman rule. In between, the city was briefly (1599-1601) occupied by the Wallachian voivod Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave) and used as the seat of government.

In 1622 Gabriel Bethlen founded the first Transylvanian Protestant academy in Weißenburg , where the Silesian poet Martin Opitz taught. The founders of the Reformed Academy were Johann Heinrich Altsted (1588–1638) and Johann Heinrich Bisterfeld (1605–1655). Altsted and Bisterfeld had previously been professors at the Reformed High School in Herborn and recognized polymaths . With them, Philipp Ludwig Piscator (1575 / 1580–1656?) Came to Weißenburg. He was the son of the Reformed biblical scholar Johannes Piscator and also professor of theology at the high school. Today's Protestant Theological Institute (Reformed Department) in Klausenburg ( Cluj-Napoca ) sees Johann H. Altsted as its academic founder and sees itself as the successor to the former Reformed Academy Weissenburg. In addition to his academic work, Johann H. Bisterfeld was also a diplomat and Privy Councilor of Prince Georg I. Rákóczi of Transylvania . All three scholars worked in Weissenburg until their death.

Habsburg period

In the second half of the 17th century, the city was destroyed by the Turks and then by the imperial troops of Charles VI. occupied. After leveling many buildings on the area of ​​today's fortress, construction of the heptagonal fortress in Vauban style began in 1714 according to plans by Giovanni Morando Visconti on behalf of Prince Eugene of Savoy . From this time Weißenburg got the art name Karlsburg .

From 1761 to 1871, the mint of the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy was located in Karlsburg . In 1784 the trial and execution of the leaders of the peasant uprising of 1784 - Horea and Cloşca - took place in Alba Iulia .

United Romania

Resolution of Alba Iulia

Representatives of the Romanians in the collapsing Kingdom of Hungary met from November 18 to December 1, 1918 for a national assembly in Alba Iulia. They passed the "Resolution of Alba Iulia", in which they advocated joining Transylvania, the Banat and other previously Hungarian areas to Romania. This was confirmed in the Trianon contract ; It was Greater Romania . The Hall of Unity (Sala Unirii) and the Romanian National Day (Day of Great Unity) on December 1st commemorate this vote . In the course of these events, Alba Iulia became the district capital, seat of the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox bishops and the administrative and cultural center of the region. Most of the city administration buildings date from before the First World War . In 1922 Iulia Ferdinand I and Maria of Romania were crowned king and queen of the new Greater Romania in Alba . The Orthodox Cathedral was built for the occasion.

With the administrative reform of 1968 and the incorporation of municipalities, industrialization began in the city and new residential areas emerged.

Political and professional representatives of the Assembly of European Wine Regions ( AREV ; Assemblée des Régions Européennes Viticoles ) met on September 4, 2007 in Alba Iulia to work out a response to the Commission's proposals on wine market reform (see also the Mainz resolution ).


The population of the district capital Alba Iulia developed as follows:

census Ethnic composition
year population Romanians Hungary German other
1850 9.122 5,840 1,276 760 1,246
1900 16,560 9,628 5,416 1,343 173
1930 12,282 7,862 2,034 545 1,841
1966 24,388 22,275 1,318 501 294
1992 71,168 66,678 2,516 461 1,513
2002 66,406 62,722 1,836 217 1,631
2011 63,536 55,671 1.010 115 6,740

The highest population of Alba Iulia - and at the same time that of the Romanians - was determined in 1992, that of Hungarians (5418) in 1910, that of Germans in 1900 and that of Roma (1475) in 2002. In 1900 and 1910 102 and 65 residents in Alba Iulia, respectively, declared themselves Czechs . Serbs (highest population 12 in 1900 and 1910), Ukrainians (highest population 38 in 1930) and Slovaks (highest population 45 in 1930) were also recorded in almost every census .

In 2011, among others, apart from the inhabitants listed with ethnicity in the table, 1,119 declared themselves to be Roma, 38 as Italians, 19 as Jews, 13 as Turks, 9 as Lipovans, 7 as Tschangos, 6 as Greeks, 5 each as Bulgarians and Poles, 4 each as Chinese and Ukrainians and 3 as Croatians.

Politics and religion

coat of arms

The current city coat of arms of Alba Iulia consists of the shield and the seven-tower wall crown on which an eagle with a cross in its beak is enthroned. The crown of Romania is shown in the upper field of the shield. It is intended to commemorate Romania's so-called War of Independence in 1877 and the unification of Transylvania with Romania in 1918 . The lower part of the shield is divided into three fields - in the colors of the Romanian flag . In the left field, the symbol of Wallachia - the golden eagle with the cross in its beak between the sun and the moon - is shown on a blue background; in the middle two red lions on a yellow background, holding a sword and standing on a black mountain; on the right the coat of arms of the Principality of Moldova (the bull's head with a pentagonal star between the horns, on the right a bright ray, on the left the moon) on a red background.

City leaders and city council

The mayor of the city is Mircea-Gheorghe Hava.

The vice-mayors are Paul Voicu (PDL) and Pavel Dorin Şerdean (PP-DD).

The city council (Consiliul Local), whose composition is elected every four years, consists of 21 members. After the 2012 election, the council will be composed as follows:

  • Partidul Democrat Liberal (PDL, Democratic Liberal Party ) with 10 seats
  • Uniunea Social Liberală (USL, Social Liberal Union ) with 9 seats
  • Partidul Poporului - Dan Diaconescu (PP-DD, People's Party Dan Diaconescu ) with 2 seats


On April 8, 1994 György Jakubinyi was appointed Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Alba Iulia (name of the diocese since 1932, previously Diocese of Transylvania ) by Pope John Paul II . Worth mentioning is the imposing and historically and art-historically very important Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Michael (not far from the Orthodox Cathedral and the building complex of the Orthodox diocese). It dates from the 13th century and houses the remains of several Transylvanian princes in its crypts.

Here is also the cathedral of the reunification of the nation of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese for the area of ​​the districts of Alba and Mureș with Archbishop Irineu (status: 2011) and the first Romanian Orthodox social service (now: Filantropia) in Transylvania, which was founded in 1996 . Since then, this has been one of the permanent partners of the voluntary Malteser Hilfsdienst (foreign service) of the Diocese of Trier , which has been working in Alba Iulia since January 1990. To this day, joint social projects in the areas of Kindernothilfe and health care are carried out here.

Parts of the Lorsch Gospel are in the branch of the Romanian National Library in Alba Iulia .

See also: Synagogue (Alba Iulia)

Town twinning

Alba Iulia lists the following fourteen twin cities :

city country since
Alcalá de Henares SpainSpain Madrid, Spain 2002
Alessandria ItalyItaly Piedmont, Italy 2008
Arnsberg GermanyGermany North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany 1974
Biograd na Moru CroatiaCroatia Dalmatia, Croatia 2011
Chișinău Moldova RepublicRepublic of Moldova Moldova 2011
Düzce TurkeyTurkey Turkey 2001
Egio GreeceGreece West Greece, Greece 2001
Lanzhou China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China Gansu, People's Republic of China 2010
Nof HaGalil IsraelIsrael Israel 1994
San Benedetto del Tronto ItalyItaly Marche, Italy 2001
Sliven BulgariaBulgaria Bulgaria 2002
Székesfehérvár HungaryHungary Central Transdanubia, Hungary 1994
Varese ItalyItaly Lombardy, Italy 2003
Viadana ItalyItaly Lombardy, Italy 2006

The partnership with Arnsberg from May 18, 1974 is the oldest partnership between two cities in Germany and Romania.


With Unirea Alba Iulia , a football club from Alba Iulia plays in the third highest Romanian league (as of 2017).


Images of the Alba Carolina fortress


sons and daughters of the town

Connected to the city

  • Johann Heinrich Alsted (1588–1638) was a Reformed theologian, philosopher, pedagogue and polyhistor who taught at the Weißenburg Academy from 1629 until his death.
  • Martin Opitz von Boberfeld (1597–1639), was a German poet, taught from 1621 to 1623 at the invitation of Bethlen Gábor at the Weißenburg Academy and wrote the Dacia antiqua here .
  • Johann Heinrich Bisterfeld (1605–1655) was a Reformed theologian, philosopher, pedagogue and polyhistor who taught at the Weißenburg Academy from 1629 until his death.
  • David Friesenhausen (1750-1828) was a mathematician and Talmud scholar who died in Alba Iulia.
  • Ignaz Lenk von Treuenfeld (1766–1842), was a kk Feldmarschallleutnant and author of scientific publications, was from 1823 to 1834 fortress commander in Karlsburg and author of a well-known four-volume lexicon about Transylvania (Transylvania geograph.- topograph.- statist.- hydrograph. And orograph . Lex., 4th vol., 1839).


Web links

Commons : Alba Iulia  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. 2011 census in Romania ( MS Excel ; 1.3 MB)
  2. ↑ Mayoral elections 2016 in Romania ( MS Excel ; 256 kB)
  3. ^ Dictionary of localities from Transylvania
  4. List of historical monuments of the Romanian Ministry of Culture, updated 2010 (PDF; 7.10 MB)
  5. Mihai Gligor: Information on the Lumea Nouă site from Alba Iulia, accessed on December 29, 2010 (Romanian; PDF file; 183 kB)
  6. Heinz Heltmann, Gustav Servatius (Ed.): Travel Guide Siebenbürgen. Kraft-Verlag, Würzburg 1993, ISBN 3-8083-2019-2 .
  7. Michael Weber: In Johann Heinrich Altsted's footsteps . In: Reformed Church Newspaper (RKZ) . tape 7 . Neunkirchener Verlag, Neunkirchen 1995, p. 299 ff .
  8. Visit Alba Iulia. In: 2014, accessed on July 29, 2019 .
  9. Statement of the AREV from 3. – 5. September 2007, on the reform of the wine market regime ( Memento from February 29, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  10. Census, last updated October 30, 2008, p. 2 (Hungarian; PDF file; 1.14 MB)
  11. Approval of the city arms of Alba Iulia dated December 23, 2003, on, accessed on February 24, 2015 (Romanian)
  12. Oraşe înfrăţite cu Alba Iulia. Retrieved February 15, 2017 .
  13. ^ Sister cities on the Arnsberg website