The following article appeared in the Wall Street Journal in 2007, the year that Sibiu served as one of Europe’s two cultural capitals. Parts of the text are out of date, but the sections about the city’s history and sights still read as fresh as ever. Sibiu really is a great antidote for skeptics (are there still are a few) who somehow don’t believe Romania has earned its membership yet in the European Union.
Although Sibiu’s recorded history goes back eight centuries, a stroll through this city’s broad, handsome squares and neat, cobblestoned alleys, in many ways, feels like a glimpse into Romania’s happier future.
The sheer anarchy of a place like Bucharest makes you wonder if the European Union didn’t maybe bite off more than it could chew this time around, when it took in both Romania and Bulgaria as members in January (eds: 2007). The social fabric of the capital seems so shorn apart, you wonder if it can ever be knit back together. Read More →