Alba Iulia displays a powerful legacy throughout the Transylvanian history: Romans' "Apulum", Habsburgs' "Alba Carolina" (White Carolina) citadel, the city chosen to proclaim Transylvania's Unification with Romania.
Alba Iulia is the capital of the Alba county, located in the heart of Romania, and it is considered the spiritual capital of the country. The city was developed on the ancient Dacian site of Apoulon, conquered by the Romans in the IInd century A.D. and re-named Apulum.
From 1599 to 1601, Alba Iulia was the capital of the United Principalities of Walachia, Transylvania and Moldavia. It was the city designated to proclaim Transylvania's Unification with Romania (1 December 1918) and where the coronation of King Ferdinand took place in 1922.
The Alba Carolina Citadel was built by Carol VI, Holy Roman Emperor between 1714 and 1738 and it is considered to be the most impressive and one of the largest Baroque Vauban-type citadel in SE Europe, especially due to its triumphal gates that allowed the access into the big fortress. The fortification has seven star-shaped bastions or bulwarks (Eugene of Savoia, St. Stefan, The Trinity, St. Michael, St. Carol, St. Capistrano and St. Elisabeth).
In the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries the fortress served as military headquarters of Transylvania and as a general weapons repository. It was one of the most powerful citadels in SE Europe and served to withstand the Turkish invaders from Central Europe.
In the Old Town the tourists can stroll along the large streets of the citadel, to discover the interesting history, culture and architecture of Alba Iulia: the Roman Catholic Cathedral – the oldest architectural monument in Transylvania, the Batthyaneum Library, the Orthodox Reunification Cathedral, the Babilon Building (National Museum of Unification), the Union Hall, the Apor Palace, the Princely Palace, and the University of Alba Iulia.
Alba Iulia is a good starting point for exploring the Apuseni Mt. and Retezat Mt. parks, places full with natural attractions & outdoor adventures opportunities.