Sibiu’s district is situated near the geographical center of Romania, set in the South part of Transylvania, in the North part of Meridional Carpathian Mountains in Transylvanian Highland, giving this district a mountainous aspect.
Here you can find Fagarasului Mountains,the highest Romanian mountains of about 2200-2500 m (Vartopu, Vanatoarea lui Buteanu, Paltinu, Laița, Negoiu, Ciortea, Scara, Suru).
Defileul (Defile) Oltului with a 12 km length in Sibiu, represents an important railway and road that assures the access to the South part of Sibiu.Cindrelului and Lotrului Mountains are easier to access than Fagarasului Mountains.
In the north part of these mountains, the rivers have made corridor hollows. Their components, as Fagarasului subalpine and Sibiului subalpine, with the western extensions named Saliștii Depression and Apoldului Depression, are characterized by a specific way of communities’ settlement and land using.
You can find depressions as contact areas between the mountains and Transylvania’s Highland. The western extension of the mountains has formed Salistei and Apoldului Depressions that assure the liaison by Visei corridor with Sibiu and Tarnava Mare Valley.
Fagarașului Depression, known as Oltului County, is a very contoured geographical unit, between the South Mountains and the North Highland.
Sibiului Depression is situated at the right of Olt River and it appears as a contact-depression developed in the North side, having an increased asymmetrical appearance.
Because of the expansion of the river accumulation, a number of villages have been settled down along Cibin: Talmaciu, Veștem, Mohu, Cristian village or at the foot of the mountains, towards the exit, villages as Talmacel, Sadu, Cisnadioara, Rașinari, Poplaca, Gura Raului.
Apoldului Depression, as a fact, represents the central part of Secașelor basin from which a small part finds itself on Sibiu County’s territory. This depression asymmetrically connects to Saliștei Depression through a series of down-hills where one can find Aciliului Valley, Amnașului Valley and Cernavoda stream.
This depression relates Fagarașului County to Mureș River. Along and around these rivers there are the following villages: Miercurea Sibiului, Apoldu de Jos, Ludoș and also Aciliu, Apoldu de Sus, Amnaș, Dobarcaș.
Tarnavelor Highland is located in the North part of the depression, under the mountains, being strongly fragmented; therefore it had formed hilly massifs or separated groups of hilly massifs.
Hartibaciului Highland is formed by the territorry between Tarnava Mare and Olt River, the name comes from the most important river that crosses the district.
Secașelor Highland is situated between, on one hand, the depressions Saliștei and Apoldului, and on the other hand, Tarnavei Mari Valley.
One of the region’ characteristics is the presence of fortified churches from XIIth – XVIth Centuries that exists in almost all villages and boroughs colonized by a German population known as Saxon population.
The highest fortified-church frequency is in Sibiu’s region divided during the XIVth Century in 7 thrones: Orastie, Sebes, Miercurea, Sibiu, Nocrich, Cincu and Rupea, but also with the towns around Medias, from the 2 thrones: Medias and Seica Mare.
Unlike other Western European fortifications, the churches – fortifications from the south-eastern Transylvania weren’t permanently inhabited. They had sacramental and accommodation functions and also acted as a defence in times of danger.
Permanent tourist resort situated at 32 km South-West from Sibiu, at an altitude of 1442 m, in a forest in Cindrel’s Mountains. It was built by the Transylvanian Carpathian Association in the last decay of the XIXth Century. The resort kept the appearance of it’s initial times: the Tourists’ House (Casa Turistilor ) from 1894, Doctors’ House (Casa medicilor) from 1895 and Monaco Salon ( Sala Monaco) from 1898, and also a villa that was declared historical monument.
It was attested for the first time in 1263 even if the region is inhabited from Dacians period. The resort was “officially opened” in 1846 and in 1909 the central pavilion was finished, an architectural complex in Jugend, still with a remarkable value. From 1948 Ocna Sibiului became a permanent spa resort.
Marginimea Sibiului is an ethnographical area, unique in Romania, west of Sibiu, bounded in the South by Sadului Valley and in North by Salistei River Valley. The area includes 18 localities: Boita, Sadu, Raul Sadului, Talmaciu, Talmacel, Rasinari, Poplaca, Gura Raului, Orlat, Fantanele, Sibiel, Vale, Saliste, Gales, Tilisca, Rod, Poiana Sibiului and Jina.
There are old habitations with Romanian population as a majority. The oldest is Rasinari, from 1204, than Talmaciu from 1318, Orlat from 1322 and Saliste from 1354. This area is characterised by sheep raising, sheepherder has been for century the tradition for these places, especially in the villages from the North-West part.
The oldest painted church from 1674 is in Saliste, succeeded by the wood churches from 1771 in Poiana Sibiului and from 1776 in Talmacel. Icon painting is also a 200 years-tradition here, therefore the icon museum from Sibiel is the biggest from Europe.