Romania has a cultural capital at Sibiu and Mărginimea has one at... Săliște. It would be unfair for Săliște not to be granted this title as many cultural personalities were born and worked here.
Even if today it is a town, in the past Săliște used to be a worthy mountain village. There is a story saying that back in those days there was a famous woman named Ciucuroaie in Săliște renowned for her unusual strength. She had been seen lifting carriages and carrying oxen on her shoulders. There are countless stories whose charm, however, comes mainly from listening to the elderly telling them in their home’s front yard.
The villagers of Săliște were mostly shepherds and because it used to be said that “a sheep’s route is a route of trade” the commerce also blossomed in the 19th century. Craftsmen and merchants of Transylvania, Oltenia and Muntenia would come to the general fairs from Săliște and this tradition still goes on today. The great-grandsons of these craftsmen have taken the tradition further and today we may visit the workshops of coopers, hatters or vest makers.
Today’s town… yesterday’s village… a uniquely quaint mix of urban and rural architecture: the central square with its urban buildings, brightly coloured modern villas, narrow cobbled streets and old-fashioned houses. If you are interested in knowing more about the local history and famous figures, visit the Săliște Culture Museum and The Orthodox Museum. If you wish to discover people, customs or traditions just take a walk on the beautiful streets and if it is a Sunday or a holiday, go to the church, you will find the entire community there.
If you visit Săliște on Christmas, you must not miss the Reunion of the Lads (Întâlnirea cetelor de Juni). It is a moving representation of traditional dancing and singing attended by all the youngsters from the villages of Mărginime. This is a good opportunity to admire the beauty of the folk costumes or even better the beauty of the girls from Mărginime.
If you are looking for fun and action then visit the Sălişte Agri-tourism Complex (the former villa of Nicu Ceauşescu) which provides guests a camping site, a pool and a sports field.
Did you know...?
In 1906 a girl from Sălişte was awarded the title of Miss Romania not only for her beauty but also for that of her folk costume made at Sălişte. She offered a similar costume to Queen Mary of Romania as a gift.
In 1884 a famous vest maker from Sălişte made a vest and a sheepskin coat for Queen Elisabeth of Romania as a gift.