10 Great Figures of Sibiu
Ion Besoiu (n.1931), actor
He has worked at the Sibiu State Theatre for 16 years (currently the Radu Stanca National Theatre) and during this time he also started his movie career. He starred in many movies and for this in 2002 he was awarded the Prize of Excellence of Romanian Cinematography.
In 2001 he was declared a citizen of honour of the city of Sibiu.
Lucian Blaga (1895-1961), writer and philosopher
He was born in 1895 at Lancrăm, in the county of Alba to a family of orthodox priests. He studied philosophy and biology at Sibiu, Oradea and then at Vienna where he got his Ph. D. in 1920.
In 1936 he became a member of the Romanian Academy and between 1926 and 1936 he was Romania’s cultural attaché and press adviser in several European capitals. In 1936 he was appointed state sub-secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in 1938 he was appointed a plenipotentiary ambassador of Romania to Portugal where he stayed until 1939. At Sibiu he was very active in the cultural and literary life, he published a lot of works and had a lot of university-related activities. Nowadays, the University of Sibiu bears his name.
Samuel von Brukenthal (1721-1803), governor of Transylvania
He is born at Nocrich, near Sibiu to a noble family of the Nocrich top aristocracy. After his studies, he becomes a provincial chancellor in Vienna. Returned to Sibiu in 1745 he joins the local Administration Chancellery and his highest function will be that of vice-notary of Sibiu. A couple of years later he becomes the personal adviser of Empress Maria Teresa and the head of the Imperial Court Chancellery (1765).
Since 1777 he is appointed governor of Transylvania. In this period he becomse known in the Hapsburg Empire for his art collections and for the palace he built in Sibiu’s Large Square.
Emil Cioran (1911-1995), philosopher
He was born at Răşinari, near Sibiu in 1911. He studied philosophy at Bucharest and Berlin and then he settled in Paris with a scholarship. The instauration of the communist regime in Bucharest determined Cioran to remain in the French capital for good.
In Paris he entered the world of Romanian and Parisian intellectuals together with famous philosophers like Mircea Eliade, Paul Celan or Samuel Becket.
He made his debut in 1934 with the work “On the Heights of Despair”. In 1945, in Paris he published his last book in Romanian entitled “The Passionate Handbook”. Four years later he published his first work in French - “A Short History of Decay”. Between 1960 and 1969 he published numerous other works and philosophy treaties and in 1990 he conducted a series of interviews with Gabriel Liiceanu. He was awarded several prizes for his works, the first being the Rivarol prize for “A Short History of Decay”.
Octavian Goga (1881-1938), writer and politician
He was born at Răşinari, near Sibiu to a family of Aromanian. He wrote a lot of poetry and drama and he became known to Transylvanian Romanians due to his unionist and anti-imperial articles. After the Great Union of 1918 he served several mandates as a member of parliament and in 1937 he was elected prime-minister.
Gheorghe Lazăr (1779-1823), man of culture
He was the founder of the first higher Romanian school in Bucharest and released the first Mathematics Handbook in Romanian, the first Trigonometry Handbook and a series of survey works.
He was buried in his hometown, Avrig. In Sibiu’s Large Square you will see his bronze statue and in the Astra Park there a representation of his bust.
Nicolae Lupu (1921-2001), historian
In 1948 as a director of the Brukenthal Museum he restored the Brukenthal Palace, organised the restoration-conservation labs and published numerous works. In the same period he also discovered the famous Dacian fortress from Tilişca. Nicolae Lupu was also the founder of the Romanian Academy office in Sibiu, in 1956.
In 1969 he set the basis of the School of Philology and History from Sibiu, as a department of the University of Cluj. He published over 150 works and studies.
Did you know? Nicolae Lupu is considered one of the most important Romanian specialists in the history of Dacians and Romans.
Hermann Oberth (1894-1989), scientist
He is considered one of the fathers of world astronautics. He invented the concept of multistage fuel burning and the “Oberth effect”. Throughout his life he published numerous specialised works and studies about alternative energies.
Did you know? There is a crater on the Moon named after him? The Space Museum from Feucht, Germany, bears his name.
Andrei Şaguna (1809-1873), theologian
Baptised a Catholic, he converted to Orthodoxy in 1826. He became a monk, took the name of Andrei and became a professor of the Carlowitz seminar and then at Vârşeţ.
In Sibiu he was appointed a general vicar and two years later he became bishop of Transylvania. In 1850 he organised the first Congress of the Transylvanian Church and inaugurated the diocese printing house which is still operational. He was the orthodox metropolitan bishop of Transylvania.
From 1853 onwards he published “The Romanian Telegraph”, the oldest paper in Romania which is still active today. In 1855 he set the basis of the Theology Institute in Sibiu, the current School of Theology. Besides this seminar, Şaguna created other 800 confessional schools and orthodox gymnasiums. He printed more than 20 school handbooks.
Did you know? Andrei Şaguna was buried at Răşinari, near Sibiu. In October 2011 he was canonized at the Holy Trinity Cathedral from Sibiu.
Teodor Tulpan (n. 1971), professional climber
In 1993 he became a volunteer of the Sibiu Mountain Rescue Service. He is also a mountain guide and a trainer.
He left on his first expedition in the Pamir Mountains in 1996 at the age of 25. He continued the expeditions in the Caucasus (1997, 1998), Tien Shan (1999), the Andes (2003), K2 (2004), Chopicalqui (2005), Kilimanjaro (2007, 2009), Mont Blanc (2007), Chopta (2008), Star Mountain (2008).
In 2002 he was selected in the Romanian team to climb the highest summit in the world - Mount Everest in the Himalayas. In 2003 he participated at the first Romanian expedition to the Himalayas. He was the first of the five climbers to have reached the summit.
Did you know? He holds the world record for the longest paragliding flight.