Mărginimea Sibiului is European Destination of ExcelleNce 2015 for Tourism and Gastronomy.
There are many who visit it and few that ever forget it. This is Mărginimea Sibiului, the land where you morning wake-up call comes from cowbells and horse-drawn wagons; the place where the fragrant hay cocks, the blossomed pastures and the scattered sheep flocks make you think of far-off lands. This is the place where in wintertime children still toboggan on their sledges down hidden narrow roads wrapped in wood smoke from the people’s stoves. For many this may only be an image depicted from a movie, but for the people from Mărginimea Sibiului this is their everyday life.
Mărginimea Sibiului comprises 18 villages spread at the foothills of the Cindrel and Lotru Mountains. Its history is so ancient that legends speak of times when these regions were inhabited by skilful, peace-loving giants.
In the 14th and 15th centuries, when pressure from the Saxon colonists and claims from the Hungarian kings started growing, the locals withdrew to the mountains and started breeding and raising livestock. Shepherding was their main occupation and transhumance (taking the sheep to the mountains in summer and bringing them back to the village or to warmer climates in winter) became part of their life.
The sheep’s routes, as they used to call the paths taken by the flocks lay well beyond the Carpathians and the Danube, to Constantinople, the Adriatic, Pannonia, Poland, Southern Ukraine or Crimea. Shepherding has remained a traditional occupation and if you come to Mărginime you’ll see there’s no pasture without a flock of sheep and the barking of guard dogs.
Customs and traditions have been preserved to the present day and young or old craftsmen will always welcome a visit from those wishing to discover the secrets of their crafts. These priceless treasures preserved year after year have won the region the title of European Destination of Excellence in 2009 together with the Pomme d’Or prize for excellence in tourism.
If you’ve decided to pay a visit to Mărginimea, but you’re not sure what villages to pick, we suggest you see them all. However, as we know time is sometimes limited, we have tried to help you make a choice with a short presentation of each one. Regardless of your choice, we are sure you will love it!
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