Discover The Other Capital of Romania!
The history of Romania is best evidenced in Alba Iulia, which boasts the Alba Carolina Citadel, the most representative Vauban bastion fortification in Romania and the largest from the Central and South-Eastern Europe. Significant events took place here since Roman times, 2000 years ago, when APULUM (the ancient name of city of Alba Iulia) was the capital and the richest city of the Roman Province Dacia, until the moment of the coronation ceremony for the kings of the Great Romania.
Alba Carolina Citadel was recently rehabilitated with national and EU funds, becoming a modern tourist attraction, where visitors can breathe the air of history. The citadel was built between 1715 and 1738 according to the plans of the military architect Giovanni Morando Visconti. With walls 12 km long, the citadel is formed of a central fort and 7 bastions, the gates being designed in an impressive Baroque style.
The Change of the Guard Ceremony
The ceremonial takes place every day (during the touristic season) at the third and fourth gates of the citadel, the guard being made up of soldiers dressed in the uniforms of the medieval Austrian army. Every Saturday at 12:00 p.m., on the Artillery Platform, one round of cannon salute in honour of the City of Alba Iulia takes place.
The Route of the Three Fortifications
The tourists can breathe the air of history inside the citadel, together with the musketeers which are happy to guide them between the 12 km long walls! Alba Carolina has a lot of secret passages, bridges and even treasures that are just waiting to be discovered! Three fortifications from three different periods were built successively on the same location, each new citadel including the old one: the Roman Castrum (106 A.D.), which remained a witness to the fact that Alba Iulia (Apulum) was the capital of the Roman Province Dacia, the Medieval Citadel and Alba Carolina Citadel (18th century).
Celebrating the National Day in Alba Iulia, the City of Unification
The National Day of Romania is celebrated in Alba Iulia by thousands of people who come from all over the country, as here is the place where the Great Union was accomplished on the 1st of December 1918, which led to the proclamation of the Great Romania. The celebrations begin with the submission of garlands and wreaths at the statues of the founders of the Great Romania, the Union Dance, where everybody can participate, and afterwards the traditional costumes parade, a series of concerts in the open air, other surprises and the spectacular fireworks at the end of the day. Within the citadel there are two symbolic monuments for the Great Union: the Hall of Unification and the Coronation Cathedral. Alba-Iulia remains ‘the other capital’, the city where the national spirit is stronger than anywhere else.
Alba Iulia is included in the European cultural routes Transromanica and the Roman Emperors and the Danube Wine Route, both of them certified by the Council of Europe.