Open Church Day

Sibiu – September 14, 2024

Churches will be open from 10 a.m. to 20 p.m.

Motto: “Truth makes peace”

The aim of the Open Churches Day is to give the general public the opportunity to visit places of worship outside religious services, to discover the architectural heritage and history of the sacred culture specific to each denomination, the current cultural life, even the communities of that denomination and their personalities.

The Ars Sacra project aims to build bridges through sacred culture between the different denominations and their communities.

This year, the Open Churches Day will be doubled by Religious Tours offered to all those who want to know more about the cultural and sacred heritage of Sibiu.

Also, each partner denomination in the project will have a dedicated day, during which cultural events, presentations, exhibition openings will be organised in the places of worship participating in the project.

In the second year of the ARS SACRA project in Sibiu, the following religious buildings are part of the project:

  • St. John Church / Johanniskirche-str. Mitropoliei, nr. 32
  • Metropolitan Cathedral – str. Mitropoliei, nr. 31
  • Kalvin Reformed Church – str. Mitropoliei, nr. 9
  • Evangelical Lutheran Cathedral – Huet Square
  • Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church – Big square, no. 3
  • The Asylum Church – str. Asylum, no. 4
  • Church Of The Ursulines – str. Gen. Magheru, no. 38
  • Franciscan Church – str. Șelarilor, nr. 12-14
  • The Great Synagogue – str. Constituției, nr. 19
Poster

St. John Evangelic church / Johanniskirche

Sibiu, str. Mitropoliei, nr. 32

Tel: 0269.206730; 0721.940345, e-mail: casa.teutsch@gmail.com, Web: www.teutsch.ro

St.  Johanniskirche, St. John’s Chapel) it is a religious building of the evangelical community of Augustan (Lutheran) confession in Sibiu. On the site on which – from 1883 until its demolition in 1909 – the Old St. John’s church stood,  in 1912, the new church, designed by architect Josef Bedeus Baron von Scharberg was consecrated.

Since 1955 in the  St. John’s Church the services of the Theological Institute were celebrated . Since the 1970s, the Ecumenical week of prayer has been introduced and the world women’s day of prayer has become a tradition.

The church was restored in the 2000s. Besides its simple Art Deco-inspired endowment, it also houses several categories of sacral art objects: two valuable late Gothic polyptych retables, a second organ, bronze objects (a font from before the Reformation, bells) as well as a modern painting.

St. John Evangelic church  is the gathering place of the community at religious services and ceremonies, a place for ecumenical meetings, and a concert hall. The ecumenical prayer circle “ora-et-labora”meets regularly here. During the periods of renovation of the evangelical Parish Church (Cathedral ev. from Huet Square), the evangelical community celebrates Sunday divine services here in  church of St. John. As long as St. John’s church doesn’t have a visiting schedule, it can still be visited on request (at the reception of the Museum of the Evangelical Church in the Teutsch House, according to the museum’s schedule).

Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral

Sibiu, str. Mitropoliei, nr. 31

Tel: 004.0269.211584, Web: http://mitropolia-ardealului.ro/

The idea of building a cathedral in Sibiu belongs to the Great Metropolitan Andrei Saguna. She started about a decade of her work as a vicar (1846), as early as 1857. In that year, while in Vienna, on September 9, he wrote, in German, a memorandum to Emperor Francis Joseph I asking for his consent to carry out a collection among the Orthodox believers of the Habsburg Empire in order to build a cathedral in Sibiu. The emperor gave his consent on October 26, 1857 (address no. 23383/3457). The amounts needed for the construction could not be gathered, so a waiting period followed.

On 19 March 1900, three projects of the future cathedral were presented to the Consistory: the one drawn up by The Architect Iuliu Berczick from Budapest (third prize); 2. of Alexandru Aigner from Budapest (second prize) and the plan entitled “Constantine and Elena – Aghia Sofia”, drawn up by the architect Iosif Kommer from Budapest and Virgil Nagy, professor at the Budapest Polytechnic (first prize).

On May 6, 1902, the” entrepreneur ” (entrepreneur) Joseph Schussnig receives an order from the Consistory that on July 1, 1902, the demolition of the old church, as well as eight (!) houses in the streets of butchers (today Mitropoliei) and Brukenthal (today Xenopol). Previously, the Sibiu-Cetate Parish ceded to the Archdiocese the old church and the parish house, with the obligation to build a new parish house, but also that, in the future, the new cathedral will also serve as a church for the Sibiu-Cetate Parish.

Francis Szalay thus demolished five houses in Butchers street and another three in Brukenthal street, and finally the old church. Demolition began on 1/14 July 1902. After everything was demolished and leveled, on 5/18 august 1902 (the birthday of Emperor-King Francis Joseph I) the foundation stone of the new cathedral was laid.

It is worth highlighting the perseverance (sometimes even stubbornness) of Ioan Metianu to build a cathedral of such proportions in a “record” time, as if unthinkable for those today, practically in less than four years, but also in the “historical center” of the city, harder to reach then for Romanians.

After intensive work lasting less than four years, the Archdiocese consistory established the consecration of the Cathedral on 30 April. V. (May 13 st. B.) 1906, at Samarinencii Sunday.

Celebrations began on the eve of the consecration, on Saturday, May 12, 1906 st. n., 16.00, when the Archdiocese Synod met in extraordinary session, in the Hall of festivities of the “National House” of the Association (inaugurated in 1905).

The consecration took place on Sunday, April 30/May 13, 1906. They served Metropolitan Ioan Metianu with Bishop Ioan Papp from Arad, surrounded by an imposing Council of archimandrites, archpriests and deacons.

The dimensions of the Sibiu Cathedral are: 53.10 m long, 25.40 m wide (in the middle of the building), 24.70 m height of the dome (inside and 34.70 m outside); 15 m diameter of the dome and 43 (45) m height of the towers. Saint Sophia in Constantinople, however, had other dimensions: 80.90 m. length; 69.70 m.width (according to others: 77.71.70 m); 55.60 m. height of the dome and 33 m. diameter of the dome.

In 2011, on the occasion of the canonization of Metropolitan Andrei Saguna an ark was made in which his relics were deposited, placed in the nave of the cathedral, in this way the one who wanted and thought this cathedral returned in it ready adorned and ready to honor him.

 Text from the work Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral of Transylvania-emblem of Sibiu multi-confessional, author Emanuel Tăvală.

Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral

Sibiu, str. Mitropoliei, nr. 31

Tel: 004.0269.211584, Web: http://mitropolia-ardealului.ro/

The idea of building a cathedral in Sibiu belongs to the Great Metropolitan Andrei Saguna. She started about a decade of her work as a vicar (1846), as early as 1857. In that year, while in Vienna, on September 9, he wrote, in German, a memorandum to Emperor Francis Joseph I asking for his consent to carry out a collection among the Orthodox believers of the Habsburg Empire in order to build a cathedral in Sibiu. The emperor gave his consent on October 26, 1857 (address no. 23383/3457). The amounts needed for the construction could not be gathered, so a waiting period followed.

On 19 March 1900, three projects of the future cathedral were presented to the Consistory: the one drawn up by The Architect Iuliu Berczick from Budapest (third prize); 2. of Alexandru Aigner from Budapest (second prize) and the plan entitled “Constantine and Elena – Aghia Sofia”, drawn up by the architect Iosif Kommer from Budapest and Virgil Nagy, professor at the Budapest Polytechnic (first prize).

On May 6, 1902, the” entrepreneur ” (entrepreneur) Joseph Schussnig receives an order from the Consistory that on July 1, 1902, the demolition of the old church, as well as eight (!) houses in the streets of butchers (today Mitropoliei) and Brukenthal (today Xenopol). Previously, the Sibiu-Cetate Parish ceded to the Archdiocese the old church and the parish house, with the obligation to build a new parish house, but also that, in the future, the new cathedral will also serve as a church for the Sibiu-Cetate Parish.

Francis Szalay thus demolished five houses in Butchers street and another three in Brukenthal street, and finally the old church. Demolition began on 1/14 July 1902. After everything was demolished and leveled, on 5/18 august 1902 (the birthday of Emperor-King Francis Joseph I) the foundation stone of the new cathedral was laid.

It is worth highlighting the perseverance (sometimes even stubbornness) of Ioan Metianu to build a cathedral of such proportions in a “record” time, as if unthinkable for those today, practically in less than four years, but also in the “historical center” of the city, harder to reach then for Romanians.

After intensive work lasting less than four years, the Archdiocese consistory established the consecration of the Cathedral on 30 April. V. (May 13 st. B.) 1906, at Samarinencii Sunday.

Celebrations began on the eve of the consecration, on Saturday, May 12, 1906 st. n., 16.00, when the Archdiocese Synod met in extraordinary session, in the Hall of festivities of the “National House” of the Association (inaugurated in 1905).

The consecration took place on Sunday, April 30/May 13, 1906. They served Metropolitan Ioan Metianu with Bishop Ioan Papp from Arad, surrounded by an imposing Council of archimandrites, archpriests and deacons.

The dimensions of the Sibiu Cathedral are: 53.10 m long, 25.40 m wide (in the middle of the building), 24.70 m height of the dome (inside and 34.70 m outside); 15 m diameter of the dome and 43 (45) m height of the towers. Saint Sophia in Constantinople, however, had other dimensions: 80.90 m. length; 69.70 m.width (according to others: 77.71.70 m); 55.60 m. height of the dome and 33 m. diameter of the dome.

In 2011, on the occasion of the canonization of Metropolitan Andrei Saguna an ark was made in which his relics were deposited, placed in the nave of the cathedral, in this way the one who wanted and thought this cathedral returned in it ready adorned and ready to honor him.

 Text from the work Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral of Transylvania-emblem of Sibiu multi-confessional, author Emanuel Tăvală.

Kalvin Reformed Church

Sibiu, str. Metropolitan, no. 9.

History of the Reformed Church and congregation in Sibiu

The Reformed Church in Sibiu was built between 1783-1786.

Báró Bánffy Farkas, government counselor, personally presented in 1783 the request of the Reformed Sibiu to the Austrian emperor Joseph II to build his own church, because until then they could only gather in private houses. Emperor József II granted permission on 9 July 1783, opening up the possibility of building the church and parish. On March 16, 1784, Baron Farkas Bánffy bought a plot of land with a house at his present address from Lutheran pastor Thomas Fieltsch of Slimnic for 4,000 forints, and on March 21 he donated it to the parish.

Mason Tamás Krempelsz and carpenter János Schneider were hired to lead the construction of the church. The House of the Lord was consecrated on November 26, 1786. Architecturally, it was built in the Transylvanian baroque style, the decorations were probably made by Austrian masters who worked on the Brukenthal Palace, which was built parallel to the church. The furniture of the church was made from donations of believers.

The pulpit of the church was built in 1790. The organ was bought by Baron Farkas Bánffy from the chapel of the Evangelical Hospital in Sibiu, it was rebuilt in 1857 by János Szabó, and in 1958 János Mesnyi extended it into an organ with two manuals, giving it its current form.

The two bells were made in 1896 by the Timisoara bell tower, Antal Novotni. The weight of the large bell is 800 kg, the weight of the small bell is 315 kg.

The church enjoyed a complete interior and exterior renovation on the occasion of the third European Ecumenical Assembly in 2007. Currently, the number of seats is 300 and the congregation has 600 members.

The choir of the Reformed Church in Sibiu was founded on November 3, 1894 by pastor József Nagy and choir master Miklós Horváth. In recognition, the Hungarian society of culture of Transylvania-EMKE donated 100 books and a flag to the choir on 28 March 1916. The flag is still in the church. The men’s choir was succeeded by the Hozsánna Choir (mixed choir) and the Olajág Youth Choir.

The first pastor of the church was Ferenc Benkő, and the current pastor, Sándor Varró is the 18th parish priest of the church in Sibiu.

Roman Catholic Church ” St. Trinity”

Sibiu, Piata Mare, no. 3

The Roman Catholic Parish Church “St.  Trinity ” from Sibiu.

At the invitation of the Hungarian prince Géza II (1141–1162) the Saxons from Luxembourg, Flanders, as well as from the Mosel and Rain rivers came to Transylvania to populate the area. The primary thing for the settlers was to build the church. Faithful to the church built in 1320, after the Reformation it switched to the new religion, the Lutheran one. For 150 years there was no Roman Catholic religion in Sibiu. Following the Leopoldine Diploma of 1691, Austrian imperial troops were quartered in Sibiu with which Catholic military priests also came. Also during this time came Jesuit monks. For Austrian soldiers it was allowed to celebrate the Catholic service in the tailors ‘ Hall located approximately in the place where the church stands today. After lengthy negotiations with the protestant Council, the construction of a Catholic parish church could be started. The church was built by the Jesuits between 1726-1733 in the spirit of the early Viennese baroque.

It was consecrated on 13 September 1733 by the bishop of Transylvania Gregor von Sorger.

Initially, the interior of the church was whitewashed and the windows had colorless glass, so the church was much brighter than now. At first the only adornment of the church was the Fresco behind the main altar, made in 1777 by the Austrian painter Anton Steinwald, which represents the coronation of the mother of God by the Holy Trinity. Stained glass windows were inserted in the early twentieth century. Also during this time (in 1904) the church was painted by the painter Ludwig Kandler of Munich. The church organ built by Viennese Karl Hesse dates from 1860.

Roman Catholic Church ” St. Trinity”

Sibiu, Piata Mare, no. 3

The Roman Catholic Parish Church “St.  Trinity ” from Sibiu.

At the invitation of the Hungarian prince Géza II (1141–1162) the Saxons from Luxembourg, Flanders, as well as from the Mosel and Rain rivers came to Transylvania to populate the area. The primary thing for the settlers was to build the church. Faithful to the church built in 1320, after the Reformation it switched to the new religion, the Lutheran one. For 150 years there was no Roman Catholic religion in Sibiu. Following the Leopoldine Diploma of 1691, Austrian imperial troops were quartered in Sibiu with which Catholic military priests also came. Also during this time came Jesuit monks. For Austrian soldiers it was allowed to celebrate the Catholic service in the tailors ‘ Hall located approximately in the place where the church stands today. After lengthy negotiations with the protestant Council, the construction of a Catholic parish church could be started. The church was built by the Jesuits between 1726-1733 in the spirit of the early Viennese baroque.

It was consecrated on 13 September 1733 by the bishop of Transylvania Gregor von Sorger.

Initially, the interior of the church was whitewashed and the windows had colorless glass, so the church was much brighter than now. At first the only adornment of the church was the Fresco behind the main altar, made in 1777 by the Austrian painter Anton Steinwald, which represents the coronation of the mother of God by the Holy Trinity. Stained glass windows were inserted in the early twentieth century. Also during this time (in 1904) the church was painted by the painter Ludwig Kandler of Munich. The church organ built by Viennese Karl Hesse dates from 1860.

Evangelical Lutheran Cathedral

Sibiu, Huet Square

Phone: 004.0269.211203, e-mail: hermannstadt@evang.ro, Web: https://hermannstadt.evang.ro/

The Evangelical Parish Church of Sibiu

Ecclesia Parochialis Beatae Virginis Mariae was wiped out until the 13th century , and in the first quarter of the sixteenth century it was transformed step by step into a Gothic building. By cultivating Ferula in the West and extending the Southern Nave to the Hall Church, he gained in space. Until the transition to the Lutheran faith, which was carried out in 1545 from Hermannstadt for the entire Transylvanian-Saxon nation, the church and the city was entirely integrated into Catholic religiosity. From that time, valuable certificates are still preserved, such as the bronze baptismal Basin, a large altar of wings and the monumental image of the crucifixion of Johannes of Rosenau on the north wall of the choir.

While construction had ended around 1520, generation by generation continued to enrich and design the equipment of the church according to their own needs and ideas. This created the most comprehensive and representative ensemble of grave plates and epitaphs in Transylvania, one of the largest organs in the country and a brilliant treasure of medieval and modern gold, which can be seen today in the Brukenthal Museum. The cosmos of the life of the Old City, which included these monuments, can not be better understood anywhere than in the Museum of the Evangelical Church, which is located a few minutes walk from the parish church.

With the comparison of the parish church and the Brukenthal Gymnasium, not only the church, but also the Huetplatz conveys a high importance of the humanistic values that the city community has considered over the centuries. Accordingly, the bronze monument between the school and the bishop of the Church Georg Daniel Teutsch (1817-1893) looks in the ornament of the evangelical clergy. His forward-looking reforms led to the improvement of social conditions at all levels, but especially in the field of the german school system, in whose reputation he still finds precipitation.

Despite its small scope, the evangelical Parish a. B. Hermannstadt is still one of the great evangelical parishes in Romania and sets numerous accents in the cultural life of the city. Several social and charitable institutions are entertained by it, and in the field of environmental protection, it has a pioneering role in Romania. The parish church is a hospitable center of ecumenism and a meeting place for visitors from near and far, in which numerous languages from all over the world sound. With many concerts and exhibitions, it enriches public life year after year.

The Asylum Church

Sibiu, str. Asylum, no. 4

Church dedicated to ” Saint M. Martyr Dimitrie the Myrrh Spring”

It is assumed that there was an older stone building on the site of the present church, which a document from 1292 mentioned as a hospital. It is the oldest documentary attestation of a hospital in the present territory of Romania.

In 1292, the hospital was taken over by the monks of the Holy Spirit order, and somewhere around the 1300s, the hospital became a church. After 1292 the spiritual side prevailed and they developed the church as a place for the community, with attraction for the handicraft blankets.

The church was administered by the Saxons, and all ecumenical services were held by Saxon priests and even the bishop. There was also a cemetery, and those buried were residents of old Sibiu, mostly Germans.

In 1760, the church was renovated, acquiring the appearance of today.

Outside you can see the old Bell in the tower. It is the oldest Bell in Sibiu, dating from 1509. It bears the inscription “ad iuva nos deus”. It has a height of 112 cm and a diameter of 44 cm.

In 2010 the church is transferred with the right of use in favor of the Archdiocese of Sibiu, and on October 31 of the same year takes place the worship service performed by his father Metropolitan Laurentiu, in the presence of a significant Council of priests, but also of the faithful who filled the holy place to the maximum. An important page of the history of the multisecular church was then written. After all the interventions and transformations that the church has undergone over time, currently the holy place is divided into nave and altar, separated by an iconostasis made of fir wood, with icons painted in oil.

The Asylum Church

Sibiu, str. Asylum, no. 4

Church dedicated to ” Saint M. Martyr Dimitrie the Myrrh Spring”

It is assumed that there was an older stone building on the site of the present church, which a document from 1292 mentioned as a hospital. It is the oldest documentary attestation of a hospital in the present territory of Romania.

In 1292, the hospital was taken over by the monks of the Holy Spirit order, and somewhere around the 1300s, the hospital became a church. After 1292 the spiritual side prevailed and they developed the church as a place for the community, with attraction for the handicraft blankets.

The church was administered by the Saxons, and all ecumenical services were held by Saxon priests and even the bishop. There was also a cemetery, and those buried were residents of old Sibiu, mostly Germans.

In 1760, the church was renovated, acquiring the appearance of today.

Outside you can see the old Bell in the tower. It is the oldest Bell in Sibiu, dating from 1509. It bears the inscription “ad iuva nos deus”. It has a height of 112 cm and a diameter of 44 cm.

In 2010 the church is transferred with the right of use in favor of the Archdiocese of Sibiu, and on October 31 of the same year takes place the worship service performed by his father Metropolitan Laurentiu, in the presence of a significant Council of priests, but also of the faithful who filled the holy place to the maximum. An important page of the history of the multisecular church was then written. After all the interventions and transformations that the church has undergone over time, currently the holy place is divided into nave and altar, separated by an iconostasis made of fir wood, with icons painted in oil.

Franciscan Church

Sibiu, str. Șelarilor, nr. 12-14

The Gothic church supported by buttresses was built in the XVth century. . Some sources indicate that it originally belonged to the order of the clarissas (Franciscan nuns /”Graue Nonnen”), but there is also the variant of the erection of the church by Dominican nuns (“Schwarze Nonnen”). The fact is that after the Reformation, the church remained in disrepair, being used for a period as a grain store.

On February 12, 1716, General Steinville donated the church to Franciscan monks who renovated it. On 28 December 1776 the Gothic Chancel screen collapsed, killing Thomas Kielbach and injuring several monks. With the support of Empress Maria Theresa the church is renovated and transformed into a baroque church.

Inside is a Baroque hall-style church, semicircular vaulted with a grandstand above the north side. Only the octahedral apsi, large windows and pillars are reminiscent of the Gothic period.

Above the Arc de Triomphe is depicted the scene of St.  Francis calling the birds, an eclectic painting by Herceg Francis, who first painted the church in 1933, with the motto “ISTENEM ES MINDENEM” (my God Is My Everything).

The main altar with the statues of St.  Peter and Paul, was brought from Vienna by General Steinville.

The painting in the altar represents St.  Francis Of Assisi, patron saint of the church, receiving the stigmata from Jesus Christ. The painting is of recent date and was made by Ambrus Tiburtia.

On either side of the main altar are two other altars in the same baroque style.

In the altar on the left is a large oil painting on canvas depicting St.  Anne presenting her daughter, the Virgin Mary, in the Jerusalem Temple. At the altar on the right is an oil painting on canvas depicting St.  Gregory, Armenian Bishop.

In the nave of the church, on the left is a stone altar representing a grotto with the statue of the Virgin Mary of Lourdes. To the right is the statue of St.  Anton of Padua.

Inside, in the north of the choir, the funerary monument of General Count Damian Hugo von Virmond (1666-1722), military commander of Transylvania, made of stone, also holds attention. The central part consists of a commemorative inscription, and the lower one, a sarcophagus, is decorated with the Allegory of victory. In the church there is a cenotaph dedicated to Baroness Adriana Andlern, born Engelshoffer (died 1700), from the inventory of the church we also note the existence of a Madonna with child, Gothic sculpture (sec. XV) in polychrome wood made by a nun. In the crypt (which is not open to the public) there are several tombstones, among which we mention that of Iohann Haller, governor of Transylvania (died 1786), and his wife Sophia Daniel de Vargyas who are decorated with the coats of arms of the deceased, generals Steinville, Viard, Virmond, Antonius Gyulai and Ensemberg, several prominent men and 70 Franciscan monks. Attached to the church is the building that housed the former monastery.

Church Of The Ursulines

Sibiu, str. Gen. Magheru, no. 38

Currently, the Sibiu II Parish of the jurisdiction of the Greek-Catholic Archdiocese of Alba Iulia and Fagaras operates here. Greek Catholic services are held in the liturgical program.

In 1475 it was built as a monastery for Dominican monks, but a century later, in 1543 with the introduction of the Lutheran religion it was abandoned.

In 1728, after the liberation of Transylvania from the Ottoman sphere of influence and the establishment of the Austrian administration, the building complex of the former Dominican monastery was assigned to ursuline nuns and populated by a group of nuns brought from Pojon.

Ursuline nuns rebuilt the church in the period 1728-1733, in Baroque style.

During the communist period the church was nationalized, but since 1992 Greek-Catholic services are held here.

The name “ursuline” comes from St.  Ursula, and the birth of the order took place in the period of the Counter-Reformation with the aim of improving the level of education among believers.

In the catacombs of the church are the crypts of the ursuline nuns buried here.

The Legend Of Saint Ursula

Legend has it that Ursula, daughter of a Christian king from Brittany, was proposed to by a pagan prince, but she had mysteriously consecrated herself to God. Ursula asked for three years of thought time, in order to better know the will of the Lord. On her pilgrimage to Rome she asked to be accompanied by a thousand young women, and each of her ten maids, by 1,000 other young women. 11,000 virgins, guided by Ursula, crossed the sea between England and the continent, heading for Rome. On their way back to Köln, the anger of the barbarians spilled over to them, and the young women were martyred all in one day except Ursula. Impressed by her beauty, the ruler of the Huns, Attila, proposed to her. The refusal brought Ursula to her death. Over the place where they were buried was erected in the seventh century a church, and then a monastery, in their memory.

In the eighth century, the remains of some virgins were discovered near a church. Among other female names, that of Ursula, an eleven-year-old girl, was also found. Apparently, that age indication was read as undecimilia, meaning ‘eleven thousand’. Hence the story of the 11,000 virgins who accompanied Saint Ursula on her journey to Rome.

The spread of the cult of Saint Ursula was largely due to her election as patroness of the institute founded in 1530 by Saint Angela of Merici for the cultural and religious training of young women from poor areas, the so-called ‘ursuline nuns’.

Church Of The Ursulines

Sibiu, str. Gen. Magheru, no. 38

Currently, the Sibiu II Parish of the jurisdiction of the Greek-Catholic Archdiocese of Alba Iulia and Fagaras operates here. Greek Catholic services are held in the liturgical program.

In 1475 it was built as a monastery for Dominican monks, but a century later, in 1543 with the introduction of the Lutheran religion it was abandoned.

In 1728, after the liberation of Transylvania from the Ottoman sphere of influence and the establishment of the Austrian administration, the building complex of the former Dominican monastery was assigned to ursuline nuns and populated by a group of nuns brought from Pojon.

Ursuline nuns rebuilt the church in the period 1728-1733, in Baroque style.

During the communist period the church was nationalized, but since 1992 Greek-Catholic services are held here.

The name “ursuline” comes from St.  Ursula, and the birth of the order took place in the period of the Counter-Reformation with the aim of improving the level of education among believers.

In the catacombs of the church are the crypts of the ursuline nuns buried here.

The Legend Of Saint Ursula

Legend has it that Ursula, daughter of a Christian king from Brittany, was proposed to by a pagan prince, but she had mysteriously consecrated herself to God. Ursula asked for three years of thought time, in order to better know the will of the Lord. On her pilgrimage to Rome she asked to be accompanied by a thousand young women, and each of her ten maids, by 1,000 other young women. 11,000 virgins, guided by Ursula, crossed the sea between England and the continent, heading for Rome. On their way back to Köln, the anger of the barbarians spilled over to them, and the young women were martyred all in one day except Ursula. Impressed by her beauty, the ruler of the Huns, Attila, proposed to her. The refusal brought Ursula to her death. Over the place where they were buried was erected in the seventh century a church, and then a monastery, in their memory.

In the eighth century, the remains of some virgins were discovered near a church. Among other female names, that of Ursula, an eleven-year-old girl, was also found. Apparently, that age indication was read as undecimilia, meaning ‘eleven thousand’. Hence the story of the 11,000 virgins who accompanied Saint Ursula on her journey to Rome.

The spread of the cult of Saint Ursula was largely due to her election as patroness of the institute founded in 1530 by Saint Angela of Merici for the cultural and religious training of young women from poor areas, the so-called ‘ursuline nuns’.

The Great Synagogue

Sibiu, str. Constituției, nr. 19

The first attestation of the presence of Jews in the area of this city dates back to 1481. Although in those times there were some merchants and craftsmen of this ethnicity, they were not allowed to settle in the cities of the Transylvanian region.

1845-the first Jew receives the right to settle in Sibiu, despite the dissatisfaction of the Saxons, who were the first preyent settlers here and who laid the foundations of the city of Hermannstadt.

After 1860 the Jewish community began to organize and the need for religious services increased. So in 1878 a first synagogue was built to house them. It was soon surpassed, because the number of Jews in the city of Sibiu around 1890 was about 1300.

Under the close supervision of the president of the Jewish community at that time, Josef Schwartz, in 1898 the construction of the Great Synagogue in Sibiu began.

After obtaining the necessary money to build the building, he commissioned Hungarian architect Ferenc Szalay to build the synagogue, setting the deadline for the reception of the building to be the beginning of the Tishri festival of 1899.

The synagogue consists of a single building body of rectangular plan. The facade is neo-Gothic, clad in red brick. The ground floor is delimited from the first floor by a girdle and a stone frieze decorated with vegetal motifs.

The entrance door and windows are finished at the top in a semicircle. Their upper glazed field is decorated with the star of David. All windows have a white stone frame at the top, finished in broken arch.

Inside, the Great Hall features numerous carved ornaments, with semicircular arches decorated with Moorish motifs on the central ceiling. The hall is naturally lit through the numerous windows, located both on the ground floor and on the first floor. Moorish-style arches are repeated between the multiple colonnades of the balustrade at the women’s gallery. The ceiling of the building is coffered, decorated with inlay drawn and hand-painted in Neo-Renaissance style.

The ark placed in the eastern part of the edifice is shaped like a semicircular apse.

Horowitz was the community’s first rabbi in 1890.

The synagogue ceased operations in 1999. Today, the small remaining Jewish community practices its religious creed in a purpose-built room in the administration building in the courtyard.

Other details:

https://patrimoniu.sibiu.ro/biserici

Schedule of religious services from Sibiu, Sunday, September 17, 2023:

St.  John – no services are held in this church

Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral – from 9:00 all day, Romanian language

Kalvin Reformed Church – 10: 00,  Hungarian and Romanian language

Evangelical Lutheran Cathedral – 10: 00, German language Community service, with the musical contribution of the various groups of children and youth of the parish, the blessing of students and teachers at the beginning of the school year.

Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church – 10: 00 a.m., German language/ 11:15 a.m., Hungarian language/ 18: 00 p.m, Romanian language

Church of the Asylum – from 9:00, Romanian language

Ursuline church, Greek Catholic religion – from 9:30, 11:15, 18:00

Roman Catholic Franciscan church – from 9: 00,  Hungarian language

Great Jewish Synagogue – Saturday-Shabbat