The historical region of Transylvania) lies in the heart of Romania.
In the 12th century, the Transylvanian Saxons settled there. They were German settlers who were granted extensive special rights by the Hungarian king and thus induced to resettle. The majority came from the Middle Rhine and Moselle Franconian regions and, due to poor living conditions and famine, gladly settled in uncultivated Transylvania.
The Transylvanian Saxons cultivated the land, practised agriculture, trade and established craft guilds. Over the centuries, they expanded northwards and eastwards, creating flourishing cities such as Sibiu, Brasov, Alba Iulia and Cluj-Napoca. Today, the Transylvanian Saxons form only a small, German-speaking minority in Transylvania.
Transylvania is mainly located in the counties of Alba, Bistrița-Năsăud, Brașov, Covasna, Cluj, Harghita, Hunedoara, Mureș, Sibiu and in the economically strong planning region of Central Romania.
The Transylvanian Basin largely corresponds to historic Transylvania. It is an undulating mountainous and hilly country, situated at an altitude of 300 - 600 metres. It is enclosed to the east and northeast by the Eastern Carpathians, to the west by the Apuseni Mountains, to the south by the Transylvanian Alps (Southern Carpathians) and to the north by parts of the Forest Carpathians.