September 23, 2012

Queen Marie of Romania

She was the second Queen of Romania, and yet she is the best known of the Queens of Romania. There are three: Queen Elizabeth of Romania, (wife of King Carol I) Queen Marie of Romania, (wife of King Ferdinand) and Queen Anne (wife of King Michael) 

Queen Marie is best known for her role in World War I, and perhaps also for the fact that she was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

Queen Marie was the only Queen crowned in the city of  Alba Iulia, and like the previous queen of Romania, Queen Elizabeth, she was a writer. She published several books, and she is also known for her links to several royal houses of Europe. (Russia, Romania, Greece, Yugoslavia, and many others)

September 17, 2012

Two Important Events- and a Coronation- in the City of Alba Iulia, Transylvania

The image below is from the entrance to the city of Alba Iulia by Prince Michael the Brave who united the three principalities for less than a year (1599-1600). This is a strong image- most especially to the Romanian population of Transylvania- to many people since this is one of the few times before 1919 that Transylvania was a part of what would become Romania.  Otherwise, it was a part of the Kingdom of Hungary.

The image below shows the meeting in which the Romanians, Germans (Saxons) and Hungarian delegates met in Alba Iulia in 1918 to vote if Transylvania would unite with Romania, or vote to remain part of Hungary.  Most of the delegates voted to unite with Romania- the notable exception being the Hungarian delegates.  As it was, the Romanian Army had won several victories in the area against the Imperial Forces of Austria, and the vote was simply another step in the direction which was already in motion.

In 1922, Alba Iulia was the site of the coronation of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie of Greater Romania.

This changed the maps of Eastern Europe again until 1940, and Alba Iulia played an important role in this event.

September 8, 2012

The City of Alba Iulia, Transylvania, Romania

It is interesting to look at a city like Alba Iulia which is not only a part of Transylvania, but is the heart of the Romanian people in the area, but also because it has so much history and so many stories it is important to the Romanian people and there are many people who are buried in the city who profoundly impacted life in Transylvania. 

There are churches, historic sites, and people from monks (Alexandru Borza- born there, but died in the city of Cluj) to sculptures (Rudolf Zullich- born there) had their beginnings in this city. The city boasts a proud and colourful history, it has been home to coronations, and to peace treaties.

This picture shows the entrance into the city by Michael the Brave, Prince of Wallachia and Moldavia, and soon to be Prince of Transylvania in 1599.  He was murdered less than a year later.  King Ferdinand of Romania was crowned in Alba Iulia along with his wife, the famous Queen Maria,  in 1922.  In October 2012, on the 90th anniversary, Crown Princess Margarita of Romania will be in the city to commemorate this historic event.

In an interesting twist, Isabella Jaiellon who was queen consort of "Eastern Hungarian Kingdom" would be the person who is linked to the British royal Family, and she is buried in Alba Iulia.  She has within her descendants the British Royal Family, and because of this the Prince of Wales owns property in Transylvania.

Alba Iulia is one of the main cities that a tourist should visit in Transylvania; it shows the land in a different way and shows what the people of Transylvania live with.  They have a historic centre but also a very vibrant modern way of life. It was the 'melting pot' of peoples: Saxons, Hungarians, Romanians, Jews and others lived and worked in this city.

While there are no natural resources within the city, however, there a long history of the worth of the natural resources in the surrounding area.  The Roman Empire would create this city due the the location of gold deposits close to it.

September 4, 2012

Does Transylvania Have Natural Resources?

Not only has Transylvania captured many people's imagination, but there is also a reality that made the land so important to its people.  Transylvania is very mountainous and, while on the surface that makes for wonderful imagery, those mountains hold many natural resources.  Given that it Transylvania lies in one of the more mountainous regions in Europe, this should come as no surprise.

These older maps of Transylvania, circa 1720 and 1606, provide some excellent examples of the rivers and mountains that Transylvania has.  It is widely known that one of the reasons that the the Roman Empire invaded the Dacian Empire was for the gold in those mountains.

Even the Romanian coronation crown of Queen Maria of Romania was created using gold from mines in Transylvania.  Oil is another of the many reasons that there was a desire to secure the loyalty of Romania and Hungary (who controlled part of Transylvania during this time) during the Second World War.

Transylvania has many natural resources and many of its historic cities are built near these places as well.