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.