Alba Iulia has an interesting history. First, when the Roman legions, the XIII-thGemina and the V-th Macedonica camped here, a Roman fortification was built from white stone like milk. Because of that, after the appearance of the south Slavic, Romanians named the city using a Slavic word, Balgrad, which means The White City.
Later on the Hungarians called it Gyulafehervar - the city of July, and the Austrians named it Alba Carolina (Alb in Romanian meaning white and Carolina was taken after the name of the emperor Carol the VI). In the end Romanians mixed all those names and called it Alba Iulia (The White July).
The city has three fortifications, The Roman, The Medieval and The Vauban one, from the XVIII century. Also it is considered to be the Unification City because this is where Mihai Viteazul entered victorious in 1600 (after winning a battle at Selimbar near Sibiu) through a gate situated where the Capistrano Bastion now is (Pub 13).
Also, here, at the third gateway under the statue of the emperor Carol VI, Horea was imprisoned, a Romanian hero from Transylvania. The rebellion in 1784 of the Romanian peasants of Transylvania started because of the poor living conditions and the lack of social rights. Earlier in 1438, the Germans, the Hungarians and the Roman Catholic priests from Transylvania signed a pact in which Romanians were tolerated in their own country, but without any social or political rights. At the beginning, their leaders were supported by the emperor Franz Josjef to start a rebellion against the Hungarian aristocracy, who were claiming more rights than they had already.
Horea, Closca and Crisan started the rebellion having the word of the emperor that their social and political requests would br granted. In the end, scared by the rebellion, the emperor made a deal with the nobles from Transylvania and ordered baron Bruckental, the governor of Transylvania, to capture the leader and try them. They were captured and imprisoned near ( under ) that statue. One of them, Crisan killed himself and the other two were executed in front of the gate with a cartwheel crushing every bone in their body.
The city is important also because in 1922 as monarchs of Larger Romania, Ferdinand and Mary were crowned in the Cathedral of Reunification specially built for this event and situated on the other side of the Roman Catholic Cathedral where Iancu of Hunedoara is buried.
It is important to visit the „Route of the three fortification“ where you can see the main gate of the roman fortification, apart from the medieval walls and the splendid Vauban fortification.
A beautiful and charming city which reveals its secrets when you are there.