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History and travel

   In the South of Transylvania, at the foot of the Carpathians, lies one of the most beautiful areas of Romania, Sibiu, where visitors may see the natural beauty of the environment , true jewels of Transylvanian cultural patrimony. The landscape is marked by the wild peaks of the highest Romanian mountains, and in their shadow rest the traditional fortress churches, specific to the Transylvanian area and the cultural riches of the medieval settlements- out of which the most famous is the city of Sibiu, European cultural capital of 2007.

   Ten km away from Sibiu, the former European Capital of Culture, just over a hill, lays the village of Rosia. Composed out of 5 smaller settlements - Daia, Caşolţ, Cornăţel, Nou şi Nucet – the village of Roșia (Rotheberg) is first documentarily attested in 1327, and the smaller villages of the area are documented around the same time. In 1302 appears the first written mention of Caşolţ – Kastenholz. The settlements are older though, and as proof we have the evangelic churches of the villages, built around the year 1270.

   The South of Transylvania, where Rosia lies, was a habitable area since the old times. It was part of the Roman Empire for 2 centuries, passed by numerous nomad tribes, and in the XII-th century became part of the Hungarian Kingdom. The Hungarian kings brought to the area settlers – the Saxons- to guard the frontiers of their territory, to develop trading and local economy. The area became an important contact point between the three main populations of Transylvania – the Romanians, the Saxons and the Hungarians. The demographic balance of the area was destroyed in the 70s, when the Saxons started mass emigration to Germany. While in 1977 there were 988 Saxons in the village of Rosia, in 1992 their number dropped to 166. Nowadays, there are only 8 Saxons left out of a population over 5650 people.

   The area was not only a center of tolerance and interaction between different nationalities, but also between different religious confessions – Orthodox, Lutheran, Catholic and Reformed lived in harmony, especially in the difficult years of the communism when prisons were filled with priests of all confessions.

   After 1990, due to social and economic changes in Romania, many of the village’s people remained unemployed and started working in agriculture in order to subsist. The number of socially assisted people was very large, becoming a burden for the community and a mayor’s office with limited resources. The acceptance of Romania in the EU coincided with a period of development, when Sibiu attracted many investors. The appearance of more workplaces made it possible to hire many of the village’s in factories in the city. The Mayor contacted the employers repeatedly in order to convince them to hire people from Rosia. In order to transport workers to their workplaces, the Mayor asked the local transportation companies to introduce new lines to the villages of Rosia from Sibiu. At the same time, the Mayor was interested in any possibility to attract investors to the area, contributing to the creation of new workplaces in the village. Out of the private investments made in the village we mention the file factory in Thalheim (Daia), the farm in Rosia, the farm in Daia, the bakery and woodshop in Rosia. The Steps of Hope association conducts a foster-home for the abandoned children in Daia, where they are raised and educated.

   Despite modest resources, the mayor’s office has permanently renovated, improved and modernized the numerous schools and kindergartens. When possible, funds were accessed through projects financed by the government, associations and foundations. In order to keep qualified teacher, the mayor’s office makes sure they have free transportation from Sibiu to the village.

   To improve the living conditions, a sewerage system was implemented, water pipes were installed in all the villages of the area, roads were asphalted, bridges were constructed and some of the medical and cultural buildings were renovated. Methane gas was introduced in most of the villages from Rosia, and in the area between Sibiu and Daia an infrastructure was build in order to accommodate the building of a residential area.

   An important progress factor in the area might be the ecologic and rural tourism. Now there are two touristic boarding houses which offer excellent conditions for accommodations and a great cuisine with a selection of traditional Romanian and Saxon foods. Those who come as tourists enjoy a wonderful view, delicious traditional foods and drinks. They can visit the old churches of the area, the trovant reserve from Casolt, or one of the oldest oak trees from Transylvania, a 700 years old tree. Also, the forest paths are excellent for horseback riding or mountain bike courses. On the edge of Casolt village the biggest daco-roman necropolis from the south-east of Transylvania was discovered and near the Evangelic Church some archeological digs discovered the ruins of the old church, dating from the XIIIth century. In the area grow special stones, the so called growing stones, trovants -geological formations found in sand accumulations and sandstone deposits cemented by waters rich in calcium carbonate. This area should be declared a protected natural reservation. It is imortant that more boarding houses or touristical farms appear in the future, creating more workplaces and bringing more income to the area.

   Another type of tourism practiced in the area is cultural tourism, the personality of the writer priest Eginald Schlattner attracting many visitors from all over Europe.

   Looking forward to the future, we hope that things will evolve positively. Talking about the projects that need development and finalization in the future, we mention the building of three kindergartens, the building of a medical center in Daia, implementing some water-treatment stations, modernizing the schools, the building of sport fields and the construction of a sewerage system in all of the villages from Rosia.

   Partnership development, communication between the European citizens and the knowledge of what each of us can do better can only bring harmony and progress.

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