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The young women of this Transylvanian village have been famous for their beauty since the days of King Matthias Corvinus, in the 15th century. This is one of the towns where the girls forswear colors and wear nothing but black and white (see, also, illustration, page 335).
On the latter date, at the Peace of Karlowitz, Leopold I of Austria regained it and confirmed the rights of the three privileged nations-the Saxons, Magyars, and Szeklers. Maria Theresa raised it to the rank of a grand principality.
In 1849 it was separated from Hungary and for a brief time was an Austrian Crown land, with its own diet, which, in 1860, at Sibiu, recognized the rights of the Rumanians as the fourth nation in the principality. These privileges were, however, canceled at the diet in Cluj in 1865 and the province was reintegrated to Hungary in 1868.
THE APPROACH FROM BUCHAREST
In this status the country remained until 1918, though not without certain uprisings among the Rumanian population. which was denied many of the political rights enjoyed by the other three nationalities. As a result of the peace treaties following the World War, and on the basis of the fact that a larger portion of the inhabitants of this region were Ru
manian in race and language, the province became a part of Rumania.
The best way to obtain the full flavor of Transylvania is to approach it from the east via the road from Bucharest to Sinaia, across the baking, dusty plain. through the region heavy with the odor of petroleum, up the slopes of the Carpathians where mountain streams have gashed rough earth wounds in the hillside, past artificial folklore castles, to the ancient frontier of Transylvania, at the top of the pass at Predeal.
Here, upon emerging from the narrow valley on a high plateau, there is spread before one a view of the receding foothills and expanding plain of Transylvania.
No longer do formalities of customs or passports detain the traveler, and the motor begins its long, slow descent by the ruin of the old customhouse. Once, when new and shiny, it was a symbol of division; now shell-torn and dilapidated, it is a monument of union.
Over the brow of the hill the works of
GREEK AND ROMAN CHURCHES AT ALBA IULIA (KARLSBURG)
The new Coronation Church on the left is dedicated to the Greek Orthodox Faith and was built especially for the coronation of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie in 1922 (see below). On the right is the Cathedral of St. Michael.
THE CORONATION OF KING FERDINAND AND QUEEN MARIE AT ALBA IULIA
After Transylvania had voted in favor of union with Rumania, Alba Iulia was selected for the coronation of the new monarchs because of its historic associations as the old center of the battle for Rumanian liberties. Only one firm of photographers was allowed to take pictures of the coronation, and the receipts from the sale of these went to a cultural foundation for educating the peasants.
Photograph from J. Theodore Marriner
THE CORONATION CHURCH AND BELL TOWER OF ALBA IULIA
It was here that King Ferdinand and Queen Marie, in October, 1922, signalized their formal assumption of sovereignty over Transylvania (see, also, page 325).
Prior to 1918 this castle belonged to the Hungarian Government, but when Transylvania became a part of Rumania the people of Brasov presented the old fort to Queen Marie (see text, page 332).
These peasant farm homes are of the old type prevalent when the land was held in large estates. Since its distribution among the peasants more prosperous times have come.
The lace apron worn by the housewife and the floral designs on the embroidered bed cover are distinguishing marks of the Saxon. Rumanian designs are nearly always variations of geometrical figures.
man and the aspects of Nature change. The excellent macadam road, with granite retaining walls, descends in seven even hairpin turns beside a brook tinkling over stones and confining itself in orderly fashion within its verdant banks.
Infrequent cottages are substantially built of stucco and freshly painted, in contrast to thatched mud-and-wattle huts on the other side of the pass.
Before one comes in sight of Brasov one is already aware of what the mountain barrier has meant and what it has protected for so many centuries.
In about half an hour from Predeal the mountains give way to the fertile plain
known as the Burzenland, which surrounds Brasov.
BRASOV, SAXON STRONGHOLD, URGED BY
SOME FOR RUMANIA'S CAPITAL
This town of some 60,000 inhabitants has been suggested as a capital for the new and greater Rumania, and it has much to recommend it, being almost in the center of the country, easily defended. having the charm of age and tradition and room for expansion in the surrounding plain.
Nevertheless, the tourist cannot but be grateful that nothing has as yet come of a project which would annihilate an an