Following the last reorganisation in 1974, Transylvania is now composed of 9 counties (judete): Alba, Brasov, Bistrita-Nasaud, Cluj, Covasna, Harghita, Hunedoara, Mures, and Sibiu, as well as half of the county of Salaj, and the district of Laposch in Maramures county. Cities: 68; communities: 548; villages: 3048. In 1979 , Transylvania had a population of approximately 4 million.
Settlement centers, with population in 1992: Hermannstadt (Romanian: Sibiu; Hungarian: Nagyszeben; 169,700) and Kronstadt (Brasov/Brassó; 323,825), but also important are Bistritz (Bistrita/Beszterce; 87,783), Karlsburg (also known as Weissenburg; Alba Julia/Gyulafehérvár; 71,254), Klausenburg (Cluj/Kolozsvár; 328,000), Mediasch (Medias/Medgyes; 64,488), Mühlbach (Sebes/Szászsebes; 29,713), and Schäßburg (Sighisoara/Segesvár; 35,940).
Martin Luther - Biographie (deutsch)
Luther's 95 Thesen (deutsch)
A Latin-rite bishop's seat was located at Karlsburg. An Eastern Orthodox metropolitan was established at Hermannstadt, with an archbishopric in Klausenburg and bishops at Arad, Caransebes and Oradea.
See also a short history of Transylvania until 1324 by Klaus Popa (English).
In the thirteenth century, large numbers followed as a result of special privileges granted in 1224 by Andreas II. The privileges are commonly referred to as the "Andreanum" or "Goldener Bulle". These Germans actually hailed from the Rhineland, Flanders, the Eifel and Hunsrück regions, and the Mosel River area, even though they came to be known as "Saxons".
Transylvania was greatly reduced in the mid-16th century following conquest by the Ottoman Turks. It was incorporated into the Ottoman puppet kingdom of Transylvania ruled by Zápolyai (r. 1526-40) at this time. Over time, this state became more and more independent such that it virtually managed its own destiny by the mid-17th century. According to a 1658 census taken by the Jesuits, the population of Transylvania (excluding the Banat and part of the Great Hungarian Plain) was about 860,000, of whom 80,000 spoke German.
Following reconquest of the area by the Austrian Empire, the region was revitalized by new German emigrants arriving from the early 18th century on. Assisting German language and culture to be preserved was the establishment of German secondary schools (gymnasia ) at Bistritz, Kronstadt (Honterus Gymnasium, 1540), Mediasch (Stefan Ludwig Roth Gymnasium, 1912), Hermannstadt (Brukenthal; see also Carl Albrich's book; a school existed in 1380) and Schäßburg (Bischof Teutsch Gymnasium; the "Bergschule" was first mentioned in 1522).
The region was invaded by Russians waging war against Hungarian rebels in 1849 and pitched battles occurred at Kronstadt, Hermannstadt and Schäßburg. When the rebels lost, the result was that from 1849, the region was administered directly from Vienna, until 1863 when the traditional forms of self-government were restored.
In 1864, Eastern Orthodox Transylvanians received permission to establish a separate autonomous church rather than continue to be subjected to the Serbian-dominated one at Sremski Karlovci. The new metropolitan was established at Hermannstadt with bishops at Arad and Caransebes.
During the First World War, Transylvania was invaded by Romania in 1916, which was defeated however at Hermannstadt and Kronstadt. Romania had entered the war on the Entente side in exchange for territorial promises and she received them in the form of Transylvania as a result of the Treaty of Trianon following the war (June 4, 1920).
With the Second World War, Eastern Romania was annexed by the Soviet Union and her ally, Germany, permitted Hungary to annex northern and eastern Transylvania (August 1940). This gain was to prove short-lived as in 1945, following the Axis defeat, the Allied Powers ordained a return to the Treaty of Trianon borders. The war saw great population shifts, with some 219,000 Romanians being resettled out of North Transylvania into Romania and some 160,000 Magyars resettled out of Southern Transylvania and into Hungary.
On September 7/8, 1944, because of the fast approaching Soviet army, the evacuation of 52 Transylvanian communities was ordered, beginning with the communities just north of Schäßburg, followed by those around Sächsisch Regen. By September 20, 1944 the Saxons from Klausenburg and the Nösnerland communities had joined in the more than 1000 km long 8-10 week trek westwards through Hungary to Czechoslovakia, Austria and Germany. Of the approximately 35,000 Saxons from the Bistritz-Sächsisch Regen area, 22,000 went on foot, 10,000 by train and the rest in trucks. Of those who at the end of the war found themselves in Russian-occupied zones in Germany or Austria and were forced to return to Transylvania, approximately 8,000 did so. In the meantime, in January 1945 approximately 26,000 Saxons (out of a total of between 70,000 and 100,000 Romanian-German women between the ages of 18 to 30, and men between 17 and 45) were deported to Russian labour camps, (mainly in the Donez basin around Stalino and Woroschilowgrad, 800 km south of Moscow), where 15% died. The last survivors finally returned to Transylvania in 1951.
Hungary, Erdely - taxation;
Romania, Transilvania - taxation; or,
Austria, Siebenbuergen - taxation, will bring up the beginning of the record. It is necessary to know the Hungarian name of the village, and because of duplication of village names within Transylvania, the county (megye) and/or district (videke) as well. For Saxon communities only (and of these, only those that were enumerated), the microfilm and item number will be found in the Transylvania Saxon Village list
Those guild-members who were entitled to produce, manufacture, buy and sell raw materials and manufactured goods, to control the quality of the latter, and to employ one or more apprentices were called masters. Some guilds had their guild-hall and were obliged to defend a certain portion or tower of the city-fortifications. Their rules were transmitted orally; the first written guild-rule in Transylvania dates back to 1376 and was issued for 20 mechanical arts in the towns of Hermannstadt, Schäßburg, Mühlbach and Broos.