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Central Panorama, Sibiu, SB, Transylvania, Romania

Part of the project Sibiu 3D Baroque
Sibiu Local Council
Municipality of Sibiu
Sibiu Culture House
Youth Park No.1
Born in Rome in the 16th century, the Baroque imposed itself in the architecture and the urbanism of the Central Europe hardly in the next century, proving its dynamics by the easiness it managed to mix the classical forms with the Gothic ones. This vitality allowed it to dominate until the middle of the 18th century the panoply of the architectural styles, subsidiarily standing the test of time until the half of the 19th century. The political and economic situation in Transylvania was what kept the Baroque architectural manifestation from emerging before the first half of the 18th century. Nevertheless, the manifestation comes to its end at the same time with the Central-European movement, to which it was organically connected, at the end of the 19the century. Once the Transylvania was absorbed in the Habsburg Empire (1691) and some major architecture programs were materialized, the Baroque entered in the new imperial province, being firstly reflected by the military edifices, followed by the Catholic churches, along with the monastic urban assemblies and with the Jesuit schools, but also by the official buildings. There must be also mentioned the civilian architecture programs, represented by the headquarters of some governing and administration imperial institutions. Sibiu, as capital of Transylvania between 1692-1791 is the best fit for this pattern. The Baroque in Sibiu represents, without any shadow of doubt, an expression of the Habsburg dominion. At the same time, it stands for the counter-offensive of the Catholicism, on the trend of Counter-reform, at the fact that the Saxon population adopted Martin Luther’s Reform in the 16th century. The Baroque representation in Sibiu did not mean only a touch and retouch of the facades of the Gothic and Renaissance expression edifices, but a reorganization of the medieval citadel’s urbanism, as well. The new artistic phenomena restructured a series of spaces, which the citizens were very acquainted with. Therefore, this expressed itself on more directions: spiritually, culturally and socially, if we look at it from the architectural style point of view. The major urban projects of the Empire were planned and executed in such a manner, that they marked in decisive way the central urban space of the old Hermann’s burg. The building of the three major edifices (The Brukenthal Palace, the Roman-Catholic Church and the Filek House) which dominate the Old City’s center demanded a series of re-configurations and re-dimensioning. As it used to do, from Europe to the Latin America, the empire imposed on its territories not only the political program, but only the architectural print. From an artistic and stylistic point of view, the Baroque in Sibiu brings some new elements: 1) The assertion and the establishment of the political situation through the building of the Roman-Catholic church by the Jesuit monks. 2) The emergence of the noble urban residences having a representation status is related to the traditional aristocracy and to the new patrician families, as well, invested with titles by the Austrian emperor. 3) The cross-bar configuration of the two noble urban residences in the main city square represents a significant assertion of House of Hapsburg’s policy to the edges of its empire. The Baroque in Sibiu is represented nowadays in the variety of the compositions, of the architectural and decorative register, what invests the city with a unitary succession of diverse images. Although it was somehow strained to manifest in a curdled urban frame, where the political authority of absolutist manner coexisted with an autonomous community, the Baroque phenomena did not convert the medieval Sibiu into a Baroque town, but offered instead the chance of a unitary coexistence, manifested also on the confessional and cultural level.
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