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Alba Iulia

(4.3/5 based on 650+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, nature, museums
Alba Iulia is a city located on the Mureş River in Alba County, Transylvania, Romania, with a population of 63,536 as of 2011. Since the High Middle Ages, the city has been the seat of Transylvania's Roman Catholic diocese. Between 1541 and 1690 it was the capital of the Eastern Hungarian Kingdom and the latter Principality of Transylvania. Alba Iulia is historically important for Hungarians, Romanians and Transylvanian Saxons.The city administers four villages: Bărăbanț, Micești, Oarda and Pâclișa .NamesDuring the Roman period the settlement was called Apulum (from the Dacian Apoulon, mentioned by Ptolemy). The early Slavic name of the settlement was Bălgrad (meaning "white castle" or "white town"). The old Romanian name of the town was Bălgrad, originated from Slavic. The "white city" was Latinized into Alba Julia or Alba Yulia.Its modern name Alba Iulia is an adoption of the town's medieval Latin name. It started to spread in Romanian vulgar tongue in the 18th century. The modern name has been officially used since the town became part of Romania. The first part of the name "Alba" denotes the ruins of the Roman fort Apulum (the pre-feudal white citadel), and its suffix "Iulia" ("Julius") refers to Gyula, a mid-tenth-century Hungarian warlord who baptized in Constantinople.
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