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Transylvania

Introduction

Transylvania (trănˌsĭlvāˈnyə) [key], Rom. Transilvania or Ardeal, Hung. Erdély, Ger. Siebenbürgen, historic region and province (21,292 sq mi/55,146 sq km), central Romania. A high plateau, Transylvania is separated in the S from Walachia by the Transylvanian Alps and in the E from Moldavia and Bukovina by the Carpathian Mts. (of which the Transylvanian Alps are a continuation). In the north and west Transylvania borders on Crişana-Maramureş and in the SW on the Banat. The Transylvanian plateau, 1,000 to 1,600 ft (305–488 m) high, is drained by the Mureşul River and other tributaries of the Danube. Cluj-Napoca is the chief city; other major urban centers are Braşov, Sibiu, and Tîrgu-Mureş.

Economically and culturally one of the most advanced regions of Romania, Transylvania is rich in mineral resources, notably lignite, iron, lead, manganese, gold, copper, natural gas, salt, and sulfur. There are large iron and steel, chemical, and textile industries. Stock raising, agriculture, wine production, and fruit growing are important occupations. Timber is another valuable resource. A sizable Hungarian minority, as well as Romani (Gypsies) and Germans, live in Transylvania.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Romanian Political Geography

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