22. ASTRA Park and Palace

22. ASTRA Park and Palace

Audio Guide


Strada Mitropoliei, Sibiu, Romania


After so many streets and buildings, we invite you for a walk in the ASTRA park. In the 19th century the fortification walls and defense towers were demolished or incorporated into the new infrastructure. In 1879, the Society for the beautification of the city was founded, the purpose of which is suggested by its name. One of the main concerns was the building of green spaces in the city, the ASTRA park being the first significant achievement. At the beginning of the 20th century, the park got its current appearance, and due to the activity of the ASTRA Association, several busts of personalities of the Romanian culture were unveiled. Since 2007, an artesian fountain has been set up in the middle of the park, animating the place during summer. Thanks to the marble chess tables, the enthusiasts of the “sport of the mind” are happy to spend their free time here. If you feel ready, challenge them to a game! 
You may notice the two Atlas statues at the entrance of the Palace of the Transylvanian Association for Romanian Literature and the Culture of the Romanian People - ASTRA. Built between 1903 and 1905, it served as the headquarters of the association, and was designed to house an historical and ethnographic museum, the archive and the library of the association. The museum was inaugurated on August 6, 1905. 
With its lush Victorian-style decorations, the second-floor room is among the most beautiful entertainment venues in the city. The first Romanian theater performance in Transylvania took place on its stage. Nowadays, the hall hosts special events, book launches, jazz and classical music concerts. The palace houses the headquarters of the ASTRA County Library. 
On the left, the ornate façade of the Pediatric Hospital draws anyone’s attention. The building was originally a sanatorium and guesthouse for those who frequented the public baths. Under the name "Baia Populară", the public baths still welcomes its guests today in the fascinating décor of its high ceiling, arched balconies and elements specific to the Baroque and Jugendstil styles. 

🤔 Did you know?

🔍 Since 2010, the objectives of the Society for the beautification of Sibiu have been taken over by the Association for the beautification of the city of Sibiu (AIOS).

🔍 The cost of building the ASTRA Palace was 158,426 crowns. The amount was collected from member fees, donors and a lottery organized for this purpose.

🔍 Dr. Cornel Diaconovici, secretary of the association and author of the first Romanian Encyclopedia, played an important role in the fundraising.

🔍 The first play performed at the opening of the hall was “Blanduzia’s Fountain” by Vasile Alecsandri. 

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