History Of Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. In ancient times it was part of the Dacian Kingdom (1st-2nd century), the Roman Dacia (2nd-3rd century), the Hunnic Empire (4th-5th century), the Kingdom of the Gepids (5th-6th century), the Avar Khaganate (6th-9th century) and the First Bulgarian Empire (9th century). In the late 9th century Transylvania became part of the Principality of Hungary out of which the Kingdom of Hungary was formed in 1000 AD. After the Battle of Mohacs in 1526, it become part of the Eastern Hungarian Kingdom, out of which the Principality of Transylvania emerged, which, most of the times in the 16th and 17th century, was the vassal country of the Ottoman Empire, however the principality often had dual suzerainty (Ottoman and Habsburg). In 1690, Habsburgs gained possession of Transylvania by right of the Hungarian crown. From 1711 onward, Habsburg control over Transylvania was consolidated, and the princes of Transylvania were replaced with Habsburg imperial governors. In 1867, after the Austro-Hungarian Compromise, the separate status of Transylvania ceased and it was incorporated into the Kingdom of Hungary (Transleithania) as part of Austrian-Hungarian Empire. After World War I, Transylvania became part of Romania. In 1940, Northern Transylvania reverted once again to Hungary as a result of the Second Vienna Award, but it was taken back by Romania after the end of World War II.
Due to its luscious history, the population of Transylvania is quite diverse from an ethnic, linguistic, religious and cultural point of view. From 1437 to 1848, political power in Transylvania was shared between the mostly Hungarian nobility, German burghers, and the seats of the Székely people (a Hungarian ethnic group), while the population was made up by Romanians, Hungarians (especially Székelys) and Germans (see also Kingdom of Hungary). Currently, the majority of the population consists of Romanians, but large minorities (mainly Hungarian and Roma) preserve their traditions. However, as recently as the Communist era, ethnic minority relations in Romania remained an issue of international contention. This has abated, but not disappeared, since the Revolution of 1989 restored democracy in Romania. Notably, Transylvania retains a significant Hungarian minority, slightly less than half of which also identify themselves as being Székely. Ethnic Germans in Transylvania (known collectively as "Saxons") now form only about 1% of the population. However, ancient Austrian and German influences remain obvious in the architecture and urban landscape of many parts of Transylvania.
The region's history can partly be traced through the religions of its inhabitants. Most Romanians in Transylvania are of Eastern Orthodox faith, while in 18th-20th centuries Romanian Greek-Catholic Church also had a substantial weight. Hungarians mainly belong to either the Roman Catholic or the Reformed Churches, while a smaller number are Unitarians. Of the ethnic Germans in Transylvania, Transylvanian Saxons have mostly been Lutheran since the Reformation, while Danube Swabians are Catholic. The Baptist Union of Romania is the second-largest such body in Europe, Seventh-day Adventists are long-established, and other Evangelical churches have been a growing presence since 1989. No Islamic communities remain from the era of Ottoman invasions. As elsewhere, anti-Semitic 20th-century politics saw Transylvania's once sizable Jewish population greatly reduced, firstly in the Holocaust, and then through emigration.
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