During the Roman period the settlement was called Apulum. The second part “Iulia” refers to “Julius” (in Hungarian Gyula), the deputy leader of Transylvania. Its Hungarian name Gyulafehérvár literally means “white castle of the Gyula” or “white city of Julius” and it is a translation of the Slavic “Belgrade” (“white castle”). The old Romanian name of the town was Bălgrad originated from Slavic too.

In 955 it was called Gyula dux Civitatem Albam in Ereel. Later in the Middle Ages different names occurred as Frank episcopus Belleggradienesis in 1071, in 1134 Albae Civitatis, in 1153 Belegrada, in 1177 Albensis Ultrasilvanus, in 1199 eccl. Micahelis, in 1200 Albe Transilvane, in 1201 Albe Transsilvane, in 1206 castrum Albens, in 1213 canonicis Albensibus, in 1219 Albensis eccl. Transsylvane, in 1231 B. Michaelis arch. Transsilv., in 1242 Alba… Civitas, in 1245 Alba sedes eptus, in 1291 Alba Jula, in 1572 Feyrvar, in 1574 Feyérvár, in 1576 Weissenburg, in 1579 Belugrad, in 1619 Gyula Feyervár, in 1690 Gyula Fehérvár, in 1715 Karlsburg. Beside the name Karlsburg another German name Weyssenburg was also used.

Historical Center

The Coronation Cathedral
Built in 1921-1922, the cathedral was ready in time for the coronation of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie as monarchs of Greater Romania on October 15, 1922.

St. Michael’s Cathedral, Alba Iulia
During the Mongol invasion of 1241, the church was destroyed. In the middle of the 13th century the cathedral was rebuilt on the old foundation, in the transitory style between Romanesque and Gothic.

History and Archeoligical Museum
The museum exhibits over 130,000 pieces of priceless works, organized chronologically from prehistory to present day.

The Unification Hall

  • retains historical significance from having hosted, on 1 December 1918, the rally who determined the province’s union with the Kingdom of Romania.

The Vauban Fortress

  • with seven bastions in a stellar shape, was constructed between 1716 and 1735, by two fortification architects of Swiss origin.