On geographical maps, Transylvania seems clearly defined by the mountains and the hills that stand around it. Set in the middle of Romania, ringed by the Carpathians like the walls of a citadel, Transylvania is home to 4.3 million Romanians, more than a million Hungarian Romanians and to the small remnants of a population of nearly one million Germans. The Land Beyond the Forest, as it was called by the Romans after their conquest, is one of the most interesting regions in Europe with an exciting mixture of different cultures and civilizations. Before the 20th century, Transylvania was the most developed province of Romania. It was also the place where, better then anywhere else, the traditions of the past were maintained along with the habits, customs and essence of the three cohabiting nationalities.
The first written history of Transylvania is strongly related to the ancient times of the Dacians and, subsequently, to the Romans and their conquests. The Romans stayed in Transylvania for more than 150 years, from 106 AD till 274 AD, living alongside the indigenous population of Dacians. In the end, because of attacks from migratory groups, they had to retreat from this rich, wealthy province, leaving it to manage by itself.