Alba Iulia is a medium-sized Romanian city of 61,000 inhabitants in the heart of the historical region of Transylvania. One of the country’s oldest settlements, Alba Iulia was an important centre in Roman times. In 1541 it became the capital of Transylvania, and in 1918 the province announced its unification with Romania. This rich history has left Alba Iulia with a fine heritage, particularly the 18th-century Alba Carolina Citadel.
In recent times, Alba Iulia has had limited economic opportunities, and has depended on tourism. The city still has traditional industries such as porcelain, textiles and metal-working, as well as food processing. The local authority is trying to attract new businesses to the outskirts of the city. The university and its foreign students are a key asset in this endeavour. According to the World Bank and Moody’s credit rating agency, Alba Iulia Municipality is a city with a strong institutional capacity for planning urban development and attracting finance for urban projects.
Alba Iulia launched the city’s first logo, ‘The Other Capital’, in 2010, as part of its strategy for promoting tourism. The Alba Iulia city brand is rated as the most inspired in Romania by the national media. Since then, the municipality has carried out a range of initiatives aimed at promoting cultural tourism and wants to develop the gastronomic potential of the region. In 2012 the European Commission gave Alba Iulia the title of European Destination of Excellence, for its conservation and renovation of historical and cultural sites.
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