Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Transylvania, the easternmost portion of the Austrian Empire, bounded by Hungary on the N. and W., Bukowina and Moldavia on the E. and Wallachia on the S.; area, 21,512 square miles. It consists of a tableland, enclosed on the N., E., and S. by the Carpathians, and crossed by spurs of the same mountains. The Latin name, which has been in use since the twelfth or thirteenth century, refers to its position "beyond the woods" of Hungary. Although wide tracts are still covered with the forests, from which its Magyar and Roumanian names (Erdely and Ardealn) are derived, nearly one-half of the surface is either tilled or pasture-land. The soil is fertile, yielding abundant crops of maize, wheat, rye, flax, hemp, and tobacco; the vintage is also plentiful, and various fruits, such as the apple, peach, plum, and almond, are extensively cultivated. Horse-breeding is an important industry. The forests maintain large herds of swine, and much care is devoted to the rearing of cattle and sheep. Transylvania is rich in gold and silver; copper, quicksilver, iron, lead and salt are also worked. The manufactures and commerce are inconsiderable. More than half the population is composed of Roumanians or Wallachians, who, prior to 1848 had no share in the political privileges enjoyed by the Hungarians, the Szeklers, and the Saxons (Germans who colonised the country in the twelfth century); there are also large numbers of gypsies, Jews, Greeks, Armenians, and Slavs. After the struggle in 1848 between the Roumanians on the one hand and the "privileged nations" on the other, Transylvania was made an Austrian Crown-land; but, in 1860 a return was made to the older arrangement, and in 1868 it was finally incorporated in Hungary. Klausenburg, Hermannstadt, and Kronstadt are the principal towns.