Text and photos Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
Design Florin Alexandru Stancu

This project begins with a few pictures representing
the Occidental Carpathians or the mountains of Transylvania,
a principality which in the 14th-17th centuries was dominated by the three nations
of the Magyars, Transylvanian Saxons and Szekelys,
but inhabited by a Romanian majority without rights,
and was annexed by the Habsburg Empire in the 1680s.

Wanting to grow the proportion of the Catholics over here
and to reduce the proportion of the Protestants
(Calvinists, Unitarians and Lutherans),
the Austrians orientated to the Romanian population, who was Orthodox,
and invented the Greek-Catholic religion
(which kept the Orthodox rituals, but recognized the Pope of Rome as leader),
promising some (modest) rights to those who embrace it.

And many Romanians converted themselves,
attracted especially by the fact that
their children could study in schools.

And the effect was rather unexpected.

Baron Ioan Inochentie Micu Klein (1692-1768)
became the Greek-Catholic Episcope of Transylvania in 1729,
and from this position he created “Little Rome” in the town of Blaj,
founding the Romanian Greek-Catholic Cathedral in 1741
and the first Romanian school in Transylvania.

He also assumed more missions to Vienna, the Capital City of the Empire,
asking for superior rights for the Romanians,
about whom he argued that they are
the oldest, the most numerous and the most productive inhabitants
in Transylvania.

Thus, he was the founder of
the Romanian political thinking in Transylvania,
disturbing Empress Maria Teresa, who intended to arrest him,
a reason for which he auto-exiled to Rome.

But he left an essential way,
which was followed in the 1790s
by Supplex Libellus Valachorum Transsilvaniae,
a series of petitions addressed to Emperor Leopold II
by important Romanian-Transylvanian intellectuals
(Ignatie Darabant, Ioan Bob, Gherasim Adamovici, Petru Maior,
Ioan Budai Deleanu, Gheorghe Sincai and others,
including even Samuil Micu - the son of Ioan Inochentie Micu Klein),
which, practically, opened the fight for the union with Romania.

In 2017 June I tried to reconstitute
(by bus, not by diligence like my ancestors)
the road of Ioan Inochentie Micu Klein
and Supplex Libellus Valachorum Transsilvaniae
to Vienna
and I started from the Transylvanian mountains
(sentimentally thinking that, in fact, the family of my father lived over there
and moved to Braila in Wallachia in the 19th century).

Then, crossing Hungary,
I caught a superb sunset.

On the next day I passed the former Iron Curtain
(established between East and West for over four decades
after World War II) - the former border between Hungary and Austria
(a country reduced, after World War I,
from an immense empire to a small republic).

After I passed over the Danube River,
I arrived in Vienna’s imperial square.

I looked for the Sun
(thinking that Vienna was the political sun of the Habsburg Empire)
and I hardly found it through the clouds.

Finally I watched for a while the Imperial Palace
(founded in the 13th century, with more additions later)
and the evolution of the clouds above it,
and, when the Sun timidly appeared,
accompanied by an atmospheric arc,
I wrote a…


Now Transylvania is part of Romania,
The dream of Ioan Micu Klein,
While Vienna’s Imperial Palace
Continues to look fine.


© 2019 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)