October 23, 2017


The Union Hall is one of the most important buildings in Romania. It is the place where the union of Transylvania with Romania was concluded in 1918. It is no exaggeration to say that this is a place of remarkable symbolic value, pilgrimage and introspection.

Are you wondering why the meeting of the Great National Assembly was held precisely here? Because this was the most spacious building in Alba Iulia at that time and the only one that could house 1,228 Romanian delegates on December 1st, 1918. They represented the entirety of Transylvania, geographically, socially, professionally, religiously and politically. The central moment of the meeting was the reading of the „Union Resolution” by Vasile Goldiș. Subsequently, the fundamental act was adopted unanimously by those present. The key document of the Union is engraved on the inner wall of the Hall.

The central space of the hall is dedicated to the 1918 moment where tourists can see insignia that belonged to delegates that attended the union: flags, medals, credentials, and documents which were used to access to the Union Hall.

Aurel Lazer’s law office in Arad talks about the moment of drawing up the Declaration of Self-determination (12 October 1918) – the first big step towards accomplishing the union of Transylvania with Romania. A few days later, the declaration was read in the Budapest Parliament; the document paved the way for Romanians in Transylvania for the coming period: complete separation from Hungary and the preparation for future steps to achieve the Union with Romania.

The main hall also exhibits Samoilă Mârza’s camera, which was used to capture five emblematic photographs of the union. Samoilă Mârza was the only person of the over 100,000 Romanians present in Alba Iulia who was in possession of a camera so that he would subsequently be called the „Union’s photographer”.

However, why do we have only pictures from the outside with the crowds and official tribunes? Samoilă Mârza had no access to the Union Hall because he was not the official photographer of the event. Even so, the importance of his photographs is overwhelming. The images were also used to demonstrate how democratic the union’s act was.

The historical significance of the hall for 1918 is marked above the hall’s entrance by a Latin quote from the historian Ioan Lupaș: „In the year of the Lord 1918, on the 1st of December, here it was forever and irrevocably proclaimed, by solemn and unanimous voting of the people, the union between Transylvania with Daco-Romania. May the remembrance of this act be eternal.”

Inside the hall you can find an impressive gallery of 21 busts of the most important representatives of 1918: politicians, soldiers, servicemen, church and cultural representatives.

Built in 1900, the edifice initially served as a military casino. It was a place for ceremonies and receptions held by the Austro-Hungarian army. Following the union, the hall was significantly improved in order to be ready for the royal banquet which followed the Coronation of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie in 1922. 50 years after the union, the building is transformed into an exhibition space. Considering that 2018 marks 100 years from the Union of Transylvania with Romania, a major project is planned to rehabilitate the Union Hall.