The historic region of Transylvania covers an area of approximately 56,000 km² (roughly corresponding to the area of the German states of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate). The hilly region is surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains in the North, East and South (highest peak: Moldoveanul, 2544 m). Its landscape is characterised by woods (40%), pasture, farmland and vineyards. The Mureş River divides Transylvania into northern and southern areas. Other important rivers are the rivers Târnava Mare, Olt and Someş. The region has a moderate continental climate with dry and hot summers and cold winters, usually with little snow. The region is blessed with natural resources such as natural gas, coal, salt, non-ferrous metals and iron ore.
Transylvania is divided into nine districts (called “judete”) including around 70 cities, 550 towns and more than 3,000 villages. This multi-ethnic region is home to Romanians but also Hungarians or Szeklers, Romanies and the German-speaking Transylvanian Saxons (according to the 2011 census: 12,000 Saxons).