- geographical situation: in the central-western part of Romania;
- neighbours: in the north-Cluj; in the north-west-Bihor, Arad; in the south-west-Hunedoara; in the south-Valcea; in the east-Sibiu; in the north-east-Mures;
- surface: 6,242 square km (respectively 2,6 % of the country-s territory);
- population: 416,000 inhabitants;
- towns: ALBA IULIA-capital of the county (with 73,000 inhabitants, situated
at an altitude of 220-250 m, it is placed east of the Apuseni Mountains, at the junction of the Ampoi and Mures rivers); Abrud; Aiud; Blaj; Campeni; Cugir; Ocna Mures; Sebes; Teius; Zlatna.
- relief: it is organized into three natural units: the Apuseni Mountains in the north-west, the Parang group, of the Southern Carpathians (in the south-part of the Sureanu Mountains, west of the Sebes Valley and a narrow strip of the Cindrel Mountains, east of the Sebes) and the Tarnave Plateau in the east (the proper TⲮave Plateau and the Secase Plateau); the corridor of the Mures separates the high zone of the Apuseni Mountains of the zone characterized by hills of the Tarnave Plateau, with heights of 400-500 m;
- climate: it is continental, influenced by the relief units and it can be divided into two big sectors: the climate is cold and damper in area with mountains, and in area with hills, it is warmer and drier;
- watercourses: uniformly distributed, they belong to the Mures basin, from north-east to south-west and to its tributaries (Sebes, Tarnave, Aries, Ampoi, Cugir);
- The Gaina Mountain (1,484 m)-only partially on the territory of Alba county (at 8 km south-west of Avram Iancu), its plateau hosts the great folk festival -Girl Market-, held every year around July 20;
- The Bihor Mountains-Curcubata peak, 1,849 m, highest in the Apuseni Mountains, (at 4-5 hours walk from Arieseni);
- Muntele Mare (The Big Mountain);
- The Trascau Mountains;
- The Sureanu Mountains-Patru peak, 2,130 m height.
- The Scarisoara Karst Complex-placed in the Bihor Mountains, (a 2-3 hours walk from Garda de Sus), it is the greatest ice cave in Romania among the few in the entire world, unique in the Southeastern Europe, to be found at this altitude; the glacier is 18-20 m thick with a volume of 75,000 cubic m, it never melts, although it is about 3,000 years old);
- -Huda lui Papara--(2 hours away from Salciua), the cave from the Apuseni/Trascau Mountains stretches on 2,000 m along a subterranean river, with lakes and waterfalls, wide rooms and spectacular norrow tracts;
- The Vartop Glacier-near Arieseni, (at an altitude of 1,300);
- The Glacier from Zgurasti;
- Pojarul Politei.
GORGES AND NARROW PATHS
- The Gorges in the Ramet Valley Basin-near the village of Ramet; with vertical walls and steep slopes, with cave entrances (47), niches, archways, towers, cornices and structural shelves, where one can find the edelweiss and the white China pink, plants acknowledged as monuments of nature;
- The Narrow Path of the Aries-with steep walls, ridgets, caves, it is one of the most picturesque, famous and popular narrow paths in the country;
- The Gorges in the Galda Valley Basin-(The Intregalde Gorges host the edelweiss at the lowest altitude in Romania-590 m);
- The Ampoita Gorges-in the Trascau Mountains.
- Iezerul Ighielului-(22 km away from Ighiu); it is the biggest Karst lake in Romania, situated on the upper side of the river with the same name, in the southern part of the Trascau Mountains, at an altitude of 924 m;
- Iezerul Sureanu-complex scientific preserve at an altitude of 1,790 m in the north of the Sureanu Mountains;
- Accumulating lakes: Oasa (460 hectares, 33 km away from Sugag), Tau, Nedeiu;
- The lakes from Ocna Mures-on salt deposits.
PRESERVES AND MONUMENTS OF NATURE
- Dealul cu Melci (The Hill with Snails)-paleontological preserve (15 km west of Campeni and 10 km north of Vidra) situated in the Aries Valley, it hosts the remains of thousands of snails which lived in the warm cretaceous seas, being one of the richest fossil deposits in Romania;
- Pietrele Detunatei (The Rocks of Detunata)-(20 km away from Abrud and about one hour from Bucium), geologic preserve represented by two volcanic basalt rocks: -Detunata Goala- si -Detunata Flocoasa- (at an altitude of about 1200 m);
- Rapa Rosie (The Red Cliff)-(3 km away from Sebes), geologic preserve covering an area of 10 hectares, it includes sculptural forms (columns, towers, pyramids) located on the right bank of the Secas, shaped in 60 million years by the incesant action of the water;
- The Roman Fortresses from Rosia Montana-(a few km away from the Campeni railway station), geologic and archaeological preserve hosting the vestiges of the Dacian and Roman gold mining operations;
- Negrileasa-floristic preserve, 5 hectares of daffodils;
- Sesul Craiului from Scarita-Belioara-botanical preserve;
- Fagul Imparatului (The Emperor-s Beechtree)-(near Muncelu), big old tree which never loses the leaves, acknowledged as protected tree;
- Avram Iancu-s Oaktree-it is more than 500 years old, a protected tree;
- Eminescu-s Lindentree-at Blaj, a protected tree.
RESORTS AND SPAS
- Ocna Mures-watering and climatic resort (at an altitude of 258 m) on the left bank of the Mures river, it has salted water lakes and a moderate-continental climate; the average annual temperature is of 9oC (above 20oC in July, below -4oC in January). Among the treatment facilities, we can mention: solarium for aerotherapy and heliotherapy; devices for electrotherapy; devices for warm baths; devices with concentrated salted mineral water.
- Arieseni-in the Bihor Mountains (at an altitude of 1,000-1,100 m), near the springs of the Ariesul Mare river (DN 75), spa and favourable resort for winter sports;
- Alba Iulia Fortress-the first medieval fortress (it was built by ruler Gyla in the 9th-10th centuries). The Alba Carolina Fortress is the biggest and the last fortress of such type in Transylvania, built between 1716-1738;
- The Ruins of the Dacian Fortress, Capalna (2nd century B.C.-106 A.D.), on the Cetate Hill, at an altitude of 610 m, Burebista included this fortress in the defense system of the Sarmizegetusa Regia.
- The Ruins of the Dacian Fortress, Craiva-(2nd century B.C.-1st century A.D.), center of the Apulian Dacian tribe, (the antique Apoulon), Ptolemeus wrote about this in his -Geography-.
- The Ruins of the Roman Settlement of Brucla-Aiud, (2nd and 3rd century A.D., traces);
- Fortress-Aiud, (13th-15th century A.D.), among the oldest urban fortifications in Transylvania;
- Dacian Fortress-Cetatea de Balta, (1st century B.C.-1st century A.D., ruins);
- Fortress-Tauti, (built in 1276);
- Uioara Fortress- Teleky, (13th century, ruins);
- The Roman Settlement of Ampelum-Zlatna;
- The Roman Salt Mines-Ocna Mures.
- The Palace of the Ruling Prince, Alba Iulia-(13th and 18th centuries)-impressive building, almost 5 centuries old, it was restored by Isabela and Ioan Sigismund, at the middle of the 16th century, former residence of Michael the Brave (1599-1600);
- Martinuzzi Castle, Vintu de Jos-(1550), built by the bishop of Oradea and governer of Transylvania, Gh. Martinuzzi, castle with a bad reputation, being the place where the governor was killed at the order of the General Castaldo (1551); it was the place where the ruler of Moldavia, Aron the Tyrant (1595-1597) was put to jail and then killed;
- Bethlen Castle-Blaj, (15th century), today it hosts the Town Museum;
- -Bethlen- Castle- Cetatea de Balta (1570-1580);
- Teleky Castle-Ocna Mures, (1742);
- Bethlen Castle-Sanmiclaus, (1668-1683), it was built in the later Renaissance style.
- Roman-Catholic Cathedral, Alba Iulia-(1246- 1300), the most valuable monument of medieval architecture in Transylvania, it has the same age as the famous Notre Dame, it was built in a later Romanesque style. Iancu de Hunedoara restaured it and became his family necropolis;
- Evangelic Church, Sebes-(13th-14th centuries), a symbiosis of Romanesque and Gothic styles, representing (by its age and beauty) a valuable monument. The oldest side was built in the period of the Tartar invasion, 1241;
- Roman-Catholic Church-Abrud, (1270);
- Reformed Church-Aiud, (15th century);
- Orthodox Cathedral of the Union-Alba-Iulia (1921-1922); it is a combination of old Romanian architectural styles;
- Greek-Catholic Cathedral-Blaj, (1738-1745);
- Reformed Church-Cetatea de Balta, (13th century);
- -Saint George- Church-Lupsa, (1421), it was built by the ruler Vladislav;
- Romanesque Church-Santimbru; (13th century), Iancu de Hunedoara restored it, in memory of a battle;
- Reformed Church-Teius, (13th century);
- Roman-Catholic Church-Teius, (1448);
- The Orthodox Church-Zlatna, (1424);
- Minorite Monastery-Aiud, (1724-1736);
- Ramet Monastery-Ramet, (1240), 18 km away from Teius.
- Batthyaneum Library, Alba Iulia-(1792, the building was built in 1784), the bishop Batthyani founded it, the library has more than 55,000 books, 19,000 documents, 1,230 manuscripts, 500 incunables, it is one of the most valuable libraries in Romania. Among the manuscripts there is a part of the famous -Codex aureus- (8th century), on parchment paper;
- Museum of Natural Sciences, Aiud-(founded in 1794), it is the second museum of natural sciences of our country, in terms of value, its 5 exhibition halls present more than 3,000 species of insects, butterflies and birds;
- Museum of the Union, Alba Iulia-it is one of the oldest museums in our country (founded in 1887) and operates in the -Babylon- building (1851); it hosts more than 18,000 objects (they belong to archaeology, history, ethnography), numismatic and epigraphic collection and a very well endowed library (over 55,000 volumes). Near the -Babylon- building there is also the Union Hall (1908), where the union of Transylvania with Romania was proclaimed (by the solemn decision of the Great National Assembly from Alba Iulia, on December 1st, 1918);
- Memorial Museum of Avram Iancu-Avram Iancu-it is the birthplace of the revolutionist from 1848, who was born here in 1824 and later known as -The Prince of the Mountains-, the museum preserves many of the documents and declarations written by Avram Iancu, personal items, weapons used during the Revolution (1848-1849);
- Memorial House -Horea--Vasile Nicola-Ursu was born here in 1730, later he was called Horea;
- Memorial House Blaga-Lancram-the birth place of poet, writer, philosopher and diplomat Lucian Blaga, (1895-1961), 4 km away from Sebes.
MONUMENTS AND STATUES
- The Monument of Horea, Closca and Crisan-Alba Iulia, it was built in memory of the leaders of peasant rebellion from 1784 who sacrificed themselves for the rights of the oppressed;
- The Monument from Miraslau-it is dedicated to the soldiers of Michael the Brave who died here in the battle, on September 8th, 1600, defeated by General Basta-s army;
- The Monument from the Liberty Field-Blaj, it was built in memory of the Revolution of 1848;
- The Monument in the place where Horea and Closca were killed with the torture wheel--Dealul Furcilor-, Alba Iulia;
- Equestrian Statue of Michael the Brave-Alba Iulia, in front of the Museum of the Union;
- Equestrian Statue of Avram Iancu-Campeni;
- The Statue of the Poet Lucian Blaga-Lancram.
- -Motilor Land-, a region of this county, it is a central point of folk arts and customs, with a special mention for the following localities: Avram Iancu (place of origin of the alpen-horn played by women, with a famous women alpen-horn player group); Bucium (the richest and the most interesting popular costume in this part of the country); Capalna (customs related to shepherds- life); Laz (folk art school: weaving, sowing, glass painting); Sasciori (red pottery, enamelled or not); Sugag (folk art school: wood carving); Vidra (typical mountain village, alpen-horn and tub makers).