Alba region. Transylvanian Vineland

Alba Iulia and its surroundings, Vineland (Hegyalja) region
In the geometric centre of the combined area of Transylvania and Partium, in the heart of Transylvania lies Hegyalja (Vineland) region, in the western part of Alba county, not far from Alba Iulia. The region is bordered on the northern part by the Ore Mountains (Muntii Metaliferi, Érchegység). On the hill backs of Mures and Ampoi rivers in earlier times the Romans, Slavs, Hungarians, Romanians and the Germans found accommodation. Hegyalja is a varied land, is undulated, covered with pastures and vineyards, for centuries it has been the home of viniculture. Ranks of hills, wide pastures, big forests, vineyards, valleys and mountain streams offer a wonderful view of the Ore Mountains (Érchegység), then the Ighiu creek, which flows into the Ampoi river gives place to narrow valleys. Vineland (Tara Vinului, Hegyalja) with its larger and smaller settlements, after Aiud (Nagyenyed), surrounds the ranges of the West – Carpathians. Because of the warm temperature its hills are appropriate for viniculture and agriculture. Vineland from the front is bordered by the Mures Valley with its bigger towns, from behind is bordered by the Ore Mountains giving place to numerous valleys and canyons (the Ramet gorge, Ampoi gorge, Galda valley). Above Vineland lies the Goat-rock to which the Ilona-legend is related. The settlements took advantage of the richness of the soil, using it for agriculture, so they still keep their medieval names: Tövis=Spinewillage, Borosbenedek=Vinebenedick, AIsógáld, Diód=Nutwillage, Boroskrakkó=Vinekrakko, Borosbocsárd=Vinekrakko, Vajasd=Butterwillage, Magyarigen=Hungarian Yes, Igenpataka=Yes-creek, Celna and Sárd = Mudwillage are the most important settlements of Vineland. Balogh József says about this place the following: „Its layout is magnificent. Its northern slope is like a gigantic stage. To the West the volcanic mountains of the Transylvanian Ore Mountains close this place, above which guards the Goat-rock. To North, to Galda de Jos stays the castle of the Kemény family. To North-east and East the valley of the Mures gives us a friendly landscape with its bold peaks and steep hills. Here lies the Bilak meadow full of flowers which with their perfume call the butterflies, the bees and wasps.”