MIERCUREA CIUC (Csíksereda/Szeklerburg), 100km north of Braşov, is an important transport hub and capital of Harghita county, though it is less charming than its other towns. Its main claim to fame these days is as the home of Ciuc, one of Romania’s better beers (Csiki sor in Hungarian, pronounced “cheeky sure” – and now owned by Heineken). The city centre, with the windswept Piaţa Libertăţii at its heart, was extensively rebuilt in communist concrete, made worse by a rash of ugly modern churches, and aside from some Secession and Art Nouveau touches on Strada Petőfi, the Mikó citadel and the adjacent 1890s Law Courts and City Hall, there is little of architectural merit here.

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