The most Eastern point which Steiner visited in his lifetime is said to be Sibiu (then Hermannstadt, nearby painting from 1808, by Franz Neuhauser Jr.) where he gave a lecture in 1889, on the role of women in Goethe's work. Transylvania was at that time under Hungarian administration, as part of Austria-Hungary. Steiner was deeply moved by the ethnic diversity which he encountered, and also by the wild mountainous scenery, about which he recounts in his autobiography:

„Half a year after this visit, my Transylvanian friends arranged for me to deliver a lecture at Hermannstadt. It was Christmas time. I traveled over the wide plains in the midst of which lies Arad. The melancholy poetry of Lenau sounded in my heart as I looked out over those plains where all is one expanse to which the eye can find no limit. I had to spend the night in a little border village between Hungary and Transylvania.

I sat in a little guest-room half the night. Besides myself there was only a group of card-players sitting round a table. In this group there were all the nationalities to be found at that time in Hungary and Transylvania. The men were playing with a vehemence which constantly broke loose at half-hour intervals, so that it took the form of soul-clouds which rose above the table, struggled together like demons, and wreathed the men as if in the coils of serpents. What differences in vehement existence were there manifested by these different national types!

I reached Hermannstadt on Christmas Day. Here I was introduced into “Transylvanian Saxonism” which existed there in the midst of a Rumanian and Magyar environment. A noble folk which, in the midst of a decline that it could not perceive, desired to prove its gallantry. A Germanism which, like a memory of the transfer of its life centuries ago to the East, wished to show its loyalty to its origins, but which in this temper of soul showed a trait of alienation from the world manifesting itself as an elevated universal joy in life. I passed happy days among the German ministers of the Evangelical Church, among the teachers of the German schools, and among other German Transylvanians. My heart warmed to these people who, in the concern for their folk life and in their duty to this, evolved a culture of the heart which spoke first of all likewise to the heart.

This vital warmth filled my soul as I sat in a sleigh*, wrapped close in heavy furs, and travelled with these old and new friends through icy-cold and crackling snow to the Carpathians (the Transylvanian Alps). A dark, forested mountain country when one moves toward it from the distance; a wild, precipitous, often frightful mountain landscape when one is close at hand.

The centre in all which I then experienced was my friend of many years. He was always thinking of something new whereby I might learn about Transylvanian Saxonism. He was still dividing his time between Vienna and Hermannstadt. At that time he owned a weekly paper at Hermannstadt founded for the purpose of fostering Transylvanian Saxonism. It was a completely idealist undertaking, utterly devoid of practical experience, but at which almost all representatives of Saxonism laboured together. After a few weeks it came to grief.
Such experiences as this journey were brought to me by destiny; and through them I was enabled to educate my perception for the outer world, a thing which had not been easy for me, whereas in the element of the spiritual I lived as in something self-evident.”
(From Rudolf Steiner, The Story of My Life)

* There is a certain legend about the episode of the sleigh drive, which relates that Steiner was left alone overnight, according to his own will, in a setting close to the Carpathian Mountains. There he is said to have encountered one of the great Masters, possibly Master Jesus (Meister Jesus, not to be mistaken for Christ). Friedrich Rittelmeyer later noted that, when asked if Master Jesus was incarnated at that time (1920s), Rudolf Steiner answered that he was living somewhere in the Carpathian Mountains. Although the Carpathians cross more than one land, this part of Steiner's biography may support such a presumption.