Arad County

[ Short History | Geographical Outline | Touristic Information | Economy Profile ]

Short history

Arad is for the first time mentioned in a document dated 1028. Dacian citadels existed here ever since the 4th century BC, as part of Buerebista’s state and Decebal’s kingdom passing then, after AD 106, under Roman rule. In the 11th century, Arad fell under the sway of the Hungarian kingdom, to become a town in 1329. In 1552, it was taken over by the Ottomans whose rule was for a while (1595-1615) cut short by the armies of Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave). In 1687, it went to the Hapsburg Empire. In 1834, Arad became a free royal town, and from 1867 to 1918 it was part of the dual Austrian-Hungarian system. The 6th Mountain Corps of the Romanian Army entered Arad on 17 May 1919 giving thus the town guarantees that it would pass under Romanian administration. In connection with the town’s economic development at the time, the great Romanian historian Nicolae Iorga, on a documentation trip there in 1906, said that: Arad has seldom seen so much first-quality merchandise at carefully established prices that are in no way exaggerated, displayed in the shop windows on Arad boulevard, worthy of any modern capital, with first-rate buildings. All this prompted Iorga to compare Arad to the Viennese Ring. As early as 1870, Arad, with its more than 32,000 inhabitants, was the most populated town of Transilvania. In a swing of economic development, several important units were built: the textile mill (1867), the gas factory (1868), the brick and tile factory (1869) and a furniture mill (1878). Another furniture mill, founded in 1890 by Laurentiu and Lengyel (the present-day IMAR), was to become, in 1910, one of the most famous in Europe. The year 1892 saw the setting up of the Ioan Weitzer Railway Car and Locomotive Plant, and the Marta Works that in 1909 also produced motor cars. Following their merger, the present-day ASTRA Railway Car Enterprise was born that at the time also put out planes. The same year, the Hungaria Textiles Factory was founded, later called ITA. In 1918, a knitwear factory was built, the present-day Tricoul Rosu. Transportation also recorded a powerful upturn. After the Great Union, Arad was one of the most developed towns in the county: in 1937, it placed fourth in Romania, with its upwards of 4,000 firms registered with the Chamber of Commerce. After the 1945 merger of six workshops, the modern Aris was established in 1949. New industrial branches also emerged: the Aradeanca Toy Factory (1959), the Victoria Watch Factory (1960), and the Chemical Combine (1971).

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Geographical Outline

Arad county is situated in western Romania. Stretching on 7,754 sq. km, that is 3.2 per cent of Romania’s surface, it is the sixth county in size. Its neighbours are Bihor county in the north, Hunedoara and Alba counties in the east, Timis county in the south and Hungary in the west. The genetic elements of the climate in Arad county account for the moderate continental weather with oceanic influences. According to the data provided by the County Statistics Department, the population in Arad county numbered 477,711 inhabitants on 1 July 1997. Of them, 52.10 per cent lived in the urban environment, and the remaining 47.90 per cent in the rural areas. In point of administrative-territorial organisation, Arad county features the Municipality of Arad, seven towns (Chisineu-Cris, Curtici, Ineu, Lipova, Nadlac, Pancota, Sebis), 67 communes and 273 villages. Of the total 477,711 inhabitants, 201,820 persons represent the active work force in various branches of economy. Thus, the structure of the active population in big domains of economic activity is the following: agriculture – 20.4 per cent; industry – 37 per cent; construction – 4.1 per cent; education – 3.8 per cent; health – 3.5 per cent; transports and telecommunications – 7.3 per cent; services – 15.6 per cent; silviculture, forest exploitation and pisciculture –1.4 per cent; commerce – 6.7 per cent; other branches – 0.2 per cent. Arad county boasts an extremely diversified labour market, a skilled and relatively cheap work force as compared to other markets.

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Touristic Information

Being a main gate of Romania for the West-European travelers, the picturesque landscape of the hilly and mountainous zones of the Mures and Crisul Alb Valleys urge Romanian and foreign tourists to visit its numerous touristic zones Moneasa, Lipova, Arad Vineyard, the Halmagiu land, the Cladova Valley, Savârsin, Valea Mare-Caprioara. In the Municipality of Arad, in the towns of Lipova and Ineu, in the Moneasa And Lipova Spas, in other touristic zones there are hotels, inns, motels, holiday camps and cottages. The Arad county has a lot of scientific reservations, especially botanic, forestry, zoological and spelaeologic ones. Remarkable by the rarity and variety of their flora are: Moneasa natural reservation, the "Dosul Laurului" reservation from Zimbru, the Botanic Garden at the Macea Castle, the dendrologic parks from Gurahont, Bulci, Capâlnas, Neudorf, Savârsin, Odvos and Manastur as well as the forestry reservations from Runcu-Grosi, Râul Mare – Halmagel, Prundul Mare – Securigiu. There are also a lot of hunting and fishing grounds. Well-known are the ones from Chisineu-Cris – Socodor – Adea, Savârsin – Troas and Vârfurile – Halmagel. Old churches and monasteries situated in the Arad county have real art treasures and some of them are exbibited there. The most known are the Orthodox monasteries from Hodos-Bodrog, dated from 1177, from Bezdin, dated from 1334, from Arad-Gai built in 1760-1762, Sf. Maria – Radna Franciscan Monastery, built in 1727 – 1826 the Princely Orthodox Church from Halmagiu, dated back to the XIVth century, the Roman-Catholic Church from Sânpetru German, built in 1774. On the Crisul Alb and Mures Valley there are Orthodox wooden churches built in the XVII – XIXth century. Authentic monuments of folk architecture are the wooden churches from Bodesti, Corbesti, Cristesti, Grosii Noi, Ionesti, Luncsoara, Madrigesti, Poiana, Vârfurile, Julita, Troas a.o. Of great architectural value are also the numerous castles and secular buildings situated in this county. The most important are the Fortress of Arad, built in Vauban system in 1763–1785, the Castle-fortress from Ineu, built in 1645–1652, the castles from Savârsin, Bulci, Capâlnas, Petris, Conop, Odvos, Macea, Fântânele, Siria. The Arad county preserved an old and authentic folk art in Tara Zarandului, Ineu-Sicula and Birchis-Capâlnas. The embroideries in red and black, the sheepskin coats made by the furriers from Buteni, the sleeveless jackets made in Birchis and Bata are famous. The traditional textures as well as the folk pottery can be found in the most of the peasant’s households in Tara Zarandului, on the Mures Valley and the Crisul Alb Plain. It has to be mentioned the remarkable preservation of some traditional peasant’s households mainly in the villages situated in the mountainous zones.

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Economy Profile

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