down

Cluj-Napoca County

Lying in north-western Romania, the county of Cluj is the 13th in size in this country, taking up 2.8 per cent of the total Romanian territory. With a natural background most favourable to human activities, the expanse of Cluj county has been inhabited since time immemorial. Archaeological finds in this region attest to the existence of a civilisation long integrated into the European life and culture. The oldest traces of Neolithic settlements in Romania were unearthed in the Gura Baciului area. In the second century BC, a flourishing Geto-Dacian civilisation developed, mentioned in the writings of Herodotus. Following the conquest of Dacia by the Romans and its becoming a Roman province, in the place of the old settlement of Napoca a Roman city was erected and elevated to the rank of municipium by emperor Hadrian (AD 124), then turned into colonia during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (AD 160-180). An important economic and political centre during the Roman rule, the settlement was for a time the capital of Dacia Porolissensis. The Roman colonisation covered the provinces, too, a fact attested by numerous vestiges of rustic villas and Roman camps (Bologa, Caseiu). After the withdrawal of the Roman armies and administration south of the Danube (AD 275), the region continued to be inhabited (as the testimonies discovered in the district of Manastur prove), and the population left behind had to put up with a hectic period of barbarian migrations from southern and eastern Europe. At that time, the first Romanian state-like organisations were set up, pride of place taking the Voivodate of Gelu, established around the strongholds of Dabaca and Gilau. In AD 1213, the locality was mentioned under the name of Castrenses de Clus, owing to its position in an area enclosed (from the Latin clusus) by hills. The Voivodate of Gelu could not withstand the pressure of the Hungarians – settled in the Pannonian Plain, on the territory of the former Roman Province of Pannonia – being conquered and included in the Voivodate of Transilvania, under Hungarian suzerainty. In 1316, Cluj acquired the privilege of civitas, and in the 14th-15th centuries it became one of the most outstanding cities in Transilvania, an important economic, political and cultural centre. In 1437, the peasants rose against oppression and injustice in the uprising of Bobalna, with a tragic denouement for the rebels. Starting with the 16th century, the city flourished as a cultural centre; in 1550 a printing house was established, and in 1580 an academy with three departments (theology, philosophy and law) opened its gates. In 1776 this was replaced by a college with four departments (philology, natural sciences, law and surgery), the latter boasting the teaching services of the eye doctor of European repute, I. Piuariu-Molnar. Between 1683 and 1699, Cluj was occupied and put under Austrian rule. After 1790, when the residence of the Imperial Governor of Transilvania was moved here, the political importance of the city grew. The representatives of the Cluj population took part in the 1848 Revolution, voting in favour of the revolutionary programme. Nonetheless, against the freely expressed wish of the Romanian people, the Cluj Diet, – made up of Hungarians and Transilvanian Saxons – voted on 17/29 May 1848 the union of Transilvania to Hungary, a decision with negative results for the Revolution and the Romanian population in Transilvania. The struggle of the Romanian population against national and social aggression culminated with the crucial moment of 1918 when, following the demise of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy, Transilvania united to Romania, in the wake of the Referendum passed at the Grand National Assembly of Alba-Iulia (the 1st of December 1918, Romania’s National Day). On 16 October 1974, on the occasion of the anniversary of 1850 years since the first documentary attestation of the municipality, the city received the name of Cluj-Napoca. The first epigraphic mention of the settlement of Potaissa dates back to AD 108. The then village, with ancient Dacian roots, was to become, in AD 168, the headquarters of the Legion V Macedonica. The stationing here of this Legion contributed to the rapid progress in all fields of the Daco-Roman settlement on the Aries river that became a municipium and then a colonia, towards the end of the second century. The withdrawal of the Roman armies under Aurelian represented an important event in the life of the town, but did not mark the end of Roman life at Potaissa. Like throughout Dacia, the Roman element, solidly and irreversibly rooted, survived in its essence, as the Daco-Roman people. In a document of 1075, the settlement was called Turda for the first time. Three nuclei, Turda Veche, Turda Noua, and the village of Oprisani, were created in the following centuries, out of which the present-day town came to life.   Among the numerous events occurred in this locality across time, we can mention the assassination, in 1601, of Prince Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave) on the Turzii Plain. He was the first prince to unite the three Romanian Principalities. The Memorandum Movement of 1829-1894, led by Dr. Ioan Ratiu, is another historical moment worth mentioning. The timely development of the town and its important economic and political role in the history of Transilvania prompted the building of valuable monuments of religious and civil architecture.  From the remote Antiquity to this day, generations after generations of locals, first the Dacians, then the Daco-Romans, and then the Romanians (alongside whom Hungarians and Transilvanian Saxons settled later) lived and worked here, tightly bound to their ancient hearth that they turned ever more fertile and beautiful through their labour and talent.

[ back to TOP ]

Geographical Outline

The County of Cluj is situated at the heart of the historic province of Transilvania, in central-western Romania, and neighbours on the counties of Bihor, Salaj, Maramures, Alba, Bistrita-Nasaud and Mures. It covers 6,674 sq. km (2.8 per cent of Romania’s territory). Its administrative seat is the Municipality of Cluj-Napoca, with a population of 332,297 inhabitants (47.7 per cent of the county’s population). An ancient settlement, the city recorded thriving spells in the Roman epoch and then in the Middle Ages, as an important urban and commercial centre. At present, Cluj-Napoca is an important cultural centre (the Romanian National Theatre and the Romanian Opera, the Hungarian Theatre and Opera, the Philharmonic, the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy), with numerous educational institutions (10 higher education institutes – six state and four private ones – with 30 departments, with 34,710 students and more than 2,200 teaching staff). The County of Cluj is one of the most developed and well-balanced in Romania. Its economic potential is given by the local resources, a long-standing tradition and experience in most sectors of activity, as well as by its position of trade leader in Transilvania, owing to its favourable location at the cross-roads of important commercial routes connecting central Europe to the Balkan area. The main localities are the municipalities of Cluj-Napoca (332,297 inhabitants), Turda (61,851), Dej (41,974), the towns of Campia Turzii (30,162), Gherla (24,572), Huedin (10,231), the 74 communes with 420 villages (the total rural population amounts to 234,277 inhabitants). On 1 July 1996, the population of the county numbered 726,790 inhabitants, of whom 362,800 employed persons and 494,534 urban population. The structure of the active population is as follows: industry – 31.0 per cent; agriculture – 29.1 per cent; commerce – 9.9 per cent. The structure of the population • according to nationality: Romanians - 77.59 per cent, Hungarians – 19. 85 per cent, Romany – 2.22 per cent, Germans – 0.15 per cent, others – 0.19 per cent • according to religion: Romanian Orthodox – 69.9 per cent, Greek-Catholic – 5.1 per cent, Roman-Catholic – 4.4 per cent, Reformed – 14.1 per cent, others – 6.5 per cent. The county of Cluj is situated in the contact area of three big geographic units: the Apuseni Mountains, the Somesan Plateau and the Transilvanian Plain. The relief contours are mainly hills (more than two-fifths of the surface) and mountains, with no plains under 200 m altitude. The hilly relief includes the north-western part of the Transilvanian Plain, characterised by the existence of small, naked hills (average altitude 500 m) and the south-eastern part of the Somesan Plateau, with somewhat higher hills covered with forests. The Apuseni Mountains (the Bihor Mountains, the Gilau Mount, the Big Mount and Trascau Mountain) guard the south-western part, the maximum altitude being recorded on the Vladeasa Massif (1,842 m). The river network is represented by the Somesul Mic (running almost throughout the county), the Crisul Repede, and lower Aries, by natural lakes (Catina Popii I and Popii II, Geaca, Taga, etc.) and hydro-power lakes like Belis Fantanele, Tarnita and Gilau. The county’s mineral resources are: mineral fuels (brown coal, peat coal, natural gas), useful minerals and rocks (quartz, feldspar, dacites and andesites, granite, limestone and Cretaceous dolomites, calc-tufa, kaolin sands, salt), and mineral springs.

[ back to TOP ]

Touristic Information

Situated in the North-Western part of Romania, the Cluj county covers 2.8 per cent of Romania's surface. It has 736,000 inhabitants, of which 77 per cent are Romanians, 9 per cent are Magyars; 2.2 per cent are Gypsies, and others are Germans. Jews, Ukrainians. The archaeological discoveries in this county show the existence of a civilization integrated long time ago into the European life and culture. In the Gura Baciului zone the oldest Neolithic vestiges known in Romania (5.000 B.C.) were discovered. In the II-nd century B.C. there was a Geto-Dacian civilization. After the conquest of Dacia by Roman Empire, Potaissa (Turda) and Napoca (Cluj) were named municipalities. the last one becoming the capital city of Dacia Porolissensis - this being its first documentary attestation. From the far antiquity till our days, generations by generations, Dacians firstly, Dacian-Romans later, then Romanians (and beside them the Magyars and Germans later) lived and worked together and had connected by thousand elements to this land which was fertilized and embellished by their work and gifts. Here there are two main forms of relief: hills and mountains with altitude between 227 m up to 1, 842 m above sea level. The highest ones are the Vladeasa (1,842 m) and Muntele Mare (1,825 m). The mountains situated to the South-West are part of the Apuseni Mountains which are a synthesis of the Romanian Carpathians. The main rivers are Somesul Mic, Ariesul and Crisul Repede. The lakes are not so important economically, but interesting as a scientific value and two of them are natural reservations: Lacul Stancii and Lacul Legii. The anthroposaline lakes (created by the flooding of the old salt mines) are deep and with highly saltness curing waters. The main salt lakes are: Turda, Cojoena, Sic and Ocna Dejului. The county has a temperate continental climate characteristically to the Romanian Western and North-Western regions. The landscape is a picturesque one and attractive for tourists. The fame of the Apuseni Mountains is given by its landscape: large pastures, volcanic peaks, deep and narrow quays which are unique ones both in Romania and in Europe (Cheile Turzii, Cheile Turenilor). There are also caves with a special spealeologic value: Pestera Mare and Pestera Piatra Ponorului. In the mountain forests the bears, wild boars, lynxes, deers can be hunt, and in the rivulets there are a lot of trouts. Points of tourist interest are also the more than 600 architectural monuments in all European styles from the Gothic, baroque and Renaissance to the Secession and modern ones. This county has three municipalities: Cluj-Napoca, the capital city with 330,000 inhabitants, Turda and Dej; three towns: Cimpia Turzii, Huedin and Gherla; 74 villages. Cluj-Napoca is the capital city. The main town of Transylvania has two names: Napoca is the name of the old Dacian fortress, and Cluj is the Latin one from Clusiurn, a closed town. Its Magyar and German names (Koloszvar, and respectively, Klausenburg) are based on the Latin, Rornanian one. An important cultural, university and industrial town, Cluj-Napoca was and is a symbol along the history. The University, Opera House, the music and art Academy as well as the Medical and Pharmaceutics Institute are well-known in Europe. The Magyars who live here developed remarkably their culture (they have an opera house, a theatre and a lot of periodicals) by their known writers, newspapermen, artists and musicians. A downtown dominated by the gothic "Sf. Mihai" Church tells the history of this town.

[ back to TOP ]

Economy Profile



[ back to TOP ]


Copyright (C) 1999-2000 SC Computer Club SRL. All rights reserved.
[Please send any comments to webmaster@clubromania.ro.]