The first administrative entity in the territory of the present Gorj
county mentioned in a document was Jales county dated back to 1385.
It was followed by the counties of Motru (1415) which included part
of Gorj villages, Jiu (1428) and Gilort (1502). It is mentioned under
the name of Gorjiu, used for the county stretching on the hills and
mountains along the Upper Jiu at the end of the 15th century (1497).
Gorj county was an administrative entity until 1950 when under Law
5 on administrative-territorial reorganisation counties were replaced
by districts and regions. Consequently, the villages and communes
of Gorj county were incorporated in Targu Jiu, Novaci, and Gilort
and partially in Baia de Arama and Filiasi districts which belonged
to Gorj region, for a short period of time. After the dissolution
of Gorj region in 1952 they were included in Craiova region called
Oltenia region after 1965. Under Law 2/February 17, 1968 on territorial
organisation Gorj county was re-established.
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Gorj county lies in the south-western part of the country, in the
north of Oltenia on the Middle Jiu. The 45th parallel crosses it almost
through its middle south of Targu Jiu municipality. It borders on
Hunedoara county to the north, Caras-Severin county to the north-west
and Valcea, Dolj and Mehedinti counties to the east, south-east and
south-west. It has an area of 5,602 sq.km, that is 2.3 per cent of
Romania’s territory, ranking 21st among the country’s counties. Its
relief is rich and diverse, made up of three important steps: mountains,
sub-Carpathian hills and the northern extremity of the Gaetic Plateau.
Mountains cover 30 per cent of the county’s area. The high peaks of
the Parang and Valcan mountains mark the northern border of the county.
The Parang Massif covers more than 1,00 sq.km. The highest altitude
is reached by Parangul Mare Peak (2518 m), the second highest peak
in the Romanian Carpathians. The Valcan Massif continues the Parang
Mountains towards the west with gentle slopes of 600 m to 1900 m (Straja
Peak - 1870 m; Oslea Peak - 1945 m). The sub-Carpathian hills (400
m-800 m) stretch from the Oltet to the Motru at the contact with the
mountains. In the south of the sub-Carpathian zone the relief is still
high, the hills of the Gaetic Plateau, like long ridges advancing
to the south. The climate is temperate continental with slight Mediterranean
influences, with average annual temperatures of 10.3° C. The county
is under the influence of south-western and western masses of air
that get here as warmer and drier air. The major waterway basin of
Gorj county includes the river Jiu (its middle course) that flows
in its territory from the Lainici Pass to the junction with the river
Gilort. Collecting the surface waters from an area of 10,469 sq.km
the Jiu enriches its flow receiving the waters of the inland rivers
Tismana, Orlea, Bistrita, Jales, Susita, Sadu, Amaradia, Cioiana.
Other important rivers of the county are the Gilort, Oltet and Motru.
Glacial lakes: Galcescu, Tauri, Slaveciu, Mija, Pasarea and Godeanu.
The geographical diversity of the county’s territory is parallelled
by the variety of mineral resources: coal (anthracite, graphite, lean
lignite), oil, well gas, marble, limestone, marl, refractory clay
a.o. Forests, which cover 43.5 per cent of the county’s area, provide
large quantities of lumber and shelter rich and varied game and berries.
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special natural potential as wonderful mountain landscapes,
meadows with flowers, century-old forests, ice lakes, narrow
pathes, quays, caves, clear rivers and valuable historic and
artistically treasures, the Gorj county is one of the most attractive
tourist zones in Romania. The town of Brancusi's monuments,
the municipality of Targu Jiu is the capital city of this county.
The most valuable attraction of the town is undoubtedly the
sculptural complex made by great Brancusi in 1937-1938: Table
of Silence, Gate of Kiss and Endless Column. The three masterpieces
gathered in an open-air place are dedicated to the heroes of
the I WW. In Targu Jiu the tourists are to visit the County
Museum founded in 1894, different memorial houses and others
as: Administrative Palace, "Gorj" Hotel, Commercial
Bank, etc. In Curtisoara, in a picturesque place there is Cula
Cornoius fortified house built in the XVIII-th century and an
interesting village museum. Near by the Jiu Narrow Path there
are the ruins of a Roman camp dating back from Emperors Septimius
Severus and Caracalla's time. On the Jiu Valley the tourists
can stop at "Lainici" or to visit the monastery from
here. In fact in any place of the Gorj county the tourists meet
something to be admired. From Novaci, a fine mountain town dating
back from the XVI-th century, the Ranca Spa can be reached (1.600
m above sea) Baia de Fier is known thanks to Pestera Muierii,
a cave situated in the quays of the Galbenu River. Near by the
Oltetul Quays there is the Polovraci Monastery built in the
XVIII-th century. Crossing the town of Targu Carbunesti the
tourists arrive in the village of Vladimiri where there is "Tudor
Vladimirescu" Memorial house. In the village of Pades revolutionist
Tudor Vladimirescu read his Proclamation in 1821. Tismana offers
also some tourist attractions: the monastery with its valuable
fresca. At 32 km North-East far from Targu Jiu and 16 km North
from Targu Carbunesti there is the Sacelu Spa (340 m above sea)
with a nice climate and table waters.
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