Satu Mare County
The county of Satu Mare, crossed by the ancient river Samus and inhabited
since time immemorial by Geto-Dacians, has been an everlasting cradle
of Romanian culture and civilisation. Archaeological diggins in Tara
Oasului (Oas Land), at Ardud, Mediesu-Aurit, Homord or Sansilau unearthed
relics attesting to human life in this region of the country as early
as the Paleolithic. A historic landmark in this region is represented
by the Dacians who lived here for almost one thousand years and created
a remarkable civilisation the paragon of which is the settlement at
Mediesu-Aurit where remants of thirteen earthenware ovens, the largest
in the country, were dug out. By late 9th and early 10th century the
region was a part of Menumorut’s voivodate who had had a fortress
built at Satu Mare (Castrum Zotmar), conquered by the Hungarians after
fierce fighting for three days as mentioned in Anonymus’ Chronicle
Gesta Hungarorum. Lying at the crossroads of important trade routes
and rich in natural resources, the county of Satu Mare, attested in
historical writs in the year 1181, had a troubled history interspersed
with memorable events and outlasting vestiges. Strong fortresses (at
Satu Mare Ardud, Mediesu-Aurit, Carei etc.) of which ruins survived
through this day, Roman (Acas, 13th century) and Gothic churches (Ardud,
Eriu-Sancrai, Beltiug a.s.o.) attest to the plentiful life of the
industrious inhabitants of this land. After the battle of Mohacs
(1526), the county of Satu Mare was disputed by both the Austrians
and the Transylvanian princes. In 1601 in summer Michael the Brave,
preparing for the battle of Guraslau, his last victory, had camped
at Moftin for twenty days. More than one hundred years afterwards,
in 1711, the army of Prince Francisc Rakoczi II were to surrender
to the Austrian troops at Moftin. In 1657, the fortress and
county of Satu Mare were seized by the Poles. The peace treaty bore
the signature of Colonel Ian Sobietski, the future king of Poland.
Over 1660-1661 the Ottoman troops wrought havoc far and wide the county.
The Habsburg rule that took it over after 1711 brought in an era of
stability of prosperity. The German colonists arriving here throughout
the 18th century settled mostly on the large land estates of Counts
Karoly of Carei. Indelible traces of the two world conflagrations
and Transylvania’s union to Romania on the 1st of December 1918 bear
testimony to the county’s history in the 20th century. The memorial
raised in Carei in 1964, a sculpture by Vida Geza, is probably the
most eloquent symbol of the history traversed in the 20th century
– devastating wars, calamities and communism, and hopes for a brighter
future and progress which December 1989 has revived also in this part
of the country.
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Location: north-western Romania. Area: 4,418 square kilometers.
County seat: Satu Mare, 132,000 inhabitants. Distance to border
crossing points: Petea (to Hungary) 8 km; Halmeu (to Ukraine) 35 km.
Air links: Satu Mare-Bucharest; international airport at Satu Mare.
Distance to European capitals: Bucharest - 610 km; Budapest - 350
km; Vienna - 600 km. Major towns: Satu Mare, Carei, Negresti Oas,
Tasnad. Demographic structure: Total population:
397,000 inhabitants; Urban population: 46.6 per cent. Structure
by nationalities: 59 per cent Romanians, 35 per cent Hungarians, 3
per cent Germans, 3 per cent other nationalities, and by religious
denominations: 45 per cent Orthodox, 23 per cent Roman Catholics,
10 per cent Greek Catholics, 21 per cent Reformed. Climate: temperate
continental. Plains cover 63 per cent of the total area of the county.
Highest altitude: 126 m. The hydrographic network of the county includes
the rivers Somes (60 km in the county’s territory), Tur - 66 km and
Crasna - 57 km.
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in the North-Western part of Romania, the Satu Mare county (4,405
sq.km) is one of the main gate of Romania with its Romanian
borders with Hungary and Ukraine. Having a varied relief and
a temperate-continental climate, the Satu Mare county was inhabited
for over 100,000 years Before Christ and peoples lived on the
high terraces of the Tara Oasului (Remetea-Oas, Boinesti, Calinesti-Oas
etc.). In this county, the Dacians created in about 1,000 years
a developed civilization with a special place in Mediesu-Aurit.
Situated in the crossroad of some important commercial routes,
having numberless natural resources, the Satu Mare county (dated
back from 1181) has a tumultous history with unforgettable events.
Poweiful fortresses of which ruines are in Satu Mare, Ardud,
Mediesu-Aurit, Tamaseni, Carei, etc, Roman churches (Acas, the
XIII-th century), Gothic churches (Ardud, Enu-Sancrai, Beltiug
a.o.) which prove the wealth and diligence of the inhabitants
of this county. In modem times, the Satu Mare county has some
personalities who gathered in the conseciousness of humanity:
bishop Grigore Maior, founder of schools, Francis Kolcsey, fighter
for freedom and social justice, doctor Vasile Lucaciu, defender
of the Romanian population from Satu Mare county and Transylvania,
Magyar poet Ady Endre, painter Aurel Popp a.o. The XX-th century
marked deeply the Satu Mare county, both with its two world
wars and the Union of Transylvania with Romania on December,
1st, 1918. The Monument from Carei, created by sculptor Vida
Gheza in 1964, is representative for the XX-th century here,
a century with wars and catastrophes, but also a century of
great progress and hopes reborn after December, 1989. A lot
of museums wait to be visited: the County Museum, (archaeology,
history, ethnography, and art); the Town Museum in Carei hosted
by Counts Karoly's neo-Gothic castle (archaeology and natural
sciences); the Town Museum in Tasnad (history of town and ethnography);
the Museum of Tara Oasului in Negresti-Oas founded in 1972 (ethnography
and an open-air reservation); The Swabian ethnography Museum
in Petresti with its over 200 exhibits, as well as the free
Dacians' Reservation in Mediesu-Aurit.
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