Baia Mare

From Academic Kids

Baia Mare (Hungarian: Nagybánya, German: Frauenbach and seldomly Neustadt) is an important city in northern Romania and the seat of Maramureş County. It is located in the western part of the county, on the middle course of the Sasar River, at an average altitude of 228 metres. The city stretches over 23 ha and also contains the following settlements: Blidari, Firiza, Valea Neagra, Valea Borcutului. It has 149,500 inhabitants (80.2% Romanians, 17.5% Hungarians, 0.7% Germans, 1992 census).

Consistent with the concentration of the economic activities and their importance, Baia Mare ranks the 3rd in the northwest of Romania.


During the Bronze Age, the region around Baia Mare was the realm of the Thracians from which later descended the Geto-Dacians. It was also part of the large Dacian state formed by Burebista. The first mention of the settlement is from 1142, when King Géza II of Hungary settled it with Transylvanian Saxons. The name of the settlement was Frauenbach in German (Asszonypataka in Hungarian, Rivulus Dominarum in Latin), meaning “River of the Ladies” or “Woman's Brook”. The richest documentation, however, is found in the act of privilege issued by Louis I of Hungary in 1347.

In 1411 the Hungarian king exchanged the city for Belgrade with Djuradj Branković, prince of Serbia (from 1411 to 1521 Belgrade was a Hungarian border castle). In that year a document speaks of the Mint in Baia Mare, one of the oldest and most famous in Transylvania.

In 1446 the mines and domain of Baia Mare become the property of the Hunyadi family as a token of gratitude for the bravery shown by John Hunyadi in his battles against the invading Turks. John Hunyadi commissioned the Saint Stephen cathedral whose Stephen Tower remains a landmark of the city to this date.

In 1469 King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary bestowed upon the city the right to develop its defense system by erecting fortified walls and keeps, strengthened by deep moats and large palisades to keep out the invaders. Baia Mare thus became an impressive fortress.

In 1567 it was annexed by John Szigmond, prince of Transylvania. The city was in Szatmár County of the Kingdom of Hungary.

In 1600, as a sign of gratitude for having cancelled several of the city's debts, the tenant of local mines, Felician Herbstein, ordered a coin to be minted in gold, displaying the effigy of Michael the Brave, voivod of Wallachia. Collectors agree that this is an effigy of the prince of great numismatic value.

Between the years 1605-1606, 1621-1629, 1645-1648 the city and the surrounding county was part of the Principality of Transylvania. From the 16th century the settlement was officially called Nagybánya.

In 1703, the legendary outlaw Pintea Viteazul was witness, alongside Francis II Rákóczi, to the freeing of the city from the hands of the Austrian Habsburgs during a kurucs war. The year 1889 saw the printing of the first newspaper in Romanian - "Gutinul" - a weekly paper dealing in matters social, literary and economic.

From 1919/1920 (Treaty of Trianon) to 1940 (Diktat/Second Decision in Vienna) Baia Mare was part of the Kingdom of Romania, and during 1940-1944 part of Hungary. The Treaty of Paris reallocated the city to Romania in 1920. From 1952-1960 Baia-Mare was in Baia Mare Region, from 1960-1968 in Maramureş Region, and since 1968 has been in Maramureş County.

External links

eo:Baia Mare hu:Nagybánya pl:Baia Mare ro:Baia Mare


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