Satu Mare – a county and a city

The city of Satu Mare is the capital of the county that shares its name. This county is located towards the north eastern region of Romania, in Maramures, and its capital can be found within the north eastern area of the county as well. This region of Maramures counts with a very interesting and rich historical past, being this way a great choice for those tourists who wish to spend a vacation in Romania and are fond of disciplines such as anthropology, archaeology, and history.

Satu Mare has a population of approximately 115,150 inhabitants, from which around 58% are Romanian, 40% Hungarian, and the remaining 2% Roman, German, and from other origins. It might be interesting to know that at beginnings of the 20th century, Satu Mare had a population of about 45,000 inhabitants, showing this way a very fast and important growth during the last century.

According to anthropologists and historians, the area where nowadays Satu Mare is has been inhabited since as long ago as the Stone Age. This can be affirmed due to the fact that several archaeological discoveries made in different spots in this area, such as in Homorod, Tara Oasului, and Mediesu Aurit, have brought into light objects that are proof of the existence of settlements in that age as well as in the Bronze Age.

In the 10th century, a fortress was constructed in this area, and would be part of several important events. During its first decades of existence, this fortress would be ruled by Menumorout, until endings of the century when the Magyars fought for it and took control over it. Towards beginnings of the 11th century, a group of Germans settled in surrounding areas by request of Gizella, the Queen of Hungary.

During the 16th century, a moat was built around the fortress of Satu Mare by request of the Bathory family who were its inhabitants during that époque. Towards middles of that century, the fortress became under siege by the Ottomans, and the construction was almost entirely destroyed not very long after that by the Habsburgs. A while after that the Austrians rebuilt the fortress adding several elements of Italian style to it.