Cluj- Napoca is one of the main cities of Transylvania, along with Sibiu and Brasov.
Situated in a plain surrounded by hills near the Somesul Mic River, this city has been inhabited since ancient times. The Dacians were the first to settle here, but the origin of the city’s name is still unclear. Its various names (Napuca/Napoca for the Dacians and Romans, Kolozsvar for the Hungarians, Klausenburg for the Germans, and Cluj for the Romanians) illustrate the cultural and ethnic diversity that is found in the former capital of Transylvania.
The first documented mention of the city was in 108 A.D., after the colonization of Transylvania by the Romans. Since that time, the city’s strategic location along trade routes between Wallachia, Moldova and the Hungarian Empire allowed Napoca to grow and develop.
This development was stalled by the Tatar invasion of 1241, which destroyed the city. Napoca has had many difficulties recovering from this invasion through the centuries, later falling under the rule of the First Hungarian Republic. In 1316, King Carol Robert of Hungary granted the city the status of a free city, meaning that Cluj was free to manage its resources independently. To celebrate this occasion, the foundations were laid for the construction of the Church of St. Michael.
Following the Patent of Toleration by John Sigismund in 1568, the city of Cluj began gaining importance in Austro-Hungarian Transylvania, eventually becoming the capital from 1790-1867. Finding itself in Romanian territory by 1918, the city was renamed Cluj-Napoca by Nicolae Ceausescu in 1974, in honor of its Dacian/Roman origins.
Cluj-Napoca remains a multicultural city to this day. Romanian, Hungarian and German are all tought at the Babes-Bolyai University, and the Hungarian population is still an integral part of the city.
The city is filled with a rich history and cultural heritage. The neighborhoods located near Unirii Square and the National Theater are the most pleasant areas for taking walks. The Church of St. Michael in Unirii Square is the main monument of the city, and is located near the Banfi Castle and Babes-Bolyai University. Cetatuia Park also offers beautiful views of the entire city and the surrounding hills.