Istoria orasului Cluj Napoca


The first document of a settlement in what is now the Cluj was made by Greek geographer Claudius Ptolemy, who mentioned here one of the most important places in pre-Roman Dacia, named Napuca.

Soon after the Roman conquest of 101-102 and 105-106, Napuca was destroyed, to establish a new urban settlement (civitas) Napoca, on the right bank of the Samus river. This place was founded in 124 AD, as the Municipium Aelium Hadrianum Napoca. After the withdrawal of the Roman administration from Dacia in 271 AD, once flourishing urban life would cease. Cluj was mentioned for the first time in 1167, as “Castrum Clus”.

Other documents dating from 1173 and designated as the Clus settlement (Latin for “dark spot between the hills”). Other names of the city were Kolozsvár (Hungarian) and Klausenburg (German) by Saxon colonists who settled in the city of Cluj, in the time of King Stephen V of Hungary after the decimation of the native population during the Tatar attacks. Klausenburg was one of the seven cities (Siebenbürgen).

Castrum Clus Royal Citadel acquired urban organization until the fifteenth century. German Roman Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg, became also King of Hungary, in 1405 granted free city right to Cluj.

Gradually, Cluj became a center for the production and exchange of goods. About 5.000 people were engaged in agriculture, work in shops, but also with specific entertainment city. At that time the population was made ​​up of Germans, Szecklers and to a small extent of Romanians.

The role of craft in the city chores grew, developing several craft guilds. Since this was cared also Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary between 1458 and 1495, was born here. He gave a series of 41 privileges of his native town, defending it in conflict with nearby settlements. In terms of population, decided to give some serfs right to settle in the city.

Cluj city gained European recognition until the fifteenth century. Distinct European architecture, late Gothic style, are found in St. Michael Roman Catholic Church, and in many private homes. Wealthy people studied at prestigious schools of the West. Due to the high living standards, Cluj did not participate in the rebellion of Gheorghe Doja in 1514. Development traders and craftsmen involved restricting the nobility and clergy. A Saxon scholar, born in Sibiu, Gaspar Heltai, contributed to the formation of not only culture, but also to modernize the city, which have to maintain a printing house, a public bath, a paper mill and a brewery. Bathory dynasty also contributed to economic growth and population growth, bringing the city to a rank that could be compared only with Brasov.

Baba Novac, an important soldier of Michael the Brave, was tried and burned alive in the city. The founder of the first union of Roman, Mihai Voda dined for the last time in Cluj, then was killed by order of General Basta in Campia Turzii.

Gabriel Bethlen, Prince of Transylvania became patron of the city and helped his perfection as a major city. After the Ottoman conquest of Hungary and its transformation into pashalic, Transylvania became an autonomous principality under Ottoman suzerainty. At the end of the seventeenth century fall under Austrian domination. After a forced agreement signed by Michael Apafi, Cluj had to host the Duke of Lorraine troops, providing them with a service of 100.000 florins. However the soldiers looted the town and demanded more money from taxpayers.

With a population of 10.660 inhabitants, the city becomes the capital of Transylvania, which leads to its modernization, but also to increase the number of Romanian citizens. Important revolutionary movements of 1848 also include Cluj. Although an important revolutionary, had a contradictory status because nobility. Doctrine included youth from colleges, academies and grammar schools, which were occupied by popularizing it. The city will host negotiations between Nicholas Balcescu and Bolliac Caesar for union with the Hungarian Romanian revolution. Defeat of the Hungarian Revolution led to the establishment of absolutist regime. The capital was moved to Sibiu, for there to be greater influence on Austrian authorities. Later, Cluj became one of six military districts in Transylvania, managing a territory of 400.000 inhabitants. In the second half of the nineteenth century was built the main building of the University of Cluj by Franz Joseph. In the early twentieth century most buildings were built or rebuilt in the center. During this period the Unitarian High School building was erected, the Romanian Opera, the Palace of Justice, the Hall and the Palace of Finance etc.

After the Ausgleich (compromise) that Austria-Hungary was established in 1867, Cluj and Transylvania were reinstated in Hungary. During this period, the city was the second largest in the kingdom after Budapest and also the Cluj county seat.

After the end of World War I, Transylvania comprised into the Kingdom of Romania. Cluj was further the Cluj county seat (interwar). In 1940, Cluj was returned to the Hungarian crown by the Vienna Award. Hungarian and German armed forces who controlled the city were rejected by Romanian and Soviet troops in October 1944. After the Treaty of Paris of 1947, Cluj became part of Romania again.

Cluj had a population of 16.763 jews inhabitants in 1941. After the occupation of Transylvania by the Horthy Government in 1944, the Jews were taken in several ghettos (including Iris ghetto of Cluj) where they stayed in inhuman conditions, deprived of all facilities. Liquidation of the ghetto was performed by six deportations to Auschwitz in May-June 1944. Despite the harsh sanctions imposed by the administration of many Hebrew Horthy managed to escape over the border to Romania, with peasants from neighboring villages. Here have managed to leave Europe through the port of Constanta. Other Hebrew originating from European countries were helped to save and leave Europe by Roman Hebrew anti-Nazi group, supported by politicians in Cluj and Bucharest. The leader of this network was in 1943 – 1944 Raoul Sorban writer who was later awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations for his efforts.

After 1945 Cluj came into communist government until December 1989. In 1974, the Communist authorities change the name of the city in Cluj-Napoca, the first name of the settlement, used in Roman times. After the revolution, mayor for 12 years was right politician George Funar known by a number of public projects designed to obscure Hungarian heritage. In June 2004, George Funar lost local elections in favor of Emil Boc (Democratic Party), who restored good relations between ethnic communities in Cluj.


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