Bistrita History, Romania
Bistrita history is strongly connected to Transylvanian history, Transilvania being a confluence area for many cultures and civilizations and a multicultural space where civilizations met. Of course cities like Baia Mare and Oradea also have their link to the city-s history.
Bistrita, History – Early Times
Several archeological vestiges found on the territory of nowadays Bistrita show that these places, as well as the entire county, were included in the Roman province Dacia. The Dacian – Roman and then Romanian population from this part of Transylvania continued to live here even after the retreat of the Roman army and administration.
The first documentary mentioning of the city is dated 22 March 1241, in the Echternach Codex when the city was called “Targul Nosa”, but today the oldest such documentary proof of the city’s existence dates from 1264. The local history had its economic boom period, sometimes interrupted by disasters and wars like the period 1241-1242 when the Tatar invasion destroyed much of the city.
Beginning with 1353, Bistrita negotiates with the authorities for a yearly fair and the city seal, as a confirmation of the important activities developed here especially commercial ones. The uncertainty of those times determines the locals to build the fortress’ walls, so by the mid fifteen century the city already had an important number of towers and ramparts. In this period Bistrita becomes a strong city and trading place, representative for Transylvanian cities along with other such settlements. The city’s prosperity and development are proofed by a series of architectural constructions; some of them beautifully preserved until today, as for example a church dating back from the eighteen century, the Evangelic Church, with a 75m high tower, built between 1470 and 1564, the commercial complex “Sugalete”, the Silversmith’s House dating from the sixteen century and so on.
Bistrita, History - Modern Times
This settlement is placed in a natural area with plenty of resources, and the favorable context, the freedoms obtained by the colonists from the Hungarian Crown, German urban legislation, the quality and culture of the inhabitants, the Catholic Church and other factors have determined the city’s rapid development.
In 1918 takes place the union between Transylvania and Romania, creating the Great Romania, an event which changed Bistrita forever. On 1st December 1918, the Transylvanian Romanians gathered at Alba Iulia proclaimed the unity of all Romanians from all four provinces creating a single nation. This first unification of all territories inhabited by Romanians will later be mentioned in the Versailles peace treaties (1919-1920) and sustained by the coronation of King Ferdinand I with Queen Mary in Alba Iulia in 1922.
From the aesthetic point of view, at the end of the seventeen century, two main sides of the central square were already shaped, but also the main routes of several streets. Bistrita’s urban development and evolution, shows numerous planimetrical similarities with other Central and Northern European cities, from the German colonizing area. In the nineteen century, the changes of the residential areas and of the city in general, were influenced by several factors among which the demolition of the main gates and of the fortification elements, once with the extension of the city outside these limits. Another remarkable event for Bistrita was the revolutionary year 1848, when the city becomes a real battlefield between the Austrian armies and the Hungarian troupes. After the Second World War important changes occurred in the city’s organization with an extension of the residential area and the presence of the first industrial units at the periphery.
The year 1979 remained in the Bistrita history as the moment when the city became a municipality.
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