- This article is about a city in
Romania. For other uses see Bistrita .
, Hungarian: Beszterce
) is the capital city of
Bistriţa-Năsăud County, Transylvania, Romania. It is situated on the
Bistriţa river. The city has a population of approximately 80,000
The earliest indication of
settlement in the area of Bistriţa is from Neolithic remains.
Transylvanian Saxons settled the area in 1206 and dubbed the region
"Nösnerland". The destruction of Markt Nosa
by Mongols heading toward central Europe was described by a document
from 1241. Being situated on several trade routes, Bistriţa became a
flourishing medieval trading post.
Bistriţa became a free royal town
in 1330. In 1353 the town gained the right to organize an annual 15
day fair, as well as a seal containing the coat of arms of an ostrich
with a horseshoe in its beak. In 1465, the town's fortifications had
18 defence towers and bastions defended by the local guilds. The town
was also defended by a Kirchenburg, or fortified
The greatest attraction of
Bistriţa's central square is the Saxons' Lutheran church. It was
originally constructed in the 14th century in Gothic style but was
remodeled from 1559-63 by Petrus Italus with Renaissance features. It
was renovated in 1998. The Bistriţa-Năsăud County Museum, located in a
former barracks, contains Thracian, Celtic, and Saxon artifacts. 19th
century fires destroyed much of the city's medieval citadel.
Stoker's novel Dracula, the character Jonathan Harker visits Bistriţa
and stays at the Golden Krone Hotel. Although no such hotel existed
when the novel was written, a hotel of the same name has since been
constructed for tourists.
major cities directly linked by trains are Bucharest via a night
train, and Cluj-Napoca via several trains.
Bistriţa also serves as a
midway point for C&I, a transportation service, and is a changing
point for people traveling between Suceava, Satu Mare, Cluj-Napoca,
Sibiu, Sighişoara, Târgu Mureş, and Braşov.
CountyMunicipalities in Romania