Bistriţa

Information

This article is about a city in Romania. For other uses see Bistrita .
Bistriţa (German: Bistritz, archaic Nösen, 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 inhabitants.

History

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 ("Market Nösen") 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 church.

Tourism

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.

In Bram 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.

Transportation

The 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[1], a transportation service, and is a changing point for people traveling between Suceava, Satu Mare, Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu, Sighişoara, Târgu Mureş, and Braşov.

Bistriţa-Năsăud CountyMunicipalities in Romania

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