- For the commune in Harghita County,
see: Satu Mare, Harghita
(pronunciation in Romanian:
- name in Hungarian:
Szatmárnémeti, German: Sathmar) is a city with a
population of 115,000 and the capital of Satu Mare county,
According to the 2002
census, Satu Mare has a total population of 115,142, the ethnic
breakdown is as follows:
- Romanian: 66,638 (57.87%)
- Hungarian: 45,302 (39,34%)
- German: 1,607 (1.18%)
- Roma: 1,115 (0.96%)
and 480 others.
The city day
is May 14, which commemorates the tragedy that affected the city in
1970, although it is also a day of rebirth.
- The area of Satu Mare has been
inhabited since stone age times. The archeological discoveries made in
Oas-Land, Ardud, Medies, Homorod and other places have revealed
abundant evidences regarding the stone- and bronze age settlements in
- A fortress by the name of Zotmar (Castrum
Zotmar) was mentioned in the Gesta Hungarorum as being in the
lands ruled by Menumorut in the early 10th century. According to the
chronicle, the fortress was taken by the Magyars after three days of
fighting. In 1006 Germans were settled around the fortress by the
Hungarian queen Gizella. Later, more Germans settled in the town of
Mintin, across the Someş river.
- After 1543 the fortress, then
owned by the Báthory family, was reinforced and a moat was built
around it. The fortress was under siege by the Ottomans in 1562 and
later destroyed by the Austrian Habsburgs. The Austrian Lazar
Schwendi, using the latest Italian fortification techniques, rebuilt
- In 1703 the whole city burned
- In 1721, Satu Mare, unified with Mintiu/Mintin, became
a "royal free city" and prospered as an important center of trade and
- In the 18th century much of the city was
rebuilt and among the landmarks are the old City Hall, the inn and
- At the end 1760s population rose to about
- 1804 Catholic Bishopric founded.
- According to the census of 1910 Satu Mare had a population of
45,000, out of which 94.5% were Magyars (including the
Hungarian-speaking Jewish people)
- Satu Mare is the origin of
the Satmar community of Hasidic Jews, now residing in New York,
Jerusalem, London and other places.
- Historical speech in Satu
Mare, on 2 March 1919 of Hungarian Primeminister Karolyi in front of
the Szekely division: "we'll fight for our country"
- On 20
March 1919 a representative of the Allies in Budapest handed Károlyi a
Note ordering him to evacuate a further area of central Hungary for
the benefit of the Roumanians. The new case-fire line: Satu Mare -
Carei - Oradea - Salonta - Arad. Count Karolyi's government resigned.
Bolshevics led by Bela Kun came to power.
- On 16 April 1919
the Romanian Army starts an attack across the case-fire line against
the Hungarian Soviet Republic.
- On 19 April 1919 the Romanian
Army marched in Satu Mare.
- Since 1920 Satu Mare became part
of Romania. In 1930 it had 33 banks located in the city centre that
fed an extremely prosperous industrial activity.
- More than
half of those who fled Poland after the German invasion 1939 went to
Romania and Hungary.
- As a consequence of the Vienna
Award/Vienna Diktat, 30 august 1940 the city was given to
- During WWII Satu Mare and the surrounding areas were
the stage of many crimes and deportations performed by the Hungarian
government. Anti-Semitic activities were a common reality in the life
of Satu Mare while the city was under Hungarian occupation. In the
memmory of the victimes os the crimes performed by the Hunagrian and
German fascists in the Satu Mare area, a momnument has been raised in
front of the Satu Mare Sinangogue.
- Despite the many
casualties and discriminatory measures, however, the bulk of the Jews
of Northern Transylvania, like those of Hungary as a whole, lived in
relative physical safety, convinced that they would continue to enjoy
the protection of the conservative-aristocratic government. This
conviction was shattered almost immediately after the German
occupation of Hungary on March 19, 1944.
- Some details
relating to the ghettoization of the Jews in Northern Transylvania
were discussed and finalized at two conferences chaired by Laszlo
Endre(undersecretary of State in the Ministry of the Interior). These
were attended by the top Hungarian officials in charge of the final
solution and representatives of the various counties and
municipalities, including the county prefects and/or deputy prefects,
mayors, and the police and gendarmerie commanders of the affected
counties. The first conference was held in Satu Mare on April 6, 1944,
and was devoted to the dejewification operations in the counties of
Gendarmerie District IX, namely Bistriţa-Năsăud, Bihor, Cluj, Satu
Mare, Sălaj, and Someş.
- The area was recovered by the
Romaniann and Soviet army on 25 October 1944 after the heavy battle of
Carei. During the war at least 18,000 Jews from the Satu Mare area
were deported and murdered in concentration and extermination
- By 1950 Satu Mare once again had roughly the same
population of 1930. It took almost three decades for Satu Mare to
become a properous city once again. In the 1970s the city was subject
to an extensive process of modernization performed by the Romanian
communist government of that time after the floods that took place on
14 May 1970. The most visible achievement of the reconstruction
process was the impressive building of city hall which features unique
architecture- the symbol of the city . However, the collapse of communism placed
Satu Mare into a long period of stagnation during the 1990s when it
lost around 20,000 inhabitants due to the closing down of many
- Nowadays Satu Mare is a dynamic city with
an industry that is entering the global economy. A considerable number
of the inhabitants of the area work aboard, mostly in Western Europe
but their families remain based in Satu Mare.
Municipalities in RomaniaSatu Mare County