Zalău (Hungarian: Zilah, German: Waltenberg) is a city in northwestern Romania. It is the capital of Sălaj County. As of 2004 its estimated population is 62,700.


Zalau is located in Transylvania, the southwestern part of Romania. Its position is very comfortable, on the “coast” of Zalau rivulet, between three narrow valleys guarded by hills (Muntii Mesesului) and forests. It’s the “capital” and the biggest city of the Salaj region. This place has a big historical importance.

Before the treaty of Trianon, Zalau was one of the most important cities in the region. It had a Reformat college (Wesselényi college), a township civil school (for boys only), a national civil school (for girls only). It had the biggest hospital in the region, a revenue office. Between the pageants of the city we can find the beautiful Baron Wesselenyi statue, and the Tuhutum memorial (both made by János Fadrusz in 1902), a gorgeous museum etc. From the industrial part of the city we can mention two banks, two huge brick factories, a railway and a tram station a post-office and a telephone station.

In 1850 lived here 4294 souls. This number grew slowly at the beginning, and reached 8062 until 1910 (7477 Hungarians, 19 German, 529 Romanians and 23 other nationalities). If you looked at the people religiously, then you could find 1333 Roman Catholics, 873 Greek Catholics, 5363 reformats and 415 Jewish. The city had 1427 houses. Most of the people worked in factories. The reformat church was built in 1246 and it’s one of the oldest buildings. In 1711, Carol XII (king of Sweden) rested one night in the Király street (now 22 December). Zalau is part of Transylvania since 1598.


Hungarians 92.8%;
Romanians 6.6%;
Others 1.2%
Hungarians 20.1%;
Romanians 78.8%;
Others 1.1%
Municipalities in RomaniaSălaj County

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