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About Bistrita

Situated at the foot of Bargau Mountains, not far from the Borgo Pass (Pasul Tihuta in Romanian) which connects Transylvania region to Bukovina, and with a history that spans on hundreds of years, Bistrita is a picturesque city with many historical attractions just waiting to be discovered.

First mentioned as Villa Bistiche, in 1264, and later as Civitas Bysterce, Bistritz, as it was known to its German inhabitants, became one of Transylvania's most important Saxon citadels.

Unsettling times forced the city to build defense walls, the city transforming into a fortress, by 1465, claiming 18 defensive towers and bastions. Most of the defensive system was damaged in 1602, by Austrian troops, under General Giorgio Basta, and, in the mid-19th century, the gates of the citadel were destroyed by order of the Imperial Court of Vienna.

Successive fires during the 19th century damaged even more the medieval citadel, today, Bistrita's medieval atmosphere being preserved by the old town's quaint 15th and 16th century merchants' houses, as well as by the remains of the 13th century fortress walls.

Among the city's most significant landmarks, we find Coopers' Tower (Turnul Dogarilor), the Sugalete Medieval Buildings in Central Square, and the Saxon Evangelical Church (Biserica Evanghelica), also located in Central Square.

Other attractions worth visiting in Bistrita, include the County Museum (Muzeul Judetean), where visitors will get the chance to admire jewelry, pottery, arms and other artifacts belonging to bygone eras, the nearby Saxon villages, which are situated 3-10 miles around Bistrita, and Bargau Valley (Valea Bargaului), 5-15 miles northeast of the city, home to the the traditional villages of Livazele, with its small folk museum called the Saxon House (Casa Saseasca) displaying Saxon ceramics, woodcarvings and folk dresses, Josenii Bargauluia traditional center for black and colored pottery, and Prundu Bargaului the site of the first paper mill in Romania, opened here in 1768.

Less said, there is plenty to see in the beautiful and historical city of Bistrita!

Quick Facts

- Location: Northern Romania (Bistrita-Nasaud county)

- Size: 7.8 sq. miles (20.6 sq. kilometers)

- Elevation: 1,180 ft. (360 meters)

- Population: 113,260