Infobox Settlement
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = ROU
timezone = EET
utc_offset = +2
timezone_DST = EEST
utc_offset_DST = +3
map_caption = Location of Bistriţa

official_name = Bistriţa
image_shield = Coa_bistrita_ro.gif

subdivision_type1 = County
subdivision_name1 = Bistriţa-Năsăud County

subdivision_type2 = Status
subdivision_name2 = Autolink|County capital
settlement_type = County capital

leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Ovidiu Creţu

leader_party = PSD
area_total_km2 =
population_as_of = 2002
population_total = 81467
latd = 47
latm = 8
lats = 0
latNS = N
longd = 24
longm = 30
longs = 0
longEW = E

website =

Bistriţa ( _de. Bistritz, archaic "Nösen"; [ [ Siebenbürgen Village List] . Accessed 11 January 2007.] _hu. 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.


The earliest indication of settlement in the area of Bistriţa is from Neolithic remains. Pechenegs settled the area in 12th century due to attack from Cumans and were given name of Beszterce's district as Besenyő (Hungarian of them) which was centered by Beszterce. 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. The town was named after the Bistriţa River, whose name comes from the Slavic word "bystrica" meaning "the limpid water".

Bistriţa became a free royal town in 1330. In 1353 it 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 city's fortifications had 18 defensive towers and bastions defended by the local guilds. It was also defended by a "Kirchenburg", or fortified church.

It became part of Romania after 1919, except during its reversion to Hungary between 1940 and 1944.

Main sights

The main attraction of Bistriţa's central square is the Lutheran church, which was built by the Transylvanian Saxons and originally constructed in the 14th century in Gothic style but later remodeled between 1559–1563 by Petrus Italus with Renaissance features. It was re-renovated in 1998.

Recent Events

On June 11, 2008, the tower and roof of the church caught fire for reasons that are yet unknown. The main part of the church suffered just a little damage and is not in much danger, the interior being intact. It is speculated that both bells residing in the tower (one dating from the 15th century,the other from the 17th) might have melted. See the following [ pictures]

The church suffered from fire in 1857, when the tower's roof and the bells were destroyed. The roof was rebuilt after several years.

The Bistriţa-Năsăud County Museum, located in a former barracks, contains Thracian, Celtic, and German artifacts. 19th century fires destroyed much of the city's medieval citadel.

Popular culture

In Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula," the character Jonathan Harker visits Bistriţa and stays at the Golden Krone Hotel ( _ro. Coroana de Aur). Although no such hotel existed when the novel was written, a hotel of the same name has since been constructed for tourists.


The major cities directly linked by trains to this city are Bucharest via a night train, and Cluj-Napoca via several trains.

Bistriţa also serves as a midway point for C&I, a transport service, and is a changing point for people traveling between Suceava, Satu Mare, Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu, Sighişoara, Târgu Mureş, and Braşov.

Notable residents

*Arnold Graffi (1910-2006), doctor
*Andrei Mureşanu (1816-1863), writer of the Romanian national anthem
*George Coşbuc (1866-1918), writer
*Liviu Rebreanu (1885-1944), writer


*Gloria Bistriţa plays in Romanian first league.
*Gabriela Szabo
*Viorel Moldovan

Sister Cities

* L'Aquila, Italy (since unknown)
* Besançon, France (since 1997)
* Zielona Góra, Poland (since 2001)
* Columbus, Georgia, United States (since 2003)
* Herzogenrath, Germany (since 2005)


External links

* [ Info Bistrita]
* [ History of Bistrita]
* [ ArtGallery Bistrita]
* []
* [ International Folk Festival "Nunta Zamfirei"]

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