History | Geography | Monography | Coat of arms | Authorities
Official News | Culture | Photo Album | Symbols | Contact Us
home >> history 
Organisation Chart
Subordinate Institutions
Decentralized Public Services
Town Halls

     Traces of human presence in the Mureș county date in the Neolithic Age, more precisely the Starcevo-Criș (6000 B.C.) culture. From the Bronze Age, the most significant discovery is connected to the Wietenberg hill, near Sighișoara, which became the eponymic name for this archaeological culture. The end of the Bronze Epoch is marked by the discoveries (especially the funerary ones) of the Noua culture, of north-Pontic origin. In the 6th century B.C. the Scythian tribes make a way into Transylvania. We find them mentioned in Herodotus' Histories, where we also have the very first reference to the Mureș River as Maris. At the end of the 4th century, the Celtic tribes from the Pannonian plain arrive in these territories. From the beginning of the 2nd century B.C. we hold the first dated discoveries concerning the Dacians. One of the most important Dacian fortifications from the region was on the same Wietenberg hill, near Sighișoara.

     Starting with the 2nd century A.D. the Superior Mureș Valley is included in the Roman Province Dacia. Along the stream of the Mureș River and its affluents there were several auxilia stationed in localities like: Cristești, Brâncovenești, Călugăreni, Sărățeni, Sighișoara, etc. The Empire withdrew from this area around 270-274 A.D., event followed shortly by the invasion of the migratory peoples, out of which the Goths and the Gepids were the first to arrive. The presence of the former ones was initially detected and interpreted as such in the necropolis from Sântana de Mureș, which became the second eponymic locality from our district. The 5th century marked the appearance of the Avars and the next one was characterised by the massive settlement of the Slavs in Transylvania. One of the most significant settlements was discovered at Morești. The presence of the Magyar tribes is dated at the end of the 9th century. They took the form of a Christian kingdom at the commencement of the 2nd millennium, in 1001, when King Stephen I was crowned.

     The emergence of the medieval kingdom had further consequences in the political-administrative organization of Transylvania and implicitly the area nowadays belonging to the Mureș County. In those times this region was mostly superposed by the Mureș Szeckler Seat (the remaining parts being included in the Turda and Târvana districts) and also the Sighișoara Saxon Seat. The evolution of the habitat in the Early Middle Ages can only by explained with the help of the archaeological research. Important data regarding this aspect was brought by the systematic excavations from Morești - Sântioana de Mureș (fortification - settlement - cultic edifice). The number and distribution of the localities can be reconstituted with the aid of the Papal Quitrent from the beginning of the 14th century, in which most of the nowadays localities were already mentioned. On the territory of the Mureș County, there used to be the residence of the Szeckler comes, in the fortress of Gurghiu. As a function, this was the most important royal dignitary, after the voivode, in Transylvania. An important role was played by the commercial and craftsmen centres also, of which the medieval markets later emerged. These gained more and more privileges and autonomies from the 14th century, some of them becoming real urban centres (like Târgu Mureș for instance). The Saxon city of Sighișoara from the southern part of the district was an essential industrial and commercial centre, with powerful guilds and which still preserves the medieval structures to this day.

Different monastic orders were the cores of the religious and the educational life. The significant ones were the Franciscan order from Târgu Mureș, the Dominicans from Sighișoara and the Paulines from Sâncrai. The rich medieval history of the county is well reflected by the multitude of the Romanic and Gothic style churches which brought our county to the level of the western civilisation.

     The number of localities gradually increased in the 15th - 16th centuries. In the time of the Transylvanian principality we distinguish the existence of names of localities kept in their majority until today. In the same period, the structure of the nowadays district's localities reached its definitive form.

     The settlements often became the place where important historical events took place, like the Transylvanian Diet (Parliament), which used to meet in different localities. In spite of the conflicts with the Habsburg or the Ottoman Empires, the towns never ceased evolving, and Târgu Mureș was granted the rank of free royal town in 1616.

     The 18th and the 19th centuries passed as a period of quietness and prosperity under the domination of the Habsburg dynasty. Several personalities of the Transylvanian Enlightenment current led their activity in Târgu Mureș. Among the most important ones we name: Petru Maior - historian, philologist, founding member of the Transylvanian School and Greek-Catholic archpriest in Reghin; Aranka György - writer, founder of the Magyar Language Society and Georg Daniel Teutsch, Lutheran bishop, representative of the Saxon national movement, founder of the first Saxon gymnasium from Sighișoara and also of the first German scientific magazine from Transylvania - Verein für Siebenbürgische Landeskunde. The most important personality of our town was the founder of the Teleki Library, Teleki Sámuel, who among other functions was also the chancellor of Transylvania. He promoted the modernization of the public education and was the generous sponsor of the Transylvanian cultural life. The Teleki Library is the most important collection of the Enlightenment literature from Central Europe. The famous mathematician Bolyai János, the inventor of the non-Euclidian geometry used to learn and later teach at the reformed high-school from the town.

     The administrative frame of the medieval epoch was kept unaltered until the last third of the 19th century. At the beginning of the dualist Austrian - Hungarian regime, some modifications appeared in the administrative structure of the area. On the territory of the present-day county there used to function a district - Mureș-Turda, with its residence at Târgu-Mureș and several parts of counties, like Târnava Mică (with the residence at Târnăveni), Târnava Mare (with the residence at Sighișoara), Cluj and Turda - Arieș.

     After the First World War, at the same time with the unification of Transylvania with the Romanian Kingdom, the notion of "Mureș County" appeared for the first time. Its territory was smaller than the nowadays one, but it comprised the Toplița - Borsec area, being neighboured thus by the Târnava Mică, Turda, Cluj, Năsăud, Neamț, Ciuc and Odorhei Counties.

     The installation of the communist system had as one of the consequences the application of the Soviet administration model in Romania. In 1950, the Mureș Region was created, comprising the previous territory of the Mureș County, to which the Gheorgheni, Ciuc and Odorhei districts were attached. In 1952, following Soviet directions, the system suffered from a new organizational reform, which led to the formation of the Autonomous Magyar Region, with the residence at Târgu Mureș. It consisted of the previous Mureș Region, and also the Sfântu Gheorghe and Târgu Secuiesc districts. It coincided more or less with the Szeckler Region, and the majority of the population (77%) was made up of Magyars, who had important cultural autonomy (for instance, the Magyar language was official language). The situation was modified in 1960, when the Mureș - Autonomous Region was born; it also contained the Luduș and Târnăveni (parts of the Cluj Region) districts.

     In 1968, the Government of Romania restored the old administrative system (commune-county), giving up to the Soviet model. It was in the same year that the limits of the today Mureș County were established. The residence was the same, at Târgu Mureș, and apart from the town of Sighișoara, other towns of the county were Reghin, Târnăveni, Luduș, Sovata and later Iernut.

     After the communist organization fell, the towns Reghin and Târnăveni were raised to the municipal rank. Many more localities became towns after 2000 (Deda, Sângeorgiu de Pădure, Miercurea Nirajului, Sărmașu and Ungheni). Today, our county has 91 communes and 460 villages.


Written by museum experts: Berecki Sándor, Crișan Coralia, Györfi Zalán, Rus Dorin.