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General information about Harghita County Informaii generale
Short History of Haghita County
The teritory of Harghita county has been populated already from time immemorial. The old settlements discovered in the area, prove the presence of different material and spiritual cultures along the centuries. During the X. and the XI. centuries settled down here the szkelys (szeklers). They have spoken the Hungarian language and had the
the mission to defend the borders of Transylvania. In exchange they were let to guide and organize themselves according to their own laws. The Tartars have overrun
the county several times, in 1241, in 1661 and in 1694, killing many people and burning down everything. The existence of many settlements is mentioned for the first time in 1332-1333. Also from this period is dated the presence of some Romanian communities in the area. Numerous wars shook the earth of the county. The szeklers had to fight
fight against the Turks for years and than against the Austrian oppression for their independence and autonomy, in 1690, 1764 and in 1848 with the occasion of great revolution. Transylvania was part of Hungary till the end of 1918. Since 1919, started a new phase in the history of the region and in the integration of the szeklers into the political and economical life of Romania.
Geographical situation
In the central part of Romania, in the middle group of the eastern Carpathians and in the east of the Transylvanian Plateau.
In the north: Suceava County, in the east: Neam and Bacu Counties, in the south: Covasna and Braov Counties, in the west: Mure County.
6.639 km2
345.000 inhabitants
Miercurea-Ciuc was founded in the 16th century near by existing localities as: umuleu (1333), Toplia-Ciuc and Jigodin (the XII-XIIIth century) villages - with which it has since merged - in the flood area of the Olt river where market (peasant fairs) was held on Wednesdays (hungarian - szerda). Other towns: Odorheiu Secuiesc, Gheorgheni, Cristuru Secuiesc, Bile Tunad, Toplia, Borsec, Blan, Vlhia.
The county is dominated by mountains ( in the east the Giurgeu Mountains 1.545 m, the Hma Mountains 1.793 m, the Ciuc 1.490 m, the Bistria, in the vest the Climan Mountains with Iezeru Climanului peak 2.031 m, in the centre, the Gurghiu Mountains 1.777 m, the Harghita Mountains 1.801 m), hills (parts of the Transylvanian Sub-Carpathians the Trnave Plateau), intra-alpine depressions (Giurgeu, Ciuc, Gheorgheni, Bilbor, Borsec)
It is varied, the depressions are characterized by long, cold winters and enough hot summers, more than 160 days a year with temperatures below 0 C, in low areas. Late frosts (even in June) or early in autumn (even in September) can happen here. The average temperature in January is -4 - -10 C and in July 5-18 C.
The Mure, the Trnava Mare and Trnava Mic in west, the Olt in the south, the Bistria and the Trotu, in the east. The hidrographic network is completed with mineral water springs and mofettes, with healing purpose (Borsec, Tunad) and with the volcanic lake Sfntu Ana, or Karst lakes in the salt massifs of Praid, the natural dam lake the Red Lake between the Suhard and Ghilco Mountains.
The Hmau Mare Mountains are situated in the centre of the Eastern Carpathians and are very important touristic place due to their landscape and to the attraction they offer to climbers.
Other mountains: The Ciuc Mountains stretches between the spring of Olt and the Cain Pass, fragmented by rivers, with mild slopes, The Harghita Mountains.
The Mereti Cave, on the Vrghi Valley, the longest cave in the Eastern Carpathians.
The ugu Cave, accessible from the village of Volobeni, with three superposed entrances.
Other caves: The Ice Cave and Bears Cave, near Borsec spa.
The Gorges of Bicaz (3 km away from Lacul Rou), the famous gorges are cut by the Bicaz river in the limestone of the Hma Massif, on a length of 8 km. From the road crossing this wild region, connecting Transylvania with Moldavia, one can admire unique beautis. Thus, here and there, we see steep walls, called pietre (rocks): Piatra Altarului (1.121 m in altitude), Piatra Aritei, Piatra Singuratic. The central part, called Gtul Iadului (Hells Neck), impresses by its aspect of canyon. The teritory of the gorges has been declared monument of nature and forms a complex preserve, geological, floristic and faunistic.
The Red Lake (30 km from Gheorgheni and 30 km from Bicaz), the biggest natural dam lake in Romania. It took birth in 1837 by the collapse of a huge tract of soil from the north eastern side of the Ucigaul Mountain. The area surrounding the lake was declared floristic and faunistic preserve.
Saint Ana Lake (17 km from Bixad), it is situated in the Ciomatu Mare massif in the Harghita Mountains, at an altitude of 950 m. It is the only lake in Central Europe formed in a volcano crater. It is the main point of attraction for thousands of visitors arrived to rest in the resorts of the upper Olt. The area surrounding the lake forms a complex geological and floristic preserve.
Preserves and monuments of nature:
The Moors from Valea Mijlocie, in the Olt meadow, south of Tunadul Nou, home of the small beech tree, Siberian species at its most southern location.
Other preserves and monuments of nature:
The Moors from Sncrieni Ciuc, permanently supplied with warm water, The Bene Moors in Tunad, The Dup Lunc Moors in Volobeni, The Salt Mountain in Praid, The Snail Hill in Corund.
Historical vestiges:
Vestiges of Miko Fortress in Miercurea Ciuc, it was built in 1621, on the foundation of a previous fortress, at the order of the royal councilor Miko Ferencz; later it was rebuilt. Today it hosts the Ethnographic Museum of the county.
Other historical vestiges: Vestiges of the Dacian Fortress Sangidava in Toplia, Ruins of the Roman Camp in Odorheiu Secuiesc, Lazr Castle in Lzarea, Medieval Fortress in Odorheiu Secuiesc, Peasant Fortress in Cra, Ruins of Both Fortress in Gheorgheni.
Religious buildings:
The Baroque Complex from umuleu in Miercurea Ciuc, it was built in 1804 on the place of the Franciscan Church built in 1442 by Iancu de Hunedoara. It hosts one of the biggest organs in Transylvania.
Other religious buildings: Unitarian Church in Cristuru Secuiesc, Church Feliceni, Church Misentea, Fortified Roman-Catholic Church in Cra, Roman-Catholic
in Gheorgheni, Sfntu Margareta Chapel in Sntimbru, Roman-Catholic Church in Armeni, Church Delnia.
Other touristic atractions:
Bile Homorod    
The bath is situated in the valley of Homorodul Mare and Frd stream (height 629-760 m). It is 18 km away from Odorheiu Secuiesc.
Bile Seiche  
Baile Seiche is the holiday centre of Odorhiu Secuiesc. Its name is closely related to the name of Balzs Orbn who was buried here.
Large commune of Harghita county, one of the most famous settlements of Svidk. The name of Corund is inseparable from the folk ceramics and pot industry.
Inlceni is one of the most interesting settlements of the former Tinutul Odorheiului, today's Harghita county. It shows several architectural and cultural history values.
The village lies in the valley of the Ivo Stream, in the western foreground of the Central Harghita, at 750-800 m altitude. The abode can be approached along a forestier road leading to the Harghita-Madaras (8 km).
Lupeni is the most significant community of the Nicaul de Sus. Lupeni and the name of ron Tamsi - the village and the writer live together in the mind of the locals.
The name of Lutia is closely connected to the Szekler national assembly of 1506 as well as with the events of the meeting of 1848. These historical events were of great impor-
tance for the Szeklers.
Praid is the natural centre of the Szekler 'Salt Country', one of the most important salt-mine places of the Carpathian Basin. The salt dome of Praid is the 'bread' of the locals. The development of the village is closely related to the salt mines.
Harghita Bi    
Today the settlement belongs to Miercurea-Ciuc, and it is a real ski-paradise for the inhabitants of the town. It was registered in 1898. It is an alpine-type resort lying at 1,300 - 1,400 m altitude.
Today Jigodin belongs to Miercurea-Ciuc as its southern outskirt. Together with Jigodin Baths it has united with Miercurea-Ciuc. Its name is closely related to the works of Imre Nagy, the famous Szekler painter (1893-1976).
Situated in the dike of the Tusnad Stream at 672 m altitude, Tunad-Sat is a significant village of Lower Ciuc. It is largest seed-potato growing place in the country.
Sumuleu-Ciuc was and has remained the centre of faith and culture in the protecting love of the Holy Virgin, the still living mythology. The keeping force of this belief still lives in the Szeklers' minds.
Izvorul Mureului  
Izvorul Mureului is an alpine settlement situated in the southern foreground of the Hasmasu Mare (1,793 m), at the foot of the Muntele Negru (1,538 m). The resort got its name from the Mures springing in the nearby.