Say ‘hello’ to Cluj Napoca

Instead of making a boring presentation of Cluj Napoca, I thought that it would be better to present some interesting / weird / nice urban legends about it, just to make you curious to find out more. So, say ‘hello’ to Cluj Napoca and to the many things you will discover in this post.

The name Cluj Napoca

The first name of the city was Clus. The name Cluj-Napoca was given in 1974, ‘Napoca’ being the name of the city in Roman times. The first document of the city was issued ??in 1167 under the name of Castrum Clus. Caustrum comes from Latin and was used to define a Roman military camp and Clus means either ‘closed’ (in Latin), ‘passing the mountains’ (German – klaus) or ‘dam’ (German – clusa).

The Mongol invasion

Cluj was destroyed by the Mongol invasion in 1241, being repopulated with settlers brought from Western Europe, especially Germans.

Demographic structure

In medieval times, Cluj had a relatively small population of 4000-6000 inhabitants, being the third city in Transilvania after Brasov and Sibiu; in the 16th century, when it exceeded 10,000 citizens, it became the most important town of the region. The number of Saxons and Hungarians was approximately equal while the Romanians lived in the villages around the city.

The Hill of the Snails

North of Floresti, there is a mound called ‘the hill of the snails’; millions of years ago, when Cluj Napoca was covered by a sea, this place was a warm water lagoon where many marine creatures lived. Nowadays, you can find lots of intact fossils on ‘the hill of the snails’ which becomes, thus, an ideal place to have a walk together with friends who are into such discoveries.

The legend of Donath

The Turks tried to attack Cluj and realizing that a long siege is too expensive (because the city was rich and could endure such a siege), decided to divert the river Somes (there are nowadays a street called ‘The Turks’Cut’ in the area). Donath, a shepherd who was taking care of his herd near the forest Hoia observed their coming and ran to alert the townspeople. He died, however, because of the effort and become a local hero.

 The ‘Hello’ neighborhood

 It is said that on the street named today ‘Hello’ (Buna Ziua), the Romanian shepherds used to come to sell their products. The name of the street comes from the Romanian greeting that the Hungarian people taught while buying their products.

I hope you too have learnt to say ‘hello’ to Cluj Napoca after reading this post. It’s quite simple, isn’t it?

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