©Centre of Targu Mures (copyright: creative commons)
The name of Targu Mures means “The marketplace on Mures” and comes from the river of the same name that passes through the city. In Hungarian the town’s name is Marosvásárhely, while in German it’s Neumarkt am Mieresch.
First documented in 1332 asv Novum Forum Siculorum, the town is the historic and cultural center of Szekely Land, the region in eastern Transylvania where Hungarians predominate.
Targu Mures has been a thriving commercial city throughout the Middle Ages and modern period. At the same time, it’s a center of culture in Transylvania, with both Hungarian and Romanian personalities activating here during the national movements of the 19th century.
The center square
Targu Mures’ main attraction is its central square, lined with Secessionist and Art Nouveau buildings from the turn of the 20th century, such as the Palace of Culture and the Apollo Palace. The center square is known as Roses’ Square, due to the variety of rose bushes planted along its sidewalks. Many trendy restaurants and cafes ensure a lively atmosphere all year round.
The medieval citadel
Built in the late 15th century, the medieval citadel of Targu Mures was later expanded with bastions, moats, and curtain walls. Portions of the southern and western walls, as well as the tower of the southern wing and the tanners’ bastion have been preserved and restored.
For nature enthusiasts, the resort of Sovata offers an unspoiled mountainous landscape to explore, as well as several saltwater lakes that are known for their benefic health effects. Open all year round and offering lodging options for every budget, Sovata is just 54 kilometers away from Targu Mures.
The Cornesti Plateau is the city’s highest point, a picturesque hilltop covered in oak woods. The Targu Mures Zoo, the country’s second largest institution of its kind, is located on the Cornesti Plateau. The zoo is home to over 500 animals of various indigenous and exotic species. A must visit destination for families.
In the warm season, locals love nothing more than to cool off in the Weekend park, a waterpark located along the bank of the Mures river. Several large pools, kids’ pools, sports courts, restaurants, bars, as well as a boat renting center await visitors.
Central and southern Transylvania is famous for the fortified churches erected by the Saxons and Szekely, some of which are part of the UNESCO World Heritage patrimony. From Targu Mures, visitors can easily reach several valuable Saxon vestiges, such as those in Viscri, Saschiz, Valea Viilor and more.
Perhaps the most famous and most valuable medieval city of Romania, Sighisoara features one of the few remaining inhabited citadels in Europe. Teaming with historic monuments, Sighisoara is just 55 kilometers north west of Targu Mures.
How to get there:
Targu Mures is located roughly 345 kilometers from Bucharest, while the closest large cities are Cluj Napoca at 107 kilometers and Brasov, at 173 kilometers. Daily trains and buses connect the city to Bucharest and the rest of Romania.