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Miercurea Ciuc
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General informations - Miercurea Ciuc

General information about Harghita County Informaţii 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 “székely”s (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: Neamţ and Bacău Counties, in the south: Covasna and Braşov Counties, in the west: Mureş County.
6.639  km2
345.000 inhabitants
Miercurea-Ciuc was founded in the 16th century near by existing localities as: Şumuleu (1333), Topliţa-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, Băile Tuşnad, Topliţa, Borsec, Bălan, Vlăhiţa.
The county is dominated by mountains ( in the east the Giurgeu Mountains – 1.545 m, the Hăşmaş Mountains – 1.793 m, the Ciuc – 1.490 m, the Bistriţa, in the vest the Căliman Mountains –with Iezeru Călimanului 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 Târnave 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 Mureş, the Târnava Mare and Târnava Mică in west, the Olt in the south, the Bistriţa and the Trotuş, in the east. The hidrographic network is completed with mineral water springs and mofettes, with healing purpose (Borsec, Tuşnad) and with the volcanic lake Sfântu Ana, or Karst lakes in the salt massifs of Praid, the natural dam lake – the Red Lake – between the Suhard and Ghilcoş Mountains.
The Hăşmaşu 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 Caşin Pass, fragmented by rivers, with mild slopes, The Harghita Mountains.
The Mereşti Cave, on the Vârghiş Valley, the longest cave in the Eastern Carpathians.
The Şugău Cave, accessible from the village of Voşlobeni, with three superposed entrances.
Other caves: The Ice Cave and Bears Cave, near Borsec spa.
The Gorges of Bicaz (3 km away from Lacul Roşu), the famous gorges are cut by the Bicaz river in the limestone of the Hăşmaş 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 Arşitei”, „Piatra Singuratică”. The central part, called „Gâtul Iadului” (Hell’s 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 Ucigaşul 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 Tuşnadul Nou, home of the small beech tree, Siberian species at its most southern location.
Other preserves and monuments of nature:
The Moors from Sâncrăieni Ciuc, permanently supplied with warm water, The Beneş Moors in Tuşnad, The “După Lunc㔠Moors in Voşlobeni, 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 Topliţa, Ruins of the Roman Camp in Odorheiu Secuiesc, Lazăr Castle in Lăzarea, Medieval Fortress in Odorheiu Secuiesc, Peasant Fortress in Cârţa, Ruins of Both Fortress in Gheorgheni.
Religious buildings:
The Baroque Complex from Şumuleu 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 Cârţa, Roman-Catholic
in Gheorgheni, “Sfântu Margareta” Chapel in Sântimbru, Roman-Catholic Church in Armăşeni, Church Delniţa.
Other touristic atractions:
Băile Homorod    
The bath is situated in the valley of Homorodul Mare and Fürdő stream (height 740-760 m). It is 18 km away from Odorheiu Secuiesc.
Băile Seiche  
Baile Seiche is the holiday centre of Odorhiu Secuiesc. Its name is closely related to the name of Balázs Orbán who was buried here.
Large commune of Harghita county, one of the most famous settlements of Sóvidék.   The name of Corund is inseparable from the folk ceramics and pot industry.
Inlăceni 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 Áron Tamási - the village and the writer – live together in the mind of the locals.
The name of Lutiţa 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 Băi    
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, Tuşnad-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 Mureşului  
Izvorul Mureşului 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.
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