Orăștie

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Orăștie
Municipality
View from Lutheran Church tower
View from Lutheran Church tower
Location of Orăștie
Location of Orăștie
Coordinates: 45°51′N 23°12′E / 45.850°N 23.200°E / 45.850; 23.200Coordinates: 45°51′N 23°12′E / 45.850°N 23.200°E / 45.850; 23.200
Country  Romania
County Hunedoara County
Status Municipality
Government
 • Mayor Ovidiu Laurențiu Bălan (Social Democratic Party)
Area
 • Total 38.62 km2 (14.91 sq mi)
Population (2002)
 • Total 21,213
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Website http://www.orastie.info.ro/

Orăștie (Romanian pronunciation: [orəʃˈti.e]; German: Broos, Hungarian: Szászváros) is a city in Hunedoara County, south-western Transylvania, Romania.

History[edit]

7th–9th century – on the site of an old swamp, which today is the old center of town, it was a human settlement whose traces have been scattered into the 10th century by the construction of the first fortification, built using a wave of earth and wood stockade.

11th–12th century – The first Christian religious edifice was raised: The Orăștie Rotunda. It is a circular chapel, with an age estimated at 1000 years. Perhaps it was used only by aristocratic families that dominated the Orăștie area and surroundings in the 11th century. Nearby there is a similar construction from the same period – The Geoagiu Rotunda.

1105 – Together with the first crusade suite, comes Anselm von Braz ”liber de liberis genitus”, châtelain of Logne, walloon ministerial count. The historian Karl Kurt Klein implies – without being able to prove – that he moved with all the sons and descendants in the region where Orăștie City is located today.

1200 – according to the Transylvanian chronicles, this is the year that began construction of the city walls. Subsequently the action was abandoned because of unfavorable conditions.

1206 – King of Hungary, Andrew II, mentioned Romos, a village near Orăștie, as one of the first three villages in Transylvania comprising Saxon colonists. The other two villages are Ighiu and Cricău.

1224 – King of Hungary Andrew II confirmed the privileges of the Saxon colonists and mentioned the existence of Romanian (Blachi) and Pecheneg (Bisseni) populations who lived in the forests surrounding the town. The settlement has a number of privileges recognized by the Hungarian Royalty. The town was ruled by a royal judge (iudex regium), helped by 12 jurors which are chosen from local craftsmen and rich traders.

1239 – Probable this is the founding year of the convent of the Orăștie Franciscan church.

1241 – Orăștie was devastated during the Mongol invasion. A Mongolian tumen under the leadership of Büri entered in Transylvania on the Olt Valley, near Făgăraș, in the direction of Sibiu which is conquered on 11 April. One after another were devastated the Seats of Miercurea Sibiului (Ruzmargt), Sebeș (Mühlbach) and Orăștie (Broos). The Mongolian army will reach Cenad on 25 April. Orăștie was probably destroyed between 11 and 25 April. The image of the settlements and cities destroyed by Mongolian invasion can be easily understood in the dramatic description of Alba-Iulia written by the Franciscan monk Rogerius of Apulia:

“ ... I could not find anything than bones and skulls of those who were killed, scattered and broken walls of churches and palaces, which have been sprinkled by the blood of Christians.”

In the future, King Béla IV will populate the region with new Saxon colonists and settlers.

1309 – Orăștie had approx. 1,600 inhabitants. Franciscan Order of monks has been established in the city, and they built a church on the site of the current Franciscan monastery.

1324 – Hungarian King Charles I Robert announced that the settlement will be awarded to the rank of town.

1334 – The priest John ( Johannes Sacerdos ), the tax collector in the Orăștie region, makes a census counting the chimneys. 344 houses are numbered, a public bath, 4 houses belonging to 4 nuns and the priest Nicholas (Nikolaus). This is the first time when the presence of Saxons in the Pricaz village is mentioned. The documents indicate two public schools belonging to the Saxons in the Orăştie area.

1344 – The oldest mention of the patron “Saint Nicolas” for the Catholic Church from Orăștie.

1349 – In a document issued at Sibiu, the Seat of Orăștie (de sede Waras) is mentioned for the first time.

1364 – Saxons are colonized, near Orăștie, in the Căstău village.

1367 – The oldest evidence of the royal judge function of Orăștie Seat, being a record of a letter from the archdeacon Ladislau of Ugocsa, sent to the comes Christian of Orăștie (de Warasyo).

1372 – It is recorded in documents of the time comes Stephanus of Warasyo (Ștefan de Orăștie), as representative of the Seven Saxon Seats in Transylvania.

1374 – There are mentioned in chronicles count Mihai de Orăștie (de Warasio) and the ruler of the region Mihai Blas de Orăștie (Michael Blas von Broos).

1376 – Nineteen (19) guilds (fraternitas) are mentioned as active in the town.

1420 – The county is raided by the Ottomans. On 24 September 1420, a Turkish army invades the south-east of Transylvania defeating, near Hațeg County, an armed militia under the command of Transylvanian voivode Miklós Csáki. After two days the Turkish army will loot and burn Orăștie and surroundings. Then they will retreat leading several thousands slaves with them.

1425 – Saxons from Orăștie became suppliers of the Turks. Town is mentioned under its German name, Bros or Broos.

1433 – In the registers of the Vatican are mentioned few pilgrims from Transylvania, Banat and Wallachia. Among them is mentioned Petru son of Blasius of Orăștie (de Orastiia). States that Peter belongs previously to the Orthodox faith (grecorum), and at the Holy Trinity holiday was baptized in the Catholic Church of Saint Peter in Rome in the presence of John Sigismund king of Hungary. It is written that Peter, as a soldier of his king, took part in several military actions against the Turks and Bohemians.

1436 – Hungarians are mentioned as living in the center of the town.

1438 – A Turkish army led by the sultan Murad II together with a Wallachian army led by Vlad Dracula enters in Transylvania where they will loot and spoil Orăștie and the Romos village. On this occasion the Franciscan monastery was burned. Later it was rebuilt by the members of the Franciscan order.

1442 – Another Turkish invasion in Transylvania. Battle takes place at Sântimbru (18 March 1442) which ended with victory of the Turks led by Mezid (Mezet) Bey of Vidin. In March the town was looted and burned.

1449 – Comes Bartholomew of Orăștie, is mentioned in chronicles, at a meeting of the Seven Seats.

1479 – A Turkish army entered Transylvania on 9 October, near Câlnic, led by Ali Kodsha and Skender, or Ali Michaloglu and Skander according to other sources. A probable number for the Ottoman forces was 20000 soldiers, and 1000–2000 Wallachian infantrymen led by Basarab cel Tânăr-Țepeluș. On 13 October Kodsha bey set up his camp in the Breadfield, a place between Șibot and Orăștie. The Hungarian army was led by Pál Kinizsi, István Báthory, Vuk Branković, and Basarab Laiotă cel Bătrân. All forces combined totaled 12 or 15,000 men. Battle of Breadfield took place in a location between Orăștie and Șibot. The Turkish casualties were high, with several thousand men killed and a thousand of their Wallachian allies. The few Turks who survived the massacre fled into the mountains, where the majority were killed by the local population. In memory of the victory against the Turks, Stephen Bathory raised a chapel near the village Aurel Vlaicu. When the city was looted by the Turks, they destroyed a large part of cultivated land and the church inside the castle is damaged. Later, the church is rebuilt and taken into possession by the Hungarians. That explains why the city that was a Saxon fortress, the church became the property of reforming Hungarians and Saxons received only a room beside the church, which was used as a place of worship until 1823 when a new church was built by Saxons.

1486 – Because of disagreements between the Seat of Orăștie and Hunyad County, the Saxon University of Sibiu calls the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus to regulate the borders between the two territories.

1488 – Takes place a population census of the Saxon Seats. Were counted and recorded population, mills, devastated properties, Catholics and Orthodox priests, and impoverished households in some case. In Orăștie (oppidi Brosz) are recorded: 158 Saxons, 2 poor inhabitants, 4 shepherds, 1 miller and 10 abandoned households.

1491 – An agreement takes place between the Saxons and Hungarians: the royal judge function should be held alternately, a Saxon then followed by a Hungarian, and in senate each of the two nations should be represented in equal number of members.

1500 – The annual fair on Saint Nicholas Day was held for the first time in history.

1504 – Was appointed by the king as a judge of Orăștie, Stephen Olahus, father of the great humanist Nicolaus Olahus, was appointed by the king as a judge of Orăștie.

1509 – The first mention of Gypsies in Orăștie: "The ledger of Sibiu city, registres a payment made in favor of two employers sent to Orăștie to escort some Gypsies held and accused of violent crimes in the market place in Orăștie." Voivode János Szapolyai moves population from Banat to Orăștie and Turdaș to complete the regions decreasing demographic growth.

1514 – During the war led by Gheorghe Doja, János Szapolyai’s army have passed through the region. János Szapolyai notes that the town is not sufficiently protected, and does not have enough equipment for war.

1520 – 25 April, Buda. Louis II, king of Hungary, asked Mayor of Sibiu to undertake the necessary to investment the noble Matia Olah of Orăștie (de Zazwaras) as the royal judge of town, rank which is currently owned by his elderly father, Stefan Olah. The sovereign is conferring this at the same time with the new job, all revenue collected fron taxes, products, and other common benefits.

1529 – Orăștie should make oath of allegiance to the new King János Szapolyai.

1533 – Following the expansion of the Lutheran dogma in Orăștie, the Order of Franciscan monks were cast out of town.

1536 – On 4 June 1536 Matthew Olah dies, brother of Nicolaus Olahus, archbishop of Strigoniu.

1544 – Orastie fortress is mentioned in chronicles by Sebastian Münster.

“... and there is another strong fortress, below Sebeș, near the town Orăștie ...”

1550 – The first mention of the denomination Saxopolis.

Georg Reicherstorffer in "Chorographia Transilvaniae", printed in Vienna in 1550 writes:

„Orastie city which is called Broos by the Saxons, is located a mile away to the south of the Plain bread, is situated on the river Mureș. The soil is unduly fertile, giving liberally wheat, wine and all kinds of fruits; peoples are very obliging, and resemble more – about the way of clothes and food – with the Romanians who are living spreads all over the place on the desolate plains around.”

1560 – Orăștie fortress is mentioned in chronicles by Giovanandrea Gromo. 1560 is about the year that the ethnic Hungarian community has been converted to Protestantism and Romanian Catholic Church becomes Reformed Calvinist.

1599 – Michael the Brave asked the town for a loan of 1,000 florins.

1582 – The Old Testament of Orăștie, one of the first Romanian-language translations of the Bible was printed here with the help of the constable of Deva castle, Geszti Ferenc.

1602 – General Giorgio Basta garrisoned 400 Imperial soldiers in the town. Their actions persuaded the townsfolk to flee or otherwise barricade themselves in the church's castle. Later, in the same year, general Gabriel Bethlen, with an army of Tatars, Turks, Hungarians and Serbs besieged the town. The Imperial soldiers were denied access to the church's castel and all but eleven (11) were killed. In August, Basta retook Transylvania and hanged the Mayor of Orăștie and two other prominent burghers.

1604 – 1,500 of Basta's soldiers were garrisoned in the town. Because of extreme famine, there cannibalism extended.

1605 – A large part of the town was destroyed.

1661 – An Ottoman army in pursuit of János Kemény, set on fire Orăștie and Sebeș.

1663 – The reformed college of the town was established by Michael I Apafi

1697 – The first pharmacy of the town, "Graffius", was established.

1733 – The tax registry mentioned 2,800 inhabitants in 568 families: 240 Romanian families, 170 Hungarian, 100 Saxon, 50 Gypsy and 8 Greek.

1738 – The plague caused the deaths of 156 people.

1749 – The Roman Catholic Church was built in the shape that it still has: in 1880 a tower was added.

1752–1756 – 144 colonists from Upper Austria settle the town.

1757–1758 – Another 222 colonists from the same region.

1784 – The peasants' rebellion of Horea, Cloșca and Crișan.

1786 – A census under Emperor Joseph II counted 3,190 people in the town.

1820–1823 – The Lutheran church was built, with a tower being added in 1841.

1828 – A large fire destroys 127 houses.

1848 – Fighting between forces of Hungarian Revolutionary forces under general Józef Bem, and the Austrian armies.

1853 – Transylvania was reorganised in 10 counties. The third one was centered on Orăștie. The county has 134,77 square miles/348,90 square km and 214,165 inhabitants. According to ethnical criteria, its population comprised: 192,995 Romanians, 7,809 Hungarians, 1,063 Germans (and 12,297 of other categories). The religious divisions: 160,603 Eastern Orthodox, 38,550 Eastern Rite Catholics, 8,565 Lutherans, 4,283 Roman Catholic, 2,141 Calvinists and 23 of other religions.

1854 – Orăștie had 4,207 inhabitants.

1857 – Census counted 5,029 inhabitants: 1,850 Eastern Orthodox, 1,136 Roman Catholic, 884 Lutheran, 688 Calvinist, 486 Eastern Rite, 24 Jewish, 19 Unitarian and 5 Armenian.

1867 – The synagogue was built.

1869 – First bank was established: "Brooser Vorschuss-verein".

1877 – Orăștie had 5,661 inhabitants.

1880 – Orăștie had 1,086 houses and 5,451 inhabitants: 2,312 Romanians, 1,427 Germans, 1,227 Hungarians, 16 Slovaks, 8 Serbs, 176 other nationalities, 138 foreigners and 147 of unknown maternal language (a category that included Gypsies); 2,030 Eastern Orthodox, 1,002 Roman Catholic, 964 Lutheran, 769 Calvinist, 523 Eastern Rite, 163 Jewish.

1900 – Orăștie had 6,238 inhabitants. Electrical street lighting was introduced.

1910 – 6,937 inhabitants (of which 3,276 Romanians).

1930 – 7,377 inhabitants.

1941 – 9,751 inhabitants.

1948 – 8,819 inhabitants.

1956 – 10,488 inhabitants.

1960 – 11,726 inhabitants.

1966 – 12,822 inhabitants.

1973 – 14,994 inhabitants.

2011 – 17,255 inhabitants: 92.01% Romanians, 5.59% Roma, 1.75% Hungarians, 0.41% Germans.

Image gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  • Chronicles and documents about the history of Orăştie – vol. 1 1200–1541, Anton E. Dörner.
  • Orăştie – 750 years, Ion Iliescu, Tiberiu Istrate.
  • Orăştie – 775, dr. Anton E. Dörner, Vasile Ionaş, Ioachim Lazăr, Mihai Căstăian.
  • Orăştie – Encyclopedia, Petru Baciu.

External links[edit]