Coordinates: 46°35′N 26°55′E / 46.583°N 26.917°E / 46.583; 26.917
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20171004 114517 Administrative Palace in Bacău 2017.jpg
From top, left to right: Ascension Cathedral of Bacău, Public library (Old City Hall), St. Nicholas Cathedral, Cancicov park, Oituz Heroes monument, County Prefecture.
Location in Bacău County
Location in Bacău County
Bacău is located in Romania
Location in Romania
Coordinates: 46°35′N 26°55′E / 46.583°N 26.917°E / 46.583; 26.917
Established1408 (first official record)
 • Mayor (2020–2024) Lucian Stanciu-Viziteu[1]
43.19 km2 (16.68 sq mi)
165 m (541 ft)
 • Density3,200/km2 (8,200/sq mi)
Time zoneEET/EEST (UTC+2/+3)
Postal code
Area code(+40) 234
Vehicle reg.BC

Bacău (UK: /ˈbæk/ BAK-ow,[3] US: /bəˈk/ bə-KOW,[3][4][5] Romanian: [baˈkəw] ; Hungarian: Bákó; Latin: Bacovia) is the main city in Bacău County, Romania. With a population of 136,087 (as of 2021 census), Bacău is the 14th largest city in Romania.[6] The city is situated in the historical region of Moldavia, at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, and on the Bistrița River (which meets the Siret River about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) to the south of Bacău). The Ghimeș Pass links Bacău to the region of Transylvania.


The town's name, which features in Old Church Slavonic documents as Bako, Bakova or Bakovia, comes most probably from a personal name.[7] Men bearing the name Bakó or Bako are documented in medieval Transylvania[8] and in 15th-century Bulgaria, but according to Victor Spinei the name itself is of Turkic – most probably of Cuman or Pecheneg – origin.[9] Nicolae Iorga believes that the city's name is of Hungarian origin (as Adjud and Sascut).[10] Another theory suggests that the town's name has a Slavic origin, pointing to the Proto-Slavic word byk, meaning "ox" or "bull", the region being very suitable for raising cattle; the term, rendered into Romanian alphabet as bâc, was probably the origin of Bâcău.[11] In German it is known as Bakau, in Hungarian as Bákó and in Turkish as Baka.[citation needed]


Similarly to most urban centers in Moldavia, Bacău emerged on a ford that allowed water passage.[12] There is archaeological evidence of human settlement in the centre of Bacău (near Curtea Domnească) dating from the 6th and the 7th centuries; these settlements were placed over older settlements from the 4th and the 5th centuries. A number of vessels found here are ornamented with crosses, hinting that the inhabitants were Christians.[13] Pechenegs and Cumans controlled the Bistrița valley during the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries.[14] Colonists played a significant role in the development of the town.[15] Archaeological finds, some surface or semi-buried dwellings from the second half of the 15th century, suggest that Hungarians started to settle in the region after 1345–1347 when the territory was under the control of the Kingdom of Hungary.[16] They mainly occupied the flat banks of the river Bistrița.[17] Discoveries of a type of 14th-century grey ceramic that has also been found in Northern Europe also suggests the presence of German colonists from the north.[18] Originally the town focused around the Roman Catholic community that settled near a regular local market frequented by the population of the region on the lower reaches of the river.[8]

The town was first mentioned in 1408 when Prince Alexander the Good of Moldavia (1400–1432) listed the customs points in the principality in his privilege for Polish merchants.[19][20] The customs house in the town is mentioned in Old Church Slavonic as krainee mîto ("the customs house by the edge") in the document which may indicate that it was the last customs stop before Moldavia's border with Wallachia.[21] An undated document reveals that the șoltuz in Bacău, that is the head of the town elected by its inhabitants, had the right to sentence felons to death, at least for robberies, which hints to an extended privilege, similar to the ones that royal towns in the Kingdom of Hungary enjoyed.[22][23] Thus this right may have been granted to the community when the territory was under the control of the Kingdom of Hungary.[8] The seal of Bacău was oval which is exceptional in Moldavia where the seals of other towns were round.[24]

Alexander the Good donated the wax collected as part of the tax payable by the town to the nearby Eastern Orthodox Bistrița Monastery.[25] It was most probably his first wife named Margaret who founded the Franciscan Church of the Holy Virgin in Bacău.[26] But the main Catholic church in the town was dedicated to Saint Nicholas.[8] A letter written by John of Rya, the Catholic bishop of Baia refers to Bacău as a civitas which implies the existence of a Catholic bishopric in the town at that time.[26][27] The letter also reveals that Hussite immigrants who had undergone persecutions in Bohemia, Moravia, or Hungary were settled in the town and granted privileges by Alexander the Good.[28]

The monastery of Bistrița was also granted the income from the customs house of Bacău in 1439.[29] In 1435 Stephen II of Moldavia (1433–1435, 1436–1447) requested the town's judges not to hinder the merchants of Brașov, an important center of the Transylvanian Saxons in their movement.[30][31] From the 15th century ungureni, that is Romanians from Transylvania began to populate the area north of the marketplace where they would erect an Orthodox church after 1500.[8] A small residence of the princes of Moldova was built in the town in the first half of the 15th century.[32] It was rebuilt and extended under Stephen III the Great of Moldavia (1457–1504) who also erected an Orthodox church within it.[32] But the rulers soon began to donate the neighboring villages that had thereto supplied their local household to monasteries or noblemen.[33] Thus the local princely residence was abandoned after 1500.[34]

The town was invaded and destroyed more than one time in the 15th and 16th centuries.[34] For example, in 1467 King Matthias I of Hungary during his expedition against Stephen the Great set fire to all towns, among them Bacău in his path.[35] The customs records of Brașov shows that few merchants from Bacău crossed the Carpathian Mountains into Transylvania after 1500, and their merchandise had no particularly high value which suggests that the town was declining in this period.[34]

The Catholic bishop of Argeș whose see in Wallachia had been destroyed by the Tatars moved to Bacău in 1597.[34][36] From the early 17th century the bishops of Bacău were Polish priests who did not reside in the town, but in the Kingdom of Poland.[37] They only travelled time to time to their see in order to collect the tithes.[37]

According to Archbishop Marco Bandini's report of the canonical visitation of 1646, the șoltuz in Bacău was elected among Hungarians one year, and another, among Romanians.[8][38] The names of most of 12 inhabitants of the town recorded in 1655 also indicate that Hungarians still formed their majority group.[34] In 1670 Archbishop Petrus Parcevic, the apostolic vicar of Moldavia concluded an agreement with the head of the Franciscan Province of Transylvania on the return of the Bacău monastery to them in order to ensure the spiritual welfare of the local Hungarian community.[38][39] But the Polish bishop protested against the agreement and the Holy See also refused to ratify it.[38][40]

Due to the frequent invasions by foreign armies and plundering by the Tatars in the 17th century, many of its Catholic inhabitants abandoned Bacău and took refuge in Transylvania.[41][better source needed] But in 1851 the Catholic congregation in the town still spoke, sang, and prayed in Hungarian.[42]

The first paper mill in Moldavia was established in the town in 1851.[43] The town was declared a municipality in 1968.[43]


Bacău has a type of continental climate that falls short of permanent winter snow cover due days averaging above freezing. Winters are also quite dry in the area. Summers are quite rainy due to convection and temperatures are often hot due to its inland location. Due to its mid-latitude location surrounded by a vast landmass, Bacău has a large temperature amplitude by European standards. Since 1980, a record heat of 42.5 °C (108.5 °F)[44] and a record cold of −28 °C (−18 °F)[45] have been measured, which is a net difference of 70.5 °C (126.9 °F).

Climate data for Bacău, Romania (1991–2020 normals, extremes since 1980)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16.7
Mean maximum °C (°F) 11.0
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 1.8
Daily mean °C (°F) −2.2
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −5.6
Mean minimum °C (°F) −16.7
Record low °C (°F) −28.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 24.3
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 5.6 5.8 6.5 7.6 9.5 9.5 9.2 6.7 5.8 6.1 5.5 6.6 84.4
Mean monthly sunshine hours 64 89 139 180 236 246 275 261 183 134 71 52 1,930
Source 1: NOAA[46]
Source 2: Infoclimat[47]


The local authority in the city is split between the Mayor and the Local Council. Between 1950 and 1968 the city was governed by the Sfatul popular (People's Council). It replaced the local Provisional Committee (Romanian: Comitetul Provizori), which functioned from 1948 to 1950, based on the Law of the People's Councils, no. 17/1949.[48]


Historical population
1859 8,972—    
1900 16,187+80.4%
1912 18,846+16.4%
1930 31,138+65.2%
1941 38,965+25.1%
1948 34,461−11.6%
1956 54,138+57.1%
1966 73,414+35.6%
1977 127,299+73.4%
1992 205,029+61.1%
2002 175,500−14.4%
2011 144,307−17.8%
2021 136,087−5.7%
Source: Census data, 1930–1948.[49]

As of 2021 census data, Bacău has a population of 136,087,[6] a decrease from the figure recorded at the 2011 census.

At the 2011 census, Bacău had a population of 144,307, a decrease from the figure recorded at the 2002 census.[50] The ethnic makeup was as follows:

The Bacău metropolitan area, a project for the creation of an administrative unit to integrate Bacău with the nearby communes, would have a population of some 190,000.


The city is about 300 kilometres (186 miles) North of Bucharest. It is served by George Enescu International Airport, located at 5 km (3.1 mi), which provides direct links with the Romanian capital, Bucharest, and with several cities in Europe. Bacău air traffic control centre is one of Europe's busiest, as it handles transiting flights between the Middle and Near East and South Asia to Europe and across the Atlantic.

Museum Complex '"Iulian Antonescu"

The Bacău railway station (Gara Bacău) is one of the busiest in Romania; it has access to the Romanian railway main trunk number 500. Thus the city is connected to the main Romanian cities; the railway station is an important transit stop for international trains from Ukraine, Russia, and Bulgaria.

The city has access to the DN2 road (E85) that links it to the Romanian capital, Bucharest (to the South) and the cities of Suceava and Iași (to the North). The European route E574 is an important access road to Transylvania and the city of Brașov. The city is also located at the intersection of several national roads of secondary importance, and will be served in the future by the A7 motorway running from the border with Ukraine at Siret to Ploiești (junction with A3). As of 2020, this motorway intersects with the Bacău bypass (Centura Bacău).


Bacău has a public university and several colleges. Two major Romanian poets, George Bacovia and Vasile Alecsandri were born here. The "Mihail Jora" Athenaeum and a Philharmonic Orchestra are located here, as well as the "G. Bacovia" Dramatic Theater and a Puppet Theater. Around Christmas every year, a Festival of Moldavian Winter Traditions takes place, reuniting folk artists from all the surrounding regions. The exhibition "Saloanele Moldovei" and the International Painting Camp at Tescani, near Bacău, reunite important plastic artists from Romania and from abroad. The local History Museum, part of the Museum Complex "Iulian Antonescu" has an important collection of antique objects from ancient Dacia. The city also has an astronomical observatory, The Victor Anestin Astronomical Observatory.[citation needed]

Jewish community[edit]

The 1772-1774 Census registered 5 Jewish families, the 1820 Census registered 108 families. The 1852 Census registered 504 Jewish inhabitants. The 1930 Census registered 9424 Jewish inhabitants. The first mentions about Jewish inhabitants are from the beginning of the 18th century. The Register of Chevra Kadisha begins with the year 1774. The first leader of the Community is mentioned in 1794. The community was officially recognized in 1857.[citation needed]

Before World War I, the number of Jews was almost equal to that of Romanians in Bacău. According to the 1930 census, after some of the village population was in town, Bacău had 19,421 who have declared are Romanian, 9,424 declared Jews, 822 Hungarians and 406 German.

The first synagogue would be built in Bacău in 1820. In 1841 Jews who observe the Chabad Hasidic movement built another Sinagoga. In 1864 there were 14 functioning synagogues in Bacău. Among the most notable being Synagogue Burah Volf, Furriers Synagogue, Synagogue Alter Ionas and tanners. "In 1880, in Bacău we had 21 synagogues and prayer houses. In 1916 we were active following synagogues Froim Aizic, Alter Leib, Itzik Leib Brill, Lipscani, the Tailors Young, coachmen, Shoemakers Synagogue, Cerealista, masonry, Rabbi Israel Synagogue, "Brotherhood of Zion" Snap Synagogue Saima Cofler itself and Der Mariesches SIL.

After World War I, some synagogues were closed and others were razed. Some carried the names of rabbis deceased or people in life who had influence on the community: synagogue Wisman, synagogue Gaon Bețael Safran, synagogue Rabbi Blane, synagogue David Herșcovici, synagogue Filderman, the synagogue rabbi Wahramn, and synagogue Rabbi Lan.

In December 2015, the new headquarters of the Jewish community was opened at 2 Erou Costel Marius Hasan St.[51]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns/Sister cities[edit]

Bacău is twinned with:



  • SCM Bacău
  • CS Știința Bacău
  • CSȘ Bacău


  • CS Știința Bacău
  • CSȘ Bacău


  • CSȘ Bacău


  • SCM Bacău


  • Bridge Club Bacău



  • SCM Bacău
  • CS Știința Bacău

Team Handball


  • SCM Bacău
  • Judo Club Royal Bacău


  • SCM Bacău
  • CS Știința Bacău
  • CS Seishin Karate-Do Bacău
  • Siretul Bacău
  • Sfinx Club Karate-Do Bacau


  • SCM Bacău


  • SCM Bacău
  • CS Aerostar Bacău


  • SCM Bacău (înot, sărituri în apă)
  • LPS Bacău (înot)


  • SCM Bacău
  • ASTC Bistrița Bacău
  • CSȘ Bacău



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Results of the 2020 local elections". Central Electoral Bureau. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Populaţia rezidentă după grupa de vârstă, pe județe și municipii, orașe, comune, la 1 decembrie 2021" (XLS). National Institute of Statistics.
  3. ^ a b "Bacău". Collins English Dictionary. HarperCollins. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  4. ^ "Bacau". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). HarperCollins. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  5. ^ "Bacau". Dictionary. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Populația rezidentă după grupa de vârstă, pe județe și municipii, orașe, comune, la 1 decembrie 2021" (in Romanian). INSSE. 31 May 2023.
  7. ^ Rădvan 2010, p. 371.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Rădvan 2010, p. 456.
  9. ^ Spinei 2009, p. 342.
  10. ^ Nicolae Iorga: Privilegiile șangăilor dela Târgu-Ocna, Extras din Analele Academiei Române, seria II, tom. XXXVII (1915), p. 246
  11. ^ Gh. Ghibănescu - Ispisoace și Zapise. vol.VI, partea a II-a, Tipografia „Dacia” Iliescu, Grossu & Comp., Iași, 1926, pag.177
  12. ^ Rădvan 2010, p. 332.
  13. ^ Dan Gh. Teodor, Creștinismul la est de Carpati, Editura Mitropoliei Moldovei și Bucovinei, Iași, 1984, p. 25, 32, 160.
  14. ^ Eugen Șendrea, Istoria municipiului Bacău, Bacău, Editura Vicovia, 2007, p.45-90.
  15. ^ Rădvan 2010, p. 388.
  16. ^ Rădvan 2010, pp. 388., 427., 455.
  17. ^ Dobre 2009, p. 86.
  18. ^ Rădvan 2010, p. 365.
  19. ^ Rădvan 2010, p. 343.
  20. ^ Treptow, Popa 1996, pp. lii., 32.
  21. ^ Rădvan 2010, pp. 453-454.
  22. ^ Rădvan 2010, pp. 399., 456.
  23. ^ Treptow, Popa 1996, p. 188.
  24. ^ Rădvan 2010, pp. 406., 455.
  25. ^ Rădvan 2010, pp. 416-417.
  26. ^ a b Rădvan 2010, p. 455.
  27. ^ Dobre 2009, p. 70.
  28. ^ Rădvan 2010, p. 497.
  29. ^ Rădvan 2010, pp. 373., 416.
  30. ^ Rădvan 2010, p. 410.
  31. ^ Treptow, Popa 1996, pp. lii., 48.
  32. ^ a b Rădvan 2010, p. 454.
  33. ^ Treptow, Popa 1996, pp. lii., 46.
  34. ^ a b c d e Rădvan 2010, p. 457.
  35. ^ Rădvan 2010, p. 461.
  36. ^ Benda 2002, p. 33.
  37. ^ a b Benda 2002, p. 36.
  38. ^ a b c Benda 2002, p. 17.
  39. ^ Pozsony 2002, pp. 94-95.
  40. ^ Pozsony 2002, p. 95.
  41. ^ Mărtinaș 1999, pp.36-38.
  42. ^ Pozsony 2002, p. 102.
  43. ^ a b Treptow, Popa 1996, p. 32.
  44. ^ "Climatologie de l'année 2012 à Bacau" (in French). Infoclimat. Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  45. ^ "Climatologie de l'année 1985 à Bacau" (in French). Infoclimat. Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  46. ^ "Bacau 1991–2020 Climate Normals". NOAA. Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  47. ^ "Climatologie de l'année à Bacau" (in French). Infoclimat. Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  48. ^ Andrei Florin Sora, Comunizarea administrației românești: sfaturile populare (1949-1950), în „Revista istorică”, tom XXIII, nr. 3-4/2012
  49. ^ Populatia RPR la 25 ianuarie 1948, p. 14
  50. ^ "Population as of 20 October 2011" (in Romanian). INSSE. 5 July 2013. Archived from the original on 18 January 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  51. ^ FOTO Evreii din Bacău și-au inaugurat noul sediu, în prezența Marelui Rabin Rafael Shaffer și a deputatului Aurel Vainer, președintele FCER
  52. ^ Pessotto, Lorenzo. "International Affairs - Twinnings and Agreements". International Affairs Service in cooperation with Servizio Telematico Pubblico. City of Torino. Archived from the original on 18 June 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.


  • Benda, Kálmán (2002). The Hungarians of Moldavia (Csángós) in the 16th–17th Centuries. In: Diószegi, László (2002); Hungarian Csángós in Moldavia: Essays on the Past and Present of the Hungarian Csángós in Moldavia; Teleki László Foundation - Pro Minoritate Foundation; ISBN 963-85774-4-4.
  • Dobre, Claudia Florentina (2009). Mendicants in Moldavia: Mission in an Orthodox Land. AUREL Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938759-12-7.
  • Mărtinaș, Dumitru (1999). The Origins of the Changos. The Center for Romanian Studies. ISBN 973-98391-4-2.
  • Pozsony, Ferenc (2002). Church Life in Moldavian Hungarian Communities. In: Diószegi, László (2002); Hungarian Csángós in Moldavia: Essays on the Past and Present of the Hungarian Csángós in Moldavia; Teleki László Foundation - Pro Minoritate Foundation; ISBN 963-85774-4-4.
  • Rădvan, Laurențiu (2010). At Europe's Borders: Medieval Towns in the Romanian Principalities. BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-18010-9.
  • Spinei, Victor (2009). The Romanians and the Turkic Nomads North of the Danube Delta from the Tenth to the Mid-Thirteenth century. Koninklijke Brill NV. ISBN 978-90-04-17536-5.
  • Treptow, Kurt W.; Popa, Marcel (1996). Historical Dictionary of Romania. The Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-3179-1.

External links[edit]