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For other uses, see Baia (disambiguation).
Ruins of the early 15th century Roman Catholic church
Ruins of the early 15th century Roman Catholic church
Coat of arms of Baia
Coat of arms
Country  Romania
County Suceava County
Population (2002)[1] 6,793
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Baia (Hungarian: Moldvabánya, Latin: Civitas Moldaviae) is a commune in the Suceava County, Romania with a population of 6,793 (2002 census).[2] It is composed of two villages, Baia and Bogata. Located on the Moldova River, it was one of the earliest urban settlements in Moldavia.

The Romanian name means "the mine" as in Hungarian, but it's also possible that the Hungarian name was borrowed from Romanian and not vice versa, since no mine was ever attested or discovered in the area. It is possible that it derives from the term Bania (from Ban, a political leader).[3] Baia was mentioned for the first time in the Nestor chronicle under the name Bania.

An earlier name of the settlement was Târgul Moldovei which means "the market of Moldavia", referring to the Moldova River. Its Hungarian name was Moldvabánya, "the Moldova mine". It also had a Latin name, Civitas Moldaviae which was found on an early seal of the city.

One of the earliest mention of the town was in Poland in 1335, when a certain merchant was mentioned by the name of "Alexa Moldaowicz" (i.e. Alexa from the Town of Moldavia) and the next was in 1345, when Baia is placed on a list of towns of the Franciscan missionaries.[4] The town was funded by Saxons, a term applied to German settlers who came to the area because they were poor miners or groups of convicts from Saxony.[5]

The town was burnt by the Moldavian army in the prelude to the Battle of Baia when Ștefan cel Mare destroyed a Hungarian army on the night of December 15, 1467.


  1. ^ Romanian census data, 2002; retrieved on May 27, 2010
  2. ^ Romanian census data, 2002; retrieved on May 27, 2010
  3. ^
  4. ^ Costăchel, V.; Panaitescu, PP.; Cazacu, A. (1957). Viaţa feudală în Ţara Românească şi Moldova (secolele XIV–XVI), (Feudal life in the Romanian and Moldovan Land (14th–16th centuries). Bucharest: Editura Ştiinţifică. 
  5. ^ K. Gündisch, "Autonomie de stări și regionalitate în Ardealul medieval", in Transilvania și sașii ardeleni în istoriografie, Asociația de Studii Transilvane Heidelberg, Sibiu and Heidelberg, 2001, p. 33-53

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Coordinates: 47°25′13″N 26°13′01″E / 47.4203°N 26.2169°E / 47.4203; 26.2169