Location in Maramureș County
|• Mayor||Sebastian Alin Bîrda (PNL)|
|Area||96 km2 (37 sq mi)|
|• Density||160/km2 (420/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET/EEST (UTC+2/+3)|
Baia Sprie (Romanian pronunciation: [ˌbaja ˈspri.e] (listen); Hungarian: Felsőbánya, German: Mittelstadt) is a town in the Maramureș County, northern Romania. Baia Sprie is situated at a distance of 9 km from Baia Mare.
The town administers three villages: Chiuzbaia (Kisbánya), Satu Nou de Sus (Felsőújfalu) and Tăuții de Sus (Giródtótfalu). Neighbouring communities are the city of Baia Mare and the villages of Groși, Dumbrăvița, Șisești and Desești.
The town was one of the most important mining centers in north-western Romania, exploitation of gold and silver being mentioned in documents written in the Middle Ages, the time when the Saxons colonized the region. However, recent administrative changes and restructuring of the Romanian mining industry brought this activity to an almost complete halt.
The first written mention of the settlement dates back to 1329 as "Civitas in medio monte", in 1406 as "civitas Medii Montis", in 1390, 1452, 1455 as "civitas Felsevbanya", and since 1523 as Felsőbánya. The old Romanian name of the town was Baia de Sus, which means "Upper Mine" same as in Hungarian.
The town was in Szatmár County, in the Kingdom of Hungary. King Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, as part of treat with Serbian ruler Despotus Stefan Lazarević, gave him Baia Sprie as a gift in 1411, until Depotus' death in 1426. A year after, lord of Baia Sprie became Stefan's successor Despotus Đurađ Branković of Serbia. In 1567, it was annexed by Prince János Zsigmond, prince of Transylvania. In 1605 - 1606, 1621–1629 and 1645 - 1648 the town and the county were part of the Principality of Transylvania.
The 1850 census in the German language, recorded a number of 5427 inhabitants, representing 1336 families living in 993 houses. As for the nationalities existing at that time, the Hungarians were 3800, Romanians 1093, Germans 333, Slovaks 140, and Roma 40. In the 1910 census, the following languages were spoken in the township: Hungarian language 93.8%, Romanian language 5.2% and others 1.0%. At the same census the following religions were represented: Roman Catholic 52.1%, Greek Catholic 28.1%, Calvinist 13.3%, Judaism 6.1% and others 0.5%.
From 1920 to 1940 the town was part of the Kingdom of Romania. Since 1940 until the end of World War II it was part of Hungary and after again became part of Romania. The township belonged alternately to the Baia Mare Region (in 1952–1960), Maramureș Region (1960–1968) and, as of 1968, Maramureș County.
|Source: Census data|
The main religious groups in 2002 were 11,344 Romanian Orthodox, 2,739 Roman Catholic, 886 Calvinist and 636 Greek Catholic.
- "Alegeri locale parțiale în Maramureș". digi24 (in Romanian). 12 June 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
- "Populaţia stabilă pe judeţe, municipii, oraşe şi localităti componenete la RPL_2011" (in Romanian). National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
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