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County capital
Skyline of Târgoviște
Coat of arms of Târgoviște
Coat of arms
Târgoviște is located in Romania
Location of Târgoviște
Coordinates: 44°55′27″N 25°27′24″E / 44.92417°N 25.45667°E / 44.92417; 25.45667Coordinates: 44°55′27″N 25°27′24″E / 44.92417°N 25.45667°E / 44.92417; 25.45667
Country  Romania
County Dâmbovița
Status County capital
 • Mayor Cristian Daniel Stan (PSD)
Population (2011 census)[1]
 • Total 79,610
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Website http://www.pmtgv.ro/

Târgoviște (alternative spelling: Tîrgoviște; Romanian pronunciation: [tɨrˈɡoviʃte]) is a city in Romania, and the county seat of the Dâmbovița County. It is situated on the right bank of the Ialomiţa River. At the 2011 census Târgoviște had a population of 79,610,[1] making it the 26th largest city in Romania. One of the most important cities in the history of Wallachia, it was its capital between the early 15th century and the 16th century.


The name "Târgoviște" is a Slavic name which the city acquired in the Middle Ages. It is derived from the Old Bulgarian word for marketplace "търговище" (pronounced [tərˈɡɔviʃtɛ]), referring to the place rather than the market itself, which might suggest that the market (târg) may have at one time been temporarily interrupted.[2]

The name is found in placenames not only in South Slavic areas (Bulgarian Търговище and Serbian Трговиште), but also in West Slavic such as Slovakian Trhovište. Additionally, places with the same name are found in Romania, in the regions of Oltenia, Banat, and Moldavia.[2]

The Romanian and Bulgarian towns with the same name are also twinned.

Interior of the Ascension Cathedral


Early history[edit]

The area of Târgoviște which was first inhabited is located where the Saint Nicholas-Geartoglu Church and Stelea Veche Church stand today. It was in this place that the first fortifications were built: a small stone building surrounded by a brick wall and a moat, probably belonging to a local ruler.[2] However, archaeological evidence is scarce and it is difficult to pinpoint exactly when it was erected.[2]

Saxon colony[edit]

Another nucleus of the city was built by Saxon colonists from Transylvania, in the area where the Catholic Saint Mary Church is located, a church that was built during the early years of the colony.[3] A local tradition says that the church was built in 1300.[3] The colonists came around the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th century, the same period that Câmpulung was colonized.[3] There is archeological evidence that the land occupied by the new colonists had been previously inhabited by locals, which leads to the conclusion that it had been approved by the local ruler.[3]

The colonists influenced the local administration, as Târgoviște was the only town in Wallachia that had Transylvanian organization features, having official titles such as birău and folnog, which are found in documents together with local officials, like vornic and pristav.[4] The town had a night watch which was also known by a Latin term (viglu < vigilia) instead of the local terms such pază or strajă.[4]

After 1400, the town began to grow and become denser. Both Saxon part (around the stronghold) and in the Romanian part, there were several large dwellings with cellars and tile stoves similar to those found in Central Europe. The wealth is also known based on the number of treasure troves discovered, the largest being a hoard of 6284 silver coins, found in the Saxon part of the town.[4] The town gravitated around the Saxon part, this being valid until the Saxon community began its decline during the 16th century.[5]

Capital of Wallachia[edit]

In the 14th century, the capital of Wallachia was Curtea de Argeș, however, due to Târgoviște's economic growth, toward the end of the century, it became a secondary residence of the Wallachian hospodar. In 1396, Bavarian traveler Johann Schiltberger mentions both Curtea de Argeș and Târgoviște as capitals of Wallachia.[5] While Mircea I lived in Curtea de Argeș, Michael I, Mircea's son and co-prince lived in Târgoviște, where he continued to live even as a single ruler. Dan II preferred Curtea de Argeș and he was the last hospodar to rule from that city, the court being finally moved to Târgoviște by Alexandru Aldea in 1431.[5]

Throughout the period it was the capital of Wallachia, the Princely Court in Târgoviște (ro) (Curtea Domnească din Târgoviște) had been constantly refurbished and extended. The compound was surrounded by stone walls and a moat and a new church and a tower had been built.[5] Vlad III Dracula ("the Impaler") later added the Chindia Tower, now a symbol of the city.

Starting with 1465, for the next two centuries, the rulers alternated the capital between Târgoviște and Bucharest, often on political reasons, as the former was preferred by the rulers who were more friendly toward Transylvania and the King of Hungary.[6] Throughout the 15th and 16th centuries, Târgoviște was a major trade hub, especially with Poland, Brașov and Sibiu.[7]

By the 16th century, the Romanians became majority in the city, as some Saxons left for Transylvania and others were assimilated. Greeks merchants began to settle in the city, especially after 1500, while Greek monks settled in the nearby Dealu and Panaghia.[8]

As the capital of Wallachia, Târgoviște faced numerous sieges and invasions. In 1395, it was sieged and set on fire by Bayezid I.[9] In 1457, the townsfolk of Târgoviște were punished by Vlad III Dracula for their involvement in the assassination of his brother: the elite of city was killed, while the young people were sent to work at his Poenari Castle.[9]

The Ottoman invasion of 1462 did not reach the city, being prevented by Vlad III through The Night Attack. In 1476, the city was taken by Stephen Báthory following a fifteen-day siege intended to restore Vlad to the throne. Several other battles were fought near the city during the rules of Neagoe Basarab and Radu of Afumați.[9]

In 1597, the Hajduks of Mihai Viteazul and Starina Novak fought and won a decisive battle against the Ottoman Empire in Târgoviște.


After the capital was finally moved to Bucharest during the rule of Constantin Brâncoveanu (1688-1714), Târgoviște lost its importance, decaying economically as its population decreased.

Modern history[edit]

Târgoviște was the site of the trial and execution of Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife Elena in December 1989.


One village, Priseaca, is administered by the city.

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1500 60,000 —    
1900 9,400 −84.3%
1912 13,041 +38.7%
1930 22,298 +71.0%
1948 26,038 +16.8%
1956 24,360 −6.4%
1966 29,763 +22.2%
1977 61,254 +105.8%
1992 98,117 +60.2%
2002 89,930 −8.3%
2011 79,610 −11.5%
Source: Census data


In 2011, there were 73,964 inhabitants. According to the 2002 census, 96.6% of the inhabitants were Romanians and 2.84% Roma people.

Buzău and Brăila Gate



The Târgoviște Railway Station is an important railway junction, linking Bucharest from the Ploiești and Pietroșița. Railway station building was inaugurated on 2 January 1884, with rail Titu-Târgoviște. This railway was built by VII Company of the railway of I Engineering Regiment. On 27 May 1894 was inaugurated Târgoviște-Pucioasa railway.

Ploiești-Targoviște was inaugurated on 29 June 1946, although its construction had been started since 1929.

The city is served by Teiș halt, Târgoviște Nord station and the stopping of the Romlux and Valea Voievozilor.

The railway station is open for both passenger traffic - with sales / reservation electronic tickets - and merchandise traffic. Lines serving the large industrial operators of the city - MECHEL, Otelinox, UPET, Erdemir, Romlux, Rondocarton.

Târgoviște rail station in 1930. The building was inaugurated in 1884.
The building of railway station was renovated in 2000-2004.


Located at a crossroads of ancient trade routes, the city is now a road and rail junction, can be easily approached from all sides. Targoviste Municipality is located near the capital of Romania, at a distance of 80 kilometres (50 miles) Otopeni International Airport Henri Coanda, along with the smaller Băneasa Aurel Vlaicu.

Road number Cities
RO Roadsign 71.svg DN 71 Tărtășești — Târgoviște — PucioasaSinaia
RO Roadsign 72.svg DN 72 Găești — Târgovişte — Ploiești
RO Roadsign 72A.svg DN 72A Târgoviște — Câmpulung

Also, a number of county roads pass the city:

Public transport[edit]

In the city, public transport is provided by SC Public Transport S.A. and include bus, trolley and maxi-taxi. In 2005 was developed and modernized public transport, SC Public Transport S.A. making passenger transport company in public-private partnership.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Târgoviște is twinned with:


The city has two football clubs, FC Chindia Târgoviște and FCM Târgoviște, both of which play in Liga III.

Târgovişte is also home to Municipal MCM Târgovişte basketball club which competes in the Romanian League and the EuroCup.


Panorama of Târgovişte as seen from Chindia Tower, 6 August 2008.



  1. ^ a b "2011 Census" (PDF) (in Romanian). INSSE. July 5, 2013. Retrieved June 5, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d Rădvan, p.295
  3. ^ a b c d Rădvan, p.296
  4. ^ a b c Rădvan, p.297
  5. ^ a b c d Rădvan, p.298
  6. ^ Rădvan, p.299
  7. ^ Rădvan, p.299-300
  8. ^ Rădvan, p.300
  9. ^ a b c Rădvan, p.302
  10. ^ "International Contacts". Targovishte Municipality. Archived from the original on 2006-08-21. Retrieved 2013-08-29. 


  • Laurenţiu Rădvan, At Europe's Borders: Medieval Towns in the Romanian Principalities, Brill, 2010, ISBN 9789004180109

External links[edit]