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For the village in Iran, see Dej, Iran.
For the article about a rapper, see Dej Loaf.
Dej Calvinist Church
Dej Calvinist Church
Coat of arms of Dej
Coat of arms
Dej is located in Romania
Location on Romania map
Coordinates: 47°05′14″N 23°48′19″E / 47.08722°N 23.80528°E / 47.08722; 23.80528Coordinates: 47°05′14″N 23°48′19″E / 47.08722°N 23.80528°E / 47.08722; 23.80528
Country  Romania
County Actual Cluj county CoA.png Cluj
Status Municipality
 • Mayor Costan Morar (Social Democratic Party)
 • Total 109.12 km2 (42.13 sq mi)
Population (October 20, 2011)[1]
 • Total 31,702
 • Density 290/km2 (750/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Dej (Romanian pronunciation: [deʒ]; Hungarian: Dés; German: Desch, Burglos; Yiddish: דעעש‎) is a city in northwestern Romania, 60 km north of Cluj-Napoca, in Cluj County. It lies where the Someşul Mic River meets the river Someşul Mare River. The city administers four villages: Ocna Dejului (Désakna), Peştera (Pestes), Pintic (Oláhpéntek) and Şomcutu Mic (Kissomkút).

The city lies at the crossroads of important railroads and highways linking it to Cluj-Napoca, Baia Mare, Satu Mare, Deda, Bistriţa, and Vatra Dornei.


According to a legend, floating Hungarian tribes stopped for a rest at the place which would later be the location of the city.[citation needed]They were praying, and shouted "Deus" (God in Latin) three times. In fact, the name of the city is also the origin of the personal name, Des.[citation needed]The Romanian and German names of the city come from the Hungarian.[citation needed]


Massive salt reserves were found in the area in Roman times. The Dej fortress was built sometime between 1214 and 1235.[citation needed]

King Andrew II of Hungary raised Dés to the privileged status of a free royal town. In 1241 the city was invaded by Tatars.[citation needed]The old mines were exhausted by 1717; the new mines are still in operation today.[citation needed]Some of the galleries of the salt mine are believed to be more than 15 kilometers long. The population of Dej used to consist mostly of Transylvanian Saxons, who settled here from Germany; their number decreased over centuries.[citation needed]

In 1638, Dej was the site for the show trial staged against the members of the Sabbatarians (Hungarian: Szombatosok), a sect formed during the Protestant movement; they were sentenced to death.[citation needed]The execution took place in Beszterce (Bistriţa).[citation needed]

In 1717, an attack by the Tatars of Crimea struck Dej.[citation needed]

From 1876 to 1920 Dej was capital of Szolnok-Doboka County in the Kingdom of Hungary; from 1920 to 1940, capital of Someş County in Romania.

Dej was home to the Deyzh Hasidic dynasty through the 19th and the first half of the 20th century, and came to reach about a quarter of the local population. In May-June 1944, the authorities of the Kingdom of Hungary then in control of the area (see Northern Transylvania) sent the town's Jews to the Dej ghetto and deported them to Auschwitz. There is a memorial to the victims before the Dej synagogue.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1910 11,452 —    
1930 15,110 +31.9%
1948 14,681 −2.8%
1956 19,281 +31.3%
1966 26,984 +40.0%
1977 32,345 +19.9%
1992 41,216 +27.4%
2002 38,478 −6.6%
2011 31,702 −17.6%
Source: Census data

According to the 2011 Romanian census, there were 31,702 people living within the city.

Of this population, 86.6% are ethnic Romanians, while 12% are ethnic Hungarians, 1.1% Roma and 0.3% others.[1]

Points of interest[edit]

The city's landmark is the Hungarian Reformed Church, built in the second half of the 15th century. The church displays Gothic elements carved in stone. The tower is 72 meters high, and the fortifying walls were erected in the 16th century, then torn down during a renovation in the 1880s. There is also a Franciscan monastery in Dej, which also has a large synagogue near the Reformed Church.

Other sites of interest in Dej: "Dr. Teodor Mihaly" and "Dr. Alexandru Vaida-Voevod" memorial houses and the Ocna Dej salt mine, said to be suited for the treatment of locomotor system diseases, asthenia, debility, and rachitis.



  1. ^ a b "Comunicat de presă privind rezultatele provizorii ale Recensământului Populaţiei şi Locuinţelor – 2011" (PDF). Cluj County Regional Statistics Directorate. 2012-02-02. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 

External links[edit]