About Tirgu Mures
Named literally for a ‘market’ on the Mures River and known as the city of roses, Targu Mures enjoys the best of both Romanian and Hungarian cultures. Numerous vestiges attest the presence of Neolithic cultures and those of the Bronze and Metal Ages in this area. Archaeological diggings have brought to light Roman relics in the surrounding towns.
The town was first documented as ‘Novum Forum Sicolorum’ in 1322. Beginning with the 16th century, Targu Mures excels as an important cultural and education centre. The first school appears in 1492. In 1786, the first printing shop is established and in 1802 count Teleki Samuel, chancellor of Transylvania, lays the foundations of the documentary library that bears his name to this day. The city received a major boost to its social and economic life in 1754 when it became the seat of the supreme court of justice of the Principality of Transylvania.
Targu Mures became a modern town in the second half of the 19th century, along with the expansion of the railway line. Today its centrally located Piata Trandafirilor (Roses Square) is lined with modern streetside cafes and restaurants, churches, and monuments. Targu Mures’ top attraction is located at the south end of the square: the Culture Palace (Palatul Culturii), a flamboyant early 20th-century city hall with an outstanding stained-glass hall, housing some of main local museums.
A small selection of things to see in Tirgu Mures
Apollo Palace (Palatul Apollo)
Apollo Palace was built between 1820 and 1822 at the initiative of count Teleki Sámuel.
The building was initially decorated in the late Baroque style and had only two stories.
The façade was modified in early 1900s, the only remaining Baroque elements are the reinforced vaults with double arcs.
The ground floor was used for retail activities while the first floor was used as living quarters.
On the second floor there was a large meeting hall, a restaurant and a café.
At the beginning of the 20th century the palace served as a venue for numerous shows and events. In 1923 Apollo Palace was sold to a new owner who decided to transform the balroom into apartments (1925 – 1927).
The façade was also remodeled at that time in an eclectic style specific to the early 20th century.
Today Apollo Palace is home to the local Art School.
The Old Prefecture (Cladirea Vechii Prefecturi)
The former seat of the Prefecture has been in use since 1711.
After its owner was condemned for treason, the house was confiscated and became the property of the County (Mures County).
Construction works to expand the building started in 1744 under the supervision of judge Dóza Mihai.
The neighboring plots of land were bought during the 19th century so that the construction could be further expanded.
The lateral wings were erected between 1824 and 1838, and the back wing between 1842 and 1843.
The ground floor served throughout the years as a prison and on the top floor as an assembly hall.
Currently, these spaces are used as workshops by the artists of Targu Mures.
Palffy House (Casa Palffy)
The first elements of Baroque architecture appeared, in Targu Mures, in the second half of the 17th century.
The Pálffy House, built around 1640, reflects an evolutionary stage that surpasses typical Renaissance architectural elements such as those of the oldest buildings of Targu Mures, the Köpeczi and Nagy Szabó houses.
The edifice was built by judge Tolnai János and sold to the Pálffy family in 1885, hence the name by which the building is known today.
The building was renovated in 2006 and today it hosts the newly established Music School of the University of Theatrical Arts of Targu Mures.
St. Michael Wooden Orthodox Church (Biserica din Lemn Sf. Arhanghel Mihail)
Cluj-Napoca Botanical Garden, one of the largest in southeastern Europe, is home to some 10,000 plant species. Here you can find a museum, several greenhouses with desert and tropical plants, including huge Amazonian water lilies, a Japanese garden with a brook and a Japanese-style house, and the Roman Garden with archeological relics from the Roman colony of Napoca.
Teleki Library (Bibiloteca Teleki)
Open: Tue. – Fri. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission charge
Teleki Library The Teleki Library, founded at the end of the 18th century by Sámuel Teleki, chancellor of Transylvania, contains a large collection of first editions and important manuscripts documenting Transylvanian history, as well as mathematical and scientific works. Count Sámuel Teleki, closely connected to the Mures area through his origins and the fact that he spent part of his life at his personal residence in Dumbravioara (a village only a few kilometers outside of Targu Mures), had established here the first city library by making his 40,000 books – some of which were unique editions published by famous European printing houses – available to the public.
More important collections were added in time, amounting to over 250,000 tomes today.
Targu Mures Medieval Fortress (Cetatea medievala)
In 1492 Prince Stefan Bathory ordered for a castle-fortress to be erected around the Franciscan monastery and church. A few of the original elements have been preserved, among them wall fragments on the Southern and Western sides, the tower on the Southern wing, attached to the furriers’ bastion, and ruins of the South-Western tower, included nowadays in the tanners’ bastion. The structure of these towers and the fact that they are square-shaped are indicative of a medieval type military architecture.y.
You can find more information about Tirgu Mures on the website of the Romania Official Travel and Tourism Information Center.