Lying in the central part of the country, following the course of Mures River, Mures County has a relief that gradually descends from the mountain tops of the Eastern Carpathians to the Transilvanian Plain and the Tirnave Plateau.
The plateau and the hills cover half of the county’s area, the other half belonging to the sub-Carpathians hills and the volcanic mountains of Calimani and Gurghiu. The surface of Mures County includes 6,696 square kilometres.
It represents almost three percent of the present surface of Romania and its about 579.000 inhabitants represent a similar proportion in the population of the country. 48,8 percent of the population live in the urban areas (Tirgu Mures, Reghin, Sighisoara, Tirnaveni, Ludus, Sovata, Iernut, Miercurea Nirajului, Ungheni, Sarmasu and Singeorgiu de Padure) and 51,2 percent in rural areas, in 91 communes made up of 486 villages. The municipium of Tirgu Mures is the county town.
Natural gas, rocks used as building materials, clorosodic mineral springs, forests are the main natural resources of the county.
Complex and diverse, the county’s economy is represented by natural gas drilling, electric and thermal energy production, chemical, woodworking, building materials and food industries. There are factories of furniture, carved furniture in particular, glass and broad glass, ceramics at Tirnaveni, Tirgu Mures and Sighisoara, of textiles and garments at Tirgu Mures and Sighisoara, of leather items at Tirgu Mures and Reghin. Mures County is the only producer of carbide (Tirnaveni) and musical instruments (Reghin) from Romania.
Agriculture – the second important branch in the county’s economy – has an old tradition, as there are proper conditions for almost all crops. Farm land covers 61 percents of the county’s area.
Mures County has a communication network of 1846 sq. km. of public roads, out of which 18% represents national roads, 40 percent county roads and 42 percent local roads. The International Airport of Tirgu Mures-Vidrasau covers an area of 23.000 sq.km., with a population of 1,5 million inhabitants, including the counties of Mures, Bistrita, Harghita, Covasna. A particularly generous nature, just as cultural and art monuments are touristic attractions meeting even the highest expectations. Sovata, Singeorgiu de Mures, Ideciu de Jos, Jabenita, Lapusna are only a few of the resorts with good conditions of treatment and rest.
A rich fauna and numerous fish species, the flora of natural reserves – the steppe peony at Zau de Cimpie, the secular Forest Mocear, the Daffodils Glade and the Dendrologic Park at Gurghiu, and many others – represent the generous offer of the region. These natural beauties are doubled by ample and picturesque ethnographic and folk manifestations: the Maiden Fair at Gurghiu, the Cherries Fair at Brâncovenesti, the Fish Fair at Zau de Cimpie and Saulia, the Melons Fair at Sinpaul, the harvest celebration, the Christmas carols, the weddings and other customs of the local communities.
In addition to the natural beauties and folk traditions, there are many historical and architectural monuments, buildings from the 14th and 18th centuries, with influences from the European styles of that time: churches at Sighisoara, Tirgu Mures, Reghin, Bagaciu, Saschiz, Suseni and so on; medievale citadeles at Sighisoara (14th century ) and Tirgu Mures (17th century); citadel-castle at Iernut reminding us of the Transylvanian Princes Gabriel Bethlen and Gheorghe Rakoczi I; castles at Gornesti and Dumbravioara; Toldalagi House at Tirgu Mures – representative building for the Transylvanian baroque.
A possible itinerary in Mures County may begin in Tirgu Mures. The settlement, erected in a territory with lasting proofs in the history of the Dacian-Roman population, is mentioned in documents in early 1300 as Forum Siculorum, Novum Forum Siculorum, meaning “market town” or the “new market town” of the population of Hungarian origin, and became the main economic centre in the area. The merchants and guild members got involved in economic activities in the feudal age. In the same time, the spiritual life improved, so that the county town became a strong economic and cultural nucleus. Today the county town is a developed economic and cultural centre. Tirgu Mures is well known in the country and abroad as an important medical centre with outstanding achievements in the field. It also has many cultural institutions – libraries, museums, theatres, musical institutions (the National Theatre, Philharmonic Orchestra, County Library, etc.). Tirgu Mures is a town of schools too, from secondary schools and colleges to medical, technical, pedagogical and artistically superior education units; many local schools were well-known, beginning with Middle Ages. From 1557 is mentioned in the documents the famous reformat school which after 1718 became a superior school. Here taught personalities who studied in universities from Germany, Holland, Switzerland, and so on; among these there were the mathematician Bolyai Farkas and his son and student Bolyai Janos, the founder of the non-euclidean geometry. At Tirgu Mures, after 1754 functioned the Royal Table, the supreme court of Transylvania, where young revolutionaries Avram Iancu, Alexandru Papiu Ilarian and other young people conceived their revolutionary ideas. In Tirgu Mures, Teleki Samuel founded the documentary library which now bears his name, and which beginning with 1802 is at the disposal of the public. The initial collection was of 40.000 books meanwhile it became of 200.000 books. These curiosities would not be complete unless one mention the imposing Orthodox Cathedral, which has the largest painted area from the churches in the country. Tirgu Mures is also a town of flowers where the time is “measured” not only by the clock at the county hall, but also by a floral clock in Piata Trandafirilor.
Upstream from Tirgu Mures, at the confluence of Mures and Gurghiu rivers, the most important locality is the municipium of Reghin. Erected on the ruins of a Dacian fortress by the Germanic population colonised here, at about 1218, Reghin becomes in the 18th-19th centuries a centre of the Romanian national resurrection, begun by the scholar Petru Maior and finalised with the Great Union. Reghin is today a town with an intense cultural life, known as the “Violins` Town” or more recently “New Cremona”, both names undoubtedly inspired by the violin building. Young people from Canada and Germany learn here how to make violins, which proves that the masters of Reghin are quite famous in the field.
Crossing the Tirnave hills covered by vineyards , we move towards Sighisoara, a former medieval citadel, Castrum Sex, built up by the Germanic population and mentioned in documents in 1280. Known as the “Pearl of Transylvania” since the last century, the citadel-town has a special charm that attracts a lot of tourists. A refuge citadel built on the upper plateau of the Citadel Hill was the nucleus of the town. Throughout centuries, several personalities walked along its narrow streets. Among them the most remarkable one is Vlad Dracul (The Devil), the son of Mircea cel Batrân (Mircea the Old man), who lived here between 1431-1436. Is supposed that Vlad Dracul (known as Dracula) was born in Sighisoara. The scenery, the historical inheritance have made of Sighisoara the ideal host of numerous cultural events: The International Medieval Art Festival , The Old Music Festival, etc. The citadel of Sighisoara is included on the list of UNESCO monuments. The most important touristical attractions are the nine defence towers – the Clock Tower being the most important one of them all, the Museum of Medieval Weapons, the house Vlad Dracul, the House with a Stag, the Venetian House, the Curch on the hill, the Covered Staircase.
Tirnaveni, in Middle Ages, was a village belonging to Cetatea de Balta ruled by Stefan cel Mare and afterwards by Petru Rares. Although it was first mentioned in a document in 1278, the settlement became a town only at the beginning at the 20th century. This happened when the first drillings for methane, a valuable raw material for the industry of the new town, began.
Other towns belonging to the latest generation are Ludus and Iernut, centres of gravitation for the nearby villages of the Transylvanian Plain.
The balneal-climateric resort Sovata established itself as an outstanding resort on the touristical map of the county. Its tradition has more than a century and its fame spread over the borders. Sovata is renamed for the efficiency of the treatment for various gynaecological, rheumatic, circulatory diseases as well as for the beneficial effects of its air. Conditions are propitious for skiing in winter and equitation in summer time.
Thus, starting with a high natural potential, the public administration of Mures County aims to a sustanaible development by increasing the level of economical development in the entire county, reducing the discrepancies between the urban and rural areas and improving the quality of life for each inhabitant.
Development of the economy, especially of the tourism, cannot happen without the existence of a quality infrastructure. This is why Mures County Council and the local administrations are interested in finding and using new sources in order to develop the county’s infrastructure.
One of the priorities is represented by the relations with foreign partners, pursuing the dynamics of economical, cultural contacts, promotion of collaboration projects, stimulating foreign investments in our county. Mures County Council established twinning relations with Gyor-Moson-Sopron and Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg Counties from Hungary and with the Shanxi Province from China and maintains relations of colaboration with Lecce Province from Italy and with the French locality Montigny-le-Bretonneux.
One of the objectives of Mures County Council is making sure that the county’s offer in its most representative fields is known, too. This may be the basis for the future promotion and implementation of several projects with external financement ( E.U., World Bank, etc.)
Due to its natural and cultural riches, the quality of human resources, the economical potential, Mures County may become an interesting partner for a large number of sustainable projects.