luni, 25 februarie 2013

Zalau, an unknown Romanian pearl


Zalau/Zilau/Zilenmarkt is not very known neither among Romanians, nor travelers, and I think it is not right. The much nicer, bigger Cluj Napoca is only a half hour driving away. Every local teenager  aiming to make a future goes to Cluj Napoca, after its secondary school, becoming there a student.

On the surrounding hills and mountains there are a lot of plum orchards and the local plum brandy is legendary strong (double refined). Up to a few years ago any visitor could notice the locals carrying bigger or less recipients full of an interesting liquid. Well, it was water, as the town had not running water. Meanwhile, the situation has been improved. For sure, if you see anyone carrying nowadays a recipient is whether plum brandy, or , more rarely, wine.
A really wonderful Calvinist Church in Zalau, worth a visit, and makes the city so multicultural

Zalau still has a strong industry, but is also a wonderful touristic city with fantastic neighborhoods. You can hike on the mountains around, the legendary Mezes, there are a few trails available. Whether on the trails, or on the road, you can discover the interesting villages around through short trips. Keep in mind and discover Romanasi, Poarta Salajului, Treznea or Guruslau. Very interesting, in many of them you can still find Roman ruins. When the Romans conquered the local Dacia, they stopped in the area, further did not take the chance. The Salaj County, and also Maramures have managed to be still free.
The central square from Zalau with the mayoralty

Since almost 100 years Zalau is Romanian, and nowadays 80 % of the inhabitants are Romanian. Before, the  structure was totally reversed, the Hungarians were more. Two prominent personalities are tighten to Zalau, the Romanian politician Iuliu Maniu, and the Hungarian politician Wesselenyi, having a monument in the very centre of the city.

The Central Square of Zalau with the Mayoralty and the mentioned statue of Weselenyi acts interesting, like one or two centuries ago, without the daily routine. Few steps away, the Salaj County Museum, with a few interesting relics from the Roman era. All the city hotels are in the area, and you can see the city in style staying there. Zalau lies mainly on the main street, and along the River Zalau.

First the Dacians, and then the Romans settled in the area. In 1220 Anonymus makes a mention about "Villa Zilac" as a part of a Romanian county, and in 1241 the Mongols completely destroys Zalau, which recovers miraculously, becoming an important trade area for the local agricultural or craft products.

As a conclusion, you have many things to do and to see in Zalau and around, would suggest to plan few days for it.


Un comentariu:

  1. Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting.I will be waiting for your next post.
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