Arad, Romania

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—  Municipality  —
Arad City Hall
Flag of Arad
Coat of arms of Arad
Coat of arms
Location of Arad, Romania
Coordinates: 46°10′N 21°19′E / 46.167°N 21.317°E / 46.167; 21.317Coordinates: 46°10′N 21°19′E / 46.167°N 21.317°E / 46.167; 21.317
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County Arad County
Status Municipality
 • Mayor Gheorghe Falcă (Democratic Liberal Party)
 • Total 46.18 km2 (17.8 sq mi)
Population (est. July 1, 2006)
 • Total 172,824
 • Density 3,638/km2 (9,422.4/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
File:Arad dusk.jpg
Arad at dusk
Strada Unirii (Union Street)
Căluş dancer from Arad, early 20th century.

Arad (Romanian pronunciation: [aˈrad]; Hungarian: Arad; Serbian: Арад Arad) is the capital city of Arad County, in western Romania, in the Crişana region, on the river Mureş.

An important industrial center and transportation hub, Arad is also the seat of a Romanian Orthodox archbishop and features two universities, a Romanian Orthodox theological seminary, a training school for teachers and a music conservatory. The city has a population of approximately 172,000, making it the 13th largest city in Romania. Arad is the third largest city in the western part of the country, behind Timişoara and Oradea.


Arad was first mentioned in documents in the 11th century. The Mongol invasion of the Kingdom of Hungary in 1241 showed the importance of the fortifications on this place, to which were added in the second half of the 13th century more stone fortresses at Şoimoş (Solymos), Şiria (Világos), and Dezna (Dézna). The Ottoman Empire conquered the region from Hungary in 1551 and kept it until the Peace of Karlowitz of 1699. Arad became an eyalet center, which comprised the sanjaks of Arad, Lugoj, Kacaş, Beşlek and Yanova from 1660 till 1697, when it was captured by Austrians during Ottoman-Habsburg wars (1683–1699). After 1699, the city was ruled by the Habsburg Monarchy. According to 1720 data, the population of the city was composed of 177 Romanian families, 162 Serbian, and 35 Hungarian.[1]

The first Jewish person allowed to settle inside the city was Isac Elias in 1742. Eventually the Jewish population of Arad numbered over 10,000 people, more than 10% of the population, before the Second World War.[2]

The new fortress was built between 1763 and 1783. Although it was small, it proved formidable having played a great role in the Hungarian struggle for independence in 1849. The city possesses a museum containing relics of this war of independence.

Bravely defended by the Austrian general Berger until the end of July 1849, it was captured by the Hungarian rebels, who made it their headquarters during the latter part of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. It was from Arad that Lajos Kossuth issued his famous proclamation (11 August 1849), and where he handed over the supreme military and civil power to Artúr Görgey.

The fortress was recaptured shortly after the surrender at Világos (now Şiria, Romania), with the surrender of general Artúr Görgey to the Russians. It became an ammunition depot. Thirteen rebel generals were executed there on 6 October 1849, by order of the Austrian general Julius Jacob von Haynau. These men are known collectively as the 13 Martyrs of Arad, and since then Arad is considered the "Hungarian Golgotha". One of the public squares contains a martyrs' monument, erected in their memory. It consists of a colossal figure of Hungary, with four allegorical groups, and medallions of the executed generals.

Arad enjoyed great economic development in the 19th century. In 1834 it was declared a "free royal town" by Emperor Francis I of Austria.

Aradu Nou / Neu Arad / Újarad ("New Arad"), situated on the opposite bank of the Mureş river, is a neighborhood of Arad, to which it is connected by the Trajan bridge. It was founded during the Turkish wars of the 17th century. The works erected by the Turks for the capture of the fortress of Arad formed the nucleus of the new settlement.

In 1910, the town had 63,166 inhabitants: 46,085 (73%) Hungarians, 10,279 (16.2%) Romanians, 4,365 (7%) Germans.[3]


  • 1028 - First time the area was mentioned
  • 1078 - 1081 - The first mention of the town
  • 1131 - Arad is mentioned in The Painted Chronicle From Vienna
  • 1526 - Following the Battle of Mohács, Ioan Zapolya, elected King of Hungary, gains control of the city of Arad
  • 1541 - After the fall of Buda to the Ottomans, the city passes under the administration of the Autonomous Principality of Transylvania
  • 1551 - 1595 - The town was occupied and administered by the Ottoman Empire, the former county being divided into three sangeacs
  • 1553 - 1555 - Between these years, the Ottomans built the first fortress of the city on the northern bank of the river Mureș
  • 1595 - Transylvanian troops cleared the lower valley of the Mureș, thus the city of Arad was reintegrated in the Transylvanian Prinicpality.
  • 1599 - After the victory of Mihai Viteazu's troops at Șelimbăr, the city enters under the Voivode's authority until 1601 when Gabriel Bethlen gives the Mureș valley back to the Ottomans
  • 1683 - After the failure of the Ottoman siege of Vienna, Habsburg troops conquer the city in 1687
  • 1699 - After the Peace of Karlowitz, the Mureș river valley became the new border between The Habsburg Empire and the Ottoman Empire, thus the city became the headquarters of the frontier guard troops
  • 1702 - The furriers' guild was registered - the oldest one
  • 1715 - Camil Hofflich, a minorite monk, set up the first school - German language
  • 1724 - First German settlers from Franken come to the south of the river and establish Neu Arad
  • 1732 - Almost the entire area of the county was donated to Rinaldo of Modena, who, later disgraced in 1740, lost it to the Austrian crown
  • 1765 - 1783 - The new fortress was built, in Vauban style
  • 1781 - Following the building interdiction in the city, providing clear gunshot fields, the Empire considered moving the city in the Zimand pusta; subsequently Emperor Jozef II gave up the idea
  • 1812 - The foundation of Preparandia - the first Romanian pedagogy school in Transylvania
  • 1817 - The Hirschl Theatre was built - the first stone theater in the country
  • 1818 - The safety perimeter of the fortress was reduced from 2 kilometers as put out in 1783, to just 500 m
    • 1868 - The great Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu participated as prompter
  • 1833 - The sixth European Music School was set up in Arad, after Paris, Prague, Brussels, Vienna and London - Arader Musik Conservatorium/Aradi Zenede
  • 21 August 1834 – Arad obtained the "Free Royal Town" statute
  • 6 October 1849 - 13 generals of the Hungarian revolutionary army executed
  • 1890 - The founding of The Philharmonic Society'
  • 1851 - Inauguration of the Neumann family alcohol and yeast factory
  • 1858 - Inauguration of the main train station
  • 1874 - The original building of the Theater was built
  • 1876 - The Administrative Palace was built
  • 1897 - The Cenad palace was built
  • 1913 - The edifice of today's Palace of Culture and site of the Philarmonics was built on the river embankment
  • 1892 - The Weitzer Wagon Factory starts producing railway cars. By the start of the 20th century it also built cars (MATRA) and airplanes
  • 15 August 1899 - The first official football game was held
  • 10 April 1913 – Arad - Podgoria, the first electrical railway in Eastern Europe and the eighth in the world was built in Arad
  • 1918 - Arad becomes the headquarters of The Romanian National Central Council, the provisional government of Transylvania, and also its unofficial capital
    • May 13–15 - Iuliu Maniu declares the decision to secede from Hungary and the union of Transylvania with Romania
  • 1920 - Under the Treaty of Trianon, Arad was ceded to Romania
  • 1937 – Arad was the most important economic center in Transylvania and occupied the fourth position in Romania[cn]
  • 1989 – Arad was the second town in Romania to rise against communism, with considerable violence
  • 1999 - The Arad Industrial Zone was inaugurated


Historical population of Arad
Year Population
1900 53,903[4]
1912 census â–² 63,166
1930 census â–² 77,181
1948 census â–² 87,291
1956 census â–² 106,460
1966 census â–² 126,000
1977 census â–² 171,193
1992 census â–² 190,114
2002 census 11px 172,827
2009 estimate 11px 166,003

According to the 2002 census, the municipality of Arad was home to 172,827 inhabitants. The ethnic breakdown of the city was as follows: 142,968 Romanians (82.72%); 22,492 Hungarians (13.01%); 3,004 Roma (1.74%); 2,247 Germans (1.31%); and 2,116 of other nationalities (1.22%). The population had fallen slightly by 2006.[5]

The principal religious groups were the Romanian Orthodox (72.7%), Roman Catholic (12.1%), Baptist (4.5%), Pentecostal (4.4%), Reformed (3.1%), and Greek-Catholic (1.1%) churches.


Arad has a humid continental climate with cold and snowy winters and hot summers.

Climate data for Arad
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 2
Average low °C (°F) −5
Precipitation mm (inches) 36
Avg. rainy days 11 11 11 10 12 11 9 8 7 9 12 12 123
Mean monthly sunshine hours 62 84 124 150 248 270 279 279 210 155 60 62 1,983
Source: BBC Weather [6]


With a rich industrial and commercial tradition, Arad is one of the most prosperous towns in Romania. Thanks to numerous investments in industry and commerce, Arad has a booming economy.

The main industries are: freight and passenger railway cars, clothing and textiles, food processing, furniture and household accessories, equipment for the car industry, electric components, instrumentation and shoes.


  1. Aradul Nou
  2. Centru
  3. Aurel Vlaicu
  4. Micalaca
  5. Grădişte
  6. Alfa
  7. Bujac
  8. Confectii
  9. Functionarilor
  10. Gai
  11. Parneava
  12. Sânnicolaul Mic
  13. Colonia
  14. Subcetate


Arad is the most important trans-European road and rail transportation junction point in western Romania, included in the 4th Pan-European Corridor linking Western Europe to South-Eastern European and Middle Eastern countries. The city has an extensive light rail network and a few bus lines. Arad International Airport (IATA: ARW, ICAO: LRAR), with a cargo terminal, is situated 4 km from downtown Arad.

Employees by occupation

  • Industry - 41.5%
  • Commerce - 13.75%
  • Transport and telecommunications - 9.27%
  • Construction - 7.92%
  • Education - 5.99%
  • Health and social services - 5.14%
  • Utilities - 3.16%
  • Public administration - 2.28%
  • Agriculture - 1.97%
  • Credit and insurance institutions - 1.70%

Some tourist attractions

Architectural monuments

File:Arad TeatrulClasicIoanSlavici.jpg
Classic Theatre "Ioan Slavici"
File:Arad Ioan-Slavici-Theater-3986.jpg
"Ioan Slavici" Theatre at Nighttime

Historic buildings

  • The House with Cannon Balls, built in 1800. Its name derives from the fights between 1848 and 1849. Seventeen cannon balls are incorporated in its walls.
  • The High Teacher Training School (Clădirea Preparandiei), the first school for Romanian-language teachers from Transylvania, 1812
  • The House with the Padlock, built in 1815
  • The Old Theatre (Hirschl), built by Jacob Hirschl in 1817, the oldest stone theatre in Romania
  • Water Tower, built in 1896, medieval dungeon architectural style
  • The Old Custom House, built in 1907, used as a customs point for goods entering the Arad markets


  • The Statue of St. John of Nepomuk, raised in 1729, baroque sculpture
  • The monument of the Holy Trinity, raised in 1746 to commemorate the plague that swept the town in 1738-1740
File:Arad evangelic church.jpg
"The Red Church", the Lutheran Church in Arad
  • Reconciliation Park
    • The Statue of Liberty, raised in 1890 by György Zala in the memory of the heroes of the Hungarian revolutionary army
    • The Arch of Triumph, raised in 2004 by Ioan Bolborea in memory of the heroes of the 1848 - 1849 Romanian Revolution (fighting against the Hungarians)
  • Martyrs' Cross, raised in 1936, in memory of the priests martyred between November 1918 and spring 1919
  • The Bust of Vasile Goldiş (1862–1934) * The Bust of Moise Nicoară (1784–1861)

Religious tourism

File:Arad CatholicCathedral inside.jpg
Catholic cathedral St. Anthony of Padua
  • The Red Church (Evangelical-Lutheran), built in 1906, Neo-gothic architecture
  • The Neolog Synagogue, built in 1834, Greek, Tuscan architectural style

The Bodrog Monastery built in 1111

Recreational tourism

  • Neptun Swimming Place, known in Romanian as "Strandul Neptun", one of the most beautiful water parks in Romania
  • The Mureş Embankment
  • The Grove
  • The Ceala Forest with Măltăreţ Lake and Mureş Isle
  • The Vladimirescu Forest
  • Ghioroc Lake
  • Miniş - Măderat Vineyard, situated about 30 km east of Arad

Culture and education


Arad has two universities, the private Vasile Goldiş University of the West, founded in 1990, and the public Aurel Vlaicu University, founded in 1991. Also the "Spiru Haret" long-distance studies University has a branch in Arad.

There are about two dozen high schools, some of the more famous being the "Moise Nicoară" College, the Pedagogical High School "Dimitrie Tichindeal", "Elena Ghiba-Birta" College, the Economics College, the Technical High School for Constructions and Environmental Protection, and the Vasile Goldiş theoretical lyceum. High schools in minority languages include the Hungarian "Csiky Gergely" school group and the German Adam Müller-Guttenbrunn theoretical lyceum.

Cultural life

  • Arad State Theater, hosting an annual Classical Theater Festival
  • International Underground Theater Festival
  • Philharmonic orchestra
  • Puppet theater

Museums and exhibitions

  • Arad Museum Complex
    • History Department
    • Natural Sciences Department
    • Art Department
  • Vasile Goldiş Memorial Museum
  • Doina and Baruţu Arghezi Art Collection
  • Delta Gallery, with three major events of Arad artistic life: The International Biennial Drawing Saloon, The Biennial Small Sculpture Saloon, The Annual Art Saloon.
  • Alfa Gallery
  • Clio Gallery
  • Water Tower Gallery
  • Takács Gallery
  • Carola's Gallery
  • Expo Arad, The Exhibition Centre of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of the County of Arad.
Arad town hall square

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Arad is twinned with:

Partner cities


The UTA Arad (formerly ITA) football team was founded in 1946 and has won six Romanian championships and two Romanian Cups. As of the 2009-10 season, it plays in the second national league, Liga II. The team is the most successful team from Romania that is not based in Bucharest, after Steaua and Dinamo; it is the 3rd more successful modern team in the country and 4th counting Venus Bucharest, a team from the Inter-War period. The team's most notable performance on the international stage is the elimination from the European Champions Cup of Ernst Happel's Feyenoord in the 1970-71 season. when the Dutch team were defending European champions and later won the Intercontinental Cup.

In basketball, the women's ICIM and the men's West Petrom teams have national prominence, their record including some recent national championship wins (ICIM in 1998 through 2001, West Petrom in 2001 and 2002). In men's water polo, Astra Arad also plays in the first division. The men's rugby team Contor Group Arad plays in the National Rugby League, reaching the playoff final in 2006.

World Champion and Olympic medalist in gymnastics, Emilia Eberle was born in Arad.


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     This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 


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