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The history of Mureş county begins in 1409, when it was first time documented. King Sigismund of Luxembourg took the land out of Ciuc giving it the right to self administration. In 1462, Sigismund’s decision was confirmed by the Mediaş diploma given by Matei Corvin, which strengthened its prerogative to choose its own judges and war leaders.
The natural beauties and popular traditions of Mureş are completed by the touristic attractions of historic interest, with edifices dating from the 13-18 centuries. Our trip in the lands of Mureş begins right in Târgu Mureş, surnamed the city of flowers. Beginning from feudal times, Târgu Mureş has become the economic center of the area, with a rich spiritual and cultural life. The picturesque image of the city is created by the historic center with colourful buildings, church towers, palaces and the medieval citadel. The Culture Palace of Târgu Mureş is one of the most important tourist attraction of the land. Built between 1911 and 1913 at the mayor’s Bernády György initiative, the imposing edifice has frequently hosted extraordinary events. This monumental building is also the home of cultural institutions such as the Art Museum, the State Philharmonic, the History Museum, the County’s Library and the Art Galleries. The décor elements of the Palace made it one of the most representative buildings of the Ardeal Art Nouveau style. The interior has a structure that serves its purpose as an edifice of art and sciences. On the ground floor we find The Grand Hall, made as a concert chamber, with 800 spots and an organ. The Mirrors Hall is on the first floor, destined to chamber music and reunions. Its name was given by the triptych of Venetian mirrors. The hall is decorated with mural paintings and stained glass inspired by the Saxon legends and folklore. Another palace built in the Art Nouveau style in 1906-1907 by the mayor Bernády György is the Administrative Palace. The roof is made of coloured tiles and looks like a peasant-like carpet. The palace’s tower is a special element, it has a height of 60 meters and it can be visited by tourists. It offers an impressive panorama of the whole city. The interior is actually a synthesis of decorative styles compared to the exterior which is considered to be among the most austere of the Transylvanian Art Nouveau.
The building currently hosts the Mureş Prefecture and County Council and the Park in front of the Administrative Palace also includes the Latinity Monument.
The next destination is the Valley of the Superior Mureş, a land filled with traditions and history, with villages guarded by medieval castles and with views that complete the charm of natural reserves. Călimani National Park, one of the most beautiful tourist attractions of the area, is situated in the Western part of the Oriental Carpathians. The park spreads on 11.000 hectares in the counties of Mureş, Bistriţa, Suceava and Harghita. Its main purpose is that of preserving the flora’s and fauna’s biodiversity and maintaining the natural geographical scenery and natural habitats.
Another natural beauty is the Deda-Topliţa Gorge. Set on the course of the Mureş river, the gorge roams Călimani-Gurghiu volcanic mountains crossing the Deda, Lunca Bradului, Răstolniţa and Stînceni commune. With spectacular sceneries, cliffs, ridges and an enchanting river channel, the gorge was arranged for car and train transportation. The Gurghiu Valley is a quiet and secluded place where we can rediscover the Romanian and Hungarian culture. This destination that we have chosen is a place where traditions are found in special scenery. Today, numerous villages are found along the valley, like Ibăneşti, with Lăpuşa hunting castle, Hodac, Gurghiu with the castle and the arboretum park etc. But we decided that during our trip we must stop at the Bornemissza Castle in Gurghiu.
The construction was started by the prince Gheorghe Rákóczi the first in 1642-1643. In the year 1743, the estate became the property of Bornemissza family who completed the Baroque construction of the castle with Renaissance elements. The collection also includes a Roman-Catholic chapel and an arboretum park. In Mureş county we can also find an unique place with fortified churches, castles and citadels, but also natural parks that complement the scenery: Tîrnava Mare Valley. Nowhere else in the world could we find so many fortified churches on a land so limited, thus proving the greatness of the spiritual phenomenon in what geography and ethnoculture is concerned. Saint Stephen Gothic fortified church was built in 1493-1496 and is remarkable due to its fortification and construction techniques. Another attraction from the valley of Târnava Mare is the Peasant Citadel of Saschiz. The construction has been finished in the 14th century and it belongs to the period that linked the Romance style to the Gothic one.
Our voyage among the beauties of Mureş ends in Transylvania’s Plain, actually at the Lakes on the Plain. The lakes here are artificial except for Fărăgău lake, the only reservenatural lake in Transylvania’s Plain. Created for fishing, these lakes represent an excelent refuge for a great number of bird species.
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