Cluj-Napoca, commonly known as Cluj, is the second most populous city in Romania,behind the national capital Bucharest, and is the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest (324 km), Budapest (351 km) and Belgrade (322 km). Located in the Someşul Mic River valley, the city is considered the unofficial capital to the historical province of Transylvania. Between 1790 and 1848 and between 1861 and 1867, it was the official capital of the Grand Principality of Transylvania.The city spreads out from St. Michael’s Church in Unirii Square, built in the 14th century and named after the Archangel Michael, the patron saint of Cluj-Napoca.The boundaries of the municipality contain an area of 179.52 square kilometres . An analysis undertaken by the real estate agency Profesional Casa indicates that, because of infrastructure development, communes such as Feleacu, Vâlcele, Mărtineşti, Jucu and Baciu will eventually become neighbourhoods of the city, thereby enlarging its area.
Cluj-Napoca experienced a decade of decline during the 1990s, its international reputation suffering from the policies of its mayor of the time, Gheorghe Funar.Today, the city is one of the most important academic, cultural, industrial and business centres in Romania. Among other institutions, it hosts the country’s largest university, Babeş-Bolyai University, with its famous botanical garden; nationally renowned cultural institutions; as well as the largest Romanian-owned commercial bank.
This city was on the site of pre-Roman settlement named Napoca. After the AD 106 Roman conquest of the area, the place was known as Municipium Aelium Hadrianum Napoca. Possible etymologies for Napoca or Napuca include the names of some Dacian tribes such as the Naparis or Napaei, the Greek term napos , meaning “timbered valley” or the Indo-European root , “to flow, to swim, damp”.
The first written mention of the city’s current name,as a Royal Borough was in 1213 under the Latin name Castrum Clus.Despite the fact that Clus as a county name was recorded in the 1173 document Thomas comes Clusiensis,it is believed that the county’s designation derives from the name of the castrum, which might have existed prior to its first mention in 1213, and not vice versa.With respect to the name of this camp, it is widely accepted as a derivation from the Latin term clausa – clusa, meaning “closed place”, “strait”, “ravine”.Similar senses are attributed to the Slavic term kluč] and the German Klause – Kluse (meaning mountain pass or weir).The Hungarian form, first recorded in 1246 as Kulusuar, underwent various phonetic changes over the years ; the variant Koloswar first appears in a document from 1332.Its Saxon name Clusenburg/Clusenbvrg appeared in 1348, but from 1408 the form Clausenburg was used.The Romanian name of the city used to be spelled alternately as Cluj or Cluş,the latter being the case in Mihai Eminescu’s Poesis. In 1974, the Romanian Communist authorities added “-Napoca” back to the city’s name as a nationalist gesture, emphasising its pre-Roman roots.