The municipality of Turda is located in Cluj County. It is one of the six cities in this county and also the second biggest, after Cluj-Napoca, the county residence. Turda is situated on the Aries River, in the south side of the county, 30 kilometers away from Cluj-Napoca. Its territorial area of 92 square kilometers nests over 45 thousand inhabitants.
Although there are signs of Paleolithic settlements in this area, the first important human establishment was a Dacian one. Ptolemy mentions the city in one of his writings under the name of Potaissa. The Romans conquered the city between 101 and 106 AD. They made it into one of their castrums and kept the given name of Potaissa. This name was first recorded in Milliarium of Aiton, an ancient milestone of the Romans, which suggests the constructions of a road between Potaissa and Napoca.
The castrum of Potaissa later became a municipium, then a colonia which served as a basecamp for Legio V Macedonica.
The Middle Ages brought to light the Turda salt mines along with the Hungarian invasion, although these were worked since prehistoric times. After Saxons had established in the 11th century, the town was destroyed in a Tatar invasion. After these invasions, the inhabitans of Turda decided to fortify all churches. The oldest historical and architectural monument is the Turda Reformed-Calvinist Church.
The town of Turda was exposed yet again during the Second World War, when it became the battlefield for Germans and Hungarians against Soviets and Romanians. The Battle of Turda was the biggest one held in Transylvania during that war.
The town is adorned with beautiful architecture, expressed by buildings like the City Hall, Mendel Villa, the Princely Palace, now the History Museum and Palace of Finance. The religious landmarks of Turda are the Orthodox Cathedral, the Roman-Catholic Church, the Mihai Voda Monastery along with Mihai the Brave’s tomb. Tourists can also see some natural landmarks, such as the Central Park, the Csiky Lake, the zoo, Teilor Park, the Ciucas waterfall.
Turda withholds very important touristic landmarks, not only within its confines, but also outside of it, such as Salina Turda salt mine and Turda Canyon (Cheile Turzii) natural reserve. Turda Canyon is a natural reserve situated 6 km west from Turda, inhabited since the Neolithic. This canyon has one of the richest and most picturesque karst landscapes in the country. More than 1000 species of plants and animals live here, some of them rare or endangered.
Tourists can find more about Salina Turda(Turda Salt Mine) in another article on this site.
Turda is a tourist attraction of national interest, considering it also has a spa resort, numerous hotels, a rich history as well as a splendid display of nature.