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Satu mare city

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  • Description: The archeological discoveries made in Oas-Land, Ardud, Medies, Homorod etc. have brought to light abundant evidence regarding the stone- and bronze age settlements in this area; there is also proof of the Getic-Dacian communities continuing to inhabit these regions after the Roman Conquest; later on, this territory was part of the Voievodeship led by Menumorut, one of the defense fortresses in the X th century being at Satu Mare ( Castrum Zotmar ), as mentioned in Anonymus's Chronicle. Teutonic colonists brought in 1006 by queen Gisela have settled around the city core - Villa Zotmar - inhabited by the natives; later on, other German colonists who had previously lived beyond the Somes river in the city of Mintiu, also gathered closer.

    After 1543, when the stronghold comes into the possession of the Bathory family, changes are made to the Somes riverbed to protect the southern wing of the fortress, so that it remains on an island connected to the main roads by three bridges over the river. At 1562, the fortress is placed under siege by the ottoman armies led by Pasha Abraham from Buda and Pasha Maleoci from Timisoara. Then the Habsburgs attack the fortress and the Transsilvanian armies burn it down before leaving it. By appointment of the Austrian general Lazar Schwendi, the reconstruction of the stronghold begins according to the plans of the Italian architect Ottavio Baldigara, in the manner of the Italian fortifications shaped as pentagons with five watchtowers. Although in the Middle Ages Mintiu and Satu Mare were two distinct cities separated by the Somes, between 1712-1715 they gradually unite administratively. The act that consecrated the union was the Diploma issued by Carol the VIth on January 2nd 1721, the city of Satu Mare also being granted the royal-free-city statute. Due to the economic and commercial privileges acquired beginning with the XIIIth century, it becomes an important center of craftsmen guilds.

    The XVIIIth century marks the beginning of an intense urbanization process, some representative edifices dating back to this period: the old city hall, the inn, the military barracks, the Greek-catholic and reformed churches etc. In 1823, the Urban Development Planning Committee of the city - who direct and control the whole edilitary activity - is set up. The first park appears in 1844 and street paving - begun in 1805 - advances rapidly. This is also the time when the first industrial companies are founded: the steam mill, the brick factory, the Neuschloss wood-processing factory, the lumber factory, the Princz and the Unio factories. Situated at the crossroads of commercial routes, Satu Mare becomes an important railway center. The railway to Carei is built in 1871, the one to Sighet in 1872, the one to Baia Mare in 1894 and others (to Ardud, Bixad ) after 1900.

    At the end of World War I and as a consequence of the conditions created by the achievement of the 1918 Union, Satu Mare enjoys a significant development in all domains of the economic, social and cultural life, as, in fact, all Transsilvanian cities do. The large companies like the Unio railway-cars factory, the Princz factory, the Ardeleana textiles factory, the Freund oil refinery, the brick and the furniture factories prosper during this period, while the city achieves major investments in roads, schools, hospitals, civil works and a city plant. The banking system and the trade develop in parallel, so that in 1929 25 anonymous commercial companies and 75 industrial ones found the Chamber of Commerce and the Stock Exchange, while in 1930 there already are 33 banks.

    The rise of fascism in Europe and the outbreak of World War II have brought about dramatic changes of the socio-political and economic climate of the city. The summer of 1940 was to become one of the most tragic pages in the history of the Romanian people: the North-West of Transsilvania is torn away from the country by the odious Vienna Dictate, Stalin annexes the North of Bucovina, Basarabia and the Herta county following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, while Bulgaria gets the province of Cadrilater. Of all these territories, only Transsilvania was re-conquered following the war, freed by the Romanian Army in the autumn of 1944. After the Yalta Conference in 1945, communism came into power in Romania, as in all other Central European countries abandoned to the soviet sphere of influence. The dictatorship lasted for almost half a century, leaving deep traces in the consciousness and destinies of the people, while the country has known an autarchic development, the cost of which is far from being justified.
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