Targu Mures ( Hungarian :Marosvásárhely, also known as (Székely-)Vásárhely; German: Neumarkt am Mieresch) is a city in Mureş county, Transylvania, Romania.
According to the results of the last census of 2002, the municipality of Târgu Mureş has 150,041 inhabitants.
* Romanians – 75,533 (50.34%)
* Hungarians – 70,110 (46.73%)
* Roma – 3,660 (2.43%)
* Germans – 304 (0.20%)
* other ethnic groups – 434 (>0.01%)
This is the first census to show Hungarians in a minority, following decades of migration of Romanians into the city.
The city was first documented in 1332 in the papal registry under the name Novum Forum Siculorum.
In 1405 the King of Hungary Sigismund of Luxembourg granted the city of Târgu Mureş (by then named Székelyvásárhely, see Székely) the right to organize fairs and in 1482 the King Matthias Corvinus declared the city a royal settlement. It became a municipality in 1616, changing its name to Marosvásárhely, the Romanian equivalent of which is Târgu Mureş (Târg and Vásár mean "Market" in Romanian and Hungarian respectively).
In 1754 Târgu Mureş became home to the supreme court of justice of the Principality of Transylvania which provided a major boost to the city's social and economic life.
Târgu Mureş offers some remarkable places to visit such as the Cultural Palace, the medieval fortress, the National Theatre, the Reformate Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Greek Catholic Church and the Orthodox Cathedral. The centre of the city is one of the most elegant in Romania.
Targu Mures is situated in the heart of Transylvania in picturesque surroundings, one hour north of Sighisoara. The river Mures flows through the city and its surrounding hills are covered in ash and oak forests. Romanians and Hungarians both make up the population of 163,270 inhabitants. The area of Mures county is often refered to as the land of Szekely. After the invasion of the Tartars during the 13th century, it became the market for the Szekely's who settled the area. The city was first documented in Papal letters dated 1323 as Szekelyvarashely and the Latin, 'Novum Forum Sicolorum'.
The year 1616, the city was chartered as a royal town by the Duke of Transylvania establishing it as an independent royal town; hereafter referred to as Targu Mures, in Romanian, Marosvasarhely, in Hungarian, and Neumarkt am Mieresch in German, which translate as "Market on the Mures".
The City of Targu Mures centers around Piata Trandafirilor, the "Rose Market". At the northern end of the piata lies the magnificent Orthodox Cathedral. The Cathedral had its southern facade restored and until recently was obscured by scaffolding. However, having completed restoration and with the scaffolding removed it reveals a beautiful copper edifice that looks over the piata and the statue of Avram Iancu.
In 1602 a fortification was built north of the present city center, which houses the distinguished Hungarian Reformed church, was built in pentagonal layout comprises seven bastions, of which five continue to bear the guild's name that by tradition, supported and defended them.
As with all citadels of the time, it was constructed to house the town's inhabitants during times of war. Today, the citadel and church remain, however, townspeople congregate to celebrate more joyous occasions such as the annual beer and wine festivals held in June and October respectively.