Caracal, Romania

Caracal (Romanian pronunciation: [kaˈrakal] (About this soundlisten)) is a city in Olt county, Romania, situated in the historic region of Oltenia, on the plains between the lower reaches of the Jiu and Olt rivers. The region's plains are well known for their agricultural specialty in cultivating grains and over the centuries, Caracal has been the trading center for the region's agricultural output. Caracal has a population of approximately 31,000 and is the second largest city in the region.

RO OT Caracal national theatre.jpg
Coat of arms of Caracal
Location in Olt County
Location in Olt County
Caracal is located in Romania
Location in Romania
Coordinates: 44°06′45″N 24°20′50″E / 44.11250°N 24.34722°E / 44.11250; 24.34722Coordinates: 44°06′45″N 24°20′50″E / 44.11250°N 24.34722°E / 44.11250; 24.34722
 • Mayor (2020–2024) Ion Doldurea[1] (PSD)
69.64 km2 (26.89 sq mi)
 • Density440/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
Time zoneEET/EEST (UTC+2/+3)
Vehicle reg.OT


While 19th century historians thought that the name of Caracal is linked to Roman Emperor Caracalla, the current accepted etymology is that city's name is derived from the Cuman language kara kale meaning "Black fortress"[3] (kara, meaning "black", and kal, either from the Turkish kale, or the Arabic qal'at, both meaning fortress).


The end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century saw Caracal experience significant growth and the region become one of the most important agricultural regions in Romania. Caracal was this region's capital and seat of Romanați County. World War II and the communist regime brought changes to this region and to the city of Caracal. During World War II a Nazi concentration camp was located near the city.[4] The communist government, which disestablished Romanați County, instituted industrialization plans and Caracal experienced continued economic growth through the establishment of industrial plants in the textile industry sector.

The town underwent major changes after the Nicolae Ceaușescu regime was overthrown by the December 1989 Revolution, with many factories collapsing under the success of the market economy.


Historical population
1859 5,638—    
1899 12,947+129.6%
1912 15,048+16.2%
1930 14,950−0.7%
1948 17,892+19.7%
1956 19,082+6.7%
1966 22,714+19.0%
1977 30,408+33.9%
1992 39,130+28.7%
2002 34,603−11.6%
2011 30,954−10.5%
Source: Census data



  1. ^ "Results of the 2020 local elections". Central Electoral Bureau. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Populaţia stabilă pe judeţe, municipii, oraşe şi localităti componenete la RPL_2011" (in Romanian). National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  3. ^ I. A. Candrea, Elemente de toponimie cu privire specială la toponimia Olteniei, 1932-1933, Facultatea de litere și Filosofie din București, p. 24
  4. ^ "Pinkas Hakehillot Romania: Vaslui". Retrieved 2019-09-25.

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