Surduc (Hungarian: Szurduk; German: Surdeken; Hebrew: סוּרְדוּק) is a commune in Sălaj County, Transylvania, Romania. It is composed of seven villages: Brâglez, Cristolțel, Solona, Surduc (commune seat), Teștioara, Tihău and Turbuța.
|• Mayor (2020–2024)||Alin Băbănaș (PNL)|
|Area||71.42 km2 (27.58 sq mi)|
|Elevation||607 m (1,991 ft)|
|Time zone||EET/EEST (UTC+2/+3)|
The name of the commune has its origin in the morphological configuration of the area (surduc means gorge, pass or narrow valley with sudden and steep slopes). Other sources claim that the name of the commune is of Slavic origin, surdec meaning meander; near Surduc, Someș River makes the biggest turn in its course. According to a local legend, between Bălan and Solona (the oldest villages in the area) there were no settlements but only an inn, in the place called Sub grădiște (Under the hillock), owned by a short and deaf man (in Romanian surd means deaf). The travelers nicknamed him "surduc", hence the name.
Surduc is probably the successor of an older settlement, recorded as Sumbur in 1320. According to the Monograph of Szolnok-Doboka County, Surduc was first mentioned in 1554 as Naghzwrdok ("Great Surduc"), when Anna Somi, Imre Balassa's widow, donated a quarter of the estate to her husband, Boldizsár Patócsi. The village originally belonged to the nobles of Csákigorbó (present-day Gârbou), being part of the domain of the Almaș Fortress. In the Middle Ages and pre-modern times it was part of the Szolnok-Doboka County and Inner Szolnok County.
Between 1641 and 1810 the estate was owned by the Csáky family. By 1644 they had a noble curia here; only its servants' house is preserved to this day. In 1705 it hosted Prince Francis II Rákóczi, before the confrontation of his troops with the Habsburg Imperial Army led by Ludwig von Herbeville in Zsibó (present-day Jibou). The curia was probably transformed into a castle in the 18th century, because at the beginning of the 19th century it was already recorded as a castle.
In 1810 the village became the property of the Jósika family of Branyicska. The best known owner is the novelist Miklós Jósika (1794–1865), nicknamed "Hungarian Walter Scott", who settles here after his first wife's divorce. He revitalizes the area, building a series of agricultural buildings, a chapel and probably establishing the current form of the castle. A family property inventory from 1854 records a 17-room building, including the novelist's office and a chapel. The castle was badly damaged during the revolution of 1848. As the leader of the Hungarian liberal nobility, Jósika was the first landowner in Doboka County to free the serfs from the Surduc estate and their villages on 23 April 1848, two months before the Hungarian Diet. The communist regime turned the castle into a tractor repair station, and after 1991 it was bought by Agromec. Currently, the castle is overgrown with vegetation, in an advanced state of degradation.
With an area of 71.42 km2 (6th among the county communes), Surduc occupies a central-eastern position within Sălaj County, at the contact of four important relief units: Someș Corridor, Șimișna–Gârbou Hills, Almaș–Agrij Depression and Prisnel Peak. The commune is located to the east of the "intracarpathian yoke" (Meseș Mountains–Dumbrava Hill–Prisnel Peak). The Șimișna–Gârbou Hills that make up most of the commune are represented only by their northern termination, which gradually inclines in this direction towards the wide terraced corridor of the Someș, to which the Almaș–Agrij Depression also opens. The corridor is limited to the west by the last extensions of the Prisnel Peak, represented by the Rona Peak (438 m).
The relief is very varied, formed by an association of hilly peaks and valleys between slopes, all resulting from the fragmentation of the northwestern part of the Someș Plateau. In terms of altitude, the relief is between about 200 m in the meadows of Someș and its tributaries and 607 m in Pietrosu Peak, in the southeastern part of the commune.
The hydrographic network is relatively young in age. The territory of the commune is crossed by the middle course of the Someș, as well as three smaller tributaries of it: Valea Cristolțelului (Solonii), Valea Brâglezului (Gârboului) și Valea Almașului. The average density of the river network (taking into account the length of temporary valleys) is 0.39 km/km².
Flora and faunaEdit
The fragmented plateau relief and the climate allowed the development of a predominantly forest vegetation, in which the Turkey oak and the Hungarian oak predominate. In the distribution of the floristic elements there is a weak vertical zonation, in the sense that the forested surfaces (beech, oak and mixed forests) are interspersed with secondary and derived grasslands or with agricultural lands.
In the forest floor there is a great diversity of animal species, from the evolved ones (mammals) to the smallest invertebrates. Among the larger mammals, some of which are of hunting interest, are: wolves, foxes, deers, badgers, rabbits, etc. Rodent mammals are represented by wood mouses, squirrels and edible dormice. The avifauna is very varied and represented by: tits, jays, blackbirds, nightingales, woodpeckers, orioles, sparrowhawks, kites, crows, ravens, magpies, etc. Among the reptiles are common species such as slowworm, green lizard and common frog. The aquatic fauna is represented, especially in Valea Gârboului, by invertebrates (crustaceans, worms, mollusks, etc.), as well as by small fish.
Like all of Romania, Surduc exhibits a temperate continental climate. The climate here is classified as Cfb by the Köppen-Geiger system. The temperature here averages 10 °C. With an average of 20.9 °C, August is the warmest month. January is the coldest month, with temperatures averaging –2.0 °C. In a year, the rainfall is 756 mm. The driest month is February. There is 45 mm of precipitation in February. Most of the precipitation here falls in June, averaging 89 mm.
|Climate data for Surduc, Sălaj|
|Average high °C (°F)||1.4
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−2.0
|Average low °C (°F)||−5.2
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||48
|Average precipitation days||7||8||8||8||9||9||8||7||7||7||7||8||93|
|Average relative humidity (%) (daily average)||81||78||71||66||68||68||68||65||69||75||79||82||73|
|Censuses in italics are based on mother tongue rather than ethnicity.|
Historically, the chain of villages between Surduc and Ileanda was inhabited mostly by Romanians. As part of the Hungarian Empire, Surduc also saw waves of Hungarian immigrants. By 1910, the Hungarians represented 10% of the Surduc population; at present, their number has dropped to less than 1%. As of 2011, the largest ethnic group is that of the Roma – 211 or 6.1% of the commune's population. In the past, Surduc had a significant Jewish community – almost 3% in the 1930 census. Previously, by 1850, Surduc already had a minyan. A Jewish cemetery was also established here in the 19th century. In May 1944, the Jews were gathered in the Cehei ghetto, then in Șimleu Silvaniei and were deported to Auschwitz on 31 May, 6 and 8 June.
In terms of religion, most of the inhabitants are Orthodox (87%), but there are also minorities of Pentecostals (3.8%), Jehovah's Witnesses (2.8%) and Greek Catholics (2.7%). For 2.1% of the population, religious affiliation is not known. In the commune there are six Orthodox churches (Surduc, Tihău, Brâglez, Cristolțel, Solona and Turbuța), a Greek Catholic church (Tihău), three Pentecostal places of worship (Surduc, Tihău and Solona) and two Baptist places of worship (Surduc and Turbuța).
Politics and administrationEdit
Surduc is administered by a mayor and a local council composed of 13 councilors. The mayor, Alin Băbănaș, from the National Liberal Party, has been in office since 2016. After the 2020 local elections, the local council has the following composition by political parties:
|Name in Romanian||Name in Hungarian||Name in German|
Surduc has a technological high school, resulting from the merger in 2009–2010 of the middle schools of Tihău, Cristolțel, Turbuța and Brâglez. The first mentions about the high school date from 1867 when Gavril Balmoș was a "traveling teacher" in Surduc and Solona. In 1894, with the contribution of the villagers, a private premises for the confessional school was built here. The building for the state school and kindergarten, both intended for education in Hungarian, was built in 1900. The state education in Romanian began in 1919, the first teacher being Teodor Panorariu. Following the Second Vienna Award, in 1940–1944, education was conducted in Hungarian. Romanian-language education resumed in 1944–1945. In 2015–2016 370 students were enrolled here. Besides this, in the commune there are four kindergartens (Surduc, Tihău, Brâglez and Cristolțel) and two elementary schools (Tihău and Turbuța).
The commune used to be prosperous. There were a brick and tile factory, a wood processing factory and two slaughterhouses. Until after 1989, the commune's economy was supported by mining activities related to the exploitation of brown coal and gravel aggregates located in the meadows of Someș, Almaș and Brâglez rivers. In 1999, the Hida–Surduc–Jibou–Bălan mining area was declared, for a period of ten years, a disadvantaged area.
- civil construction units: 2
- ore extraction and processing unit for the chemical industry: 1
- furniture production unit: 1
Agriculture is based on family-level production and takes place both in open field and vegetable gardens. Vegetable farming takes advantage of an area with a temperate climate and is thus varied and exclusively natural. Predominantly cultivated vegetable species are carrots, parsley, eggplants, onions, tomatoes, etc. Fruit growing and viticulture do not enjoy a controlled exploitation. Animal husbandry is a branch with potential, but unexploited. There are four milk collection/processing points.
- Presentation of Christ Church, built between 1929 and 1930
- Michael's Cave, a small suspended abri which the locals call a cave, with an opening of 40–45 m, a height of 4–4.5 m and just as deep
- House of robbers (Pintea Viteazu Cave), a sandstone bank whose vertical erosion created a 50–60 cm-wide and 3 m-high cave
- Jósika Castle
- Crypt of the Jósika family. It was built in 1825 by Miklós Jósika in memory of his father.
- St. John the Baptist Church. It was built between 1911 and 1913 on the site of a towerless wooden church built in 1850.
- Jewish cemetery. The oldest known tomb dates from the 19th century.
- Tăul Iezer lake complex, with a rich lake vegetation
- Roman castra. It is located on the left side of the Someș, on a plateau called Grădiște or Cetate.
- Wooden church. It was built around the 17th–18th centuries.
Jósika Castle in Surduc
Surduc is crossed by the national roads DN1H and DN1G, as well as by 37.6 km of communal roads and 32.139 km of village roads. Surduc railway station is transited daily by five trains to Jibou, Cluj-Napoca and Baia Mare. Căile Ferate Române Line 400 passes through Surduc. The length of the railway in the commune is about 10 km.
The commune has 32 km of drinking water supply network (put into operation in 1994) and 16.2 km of natural gas supply network (put into operation in 1999). The commune does not have a sewerage network.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Surduc, Sălaj.|
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