Târgoviște (Romanian pronunciation: [tɨrˈɡoviʃte], alternatively spelled Tîrgoviște) is a city and county seat in Dâmbovița County, Romania. It is situated 80 kilometres (50 miles) north-west of Bucharest, on the right bank of the Ialomița River.

Location in Dâmbovița County
Location in Dâmbovița County
Târgoviște is located in Romania
Location in Romania
Coordinates: 44°55′28″N 25°27′26″E / 44.92444°N 25.45722°E / 44.92444; 25.45722
 • Mayor (2020–2024) Cristian Stan[1] (PSD)
50.4 km2 (19.5 sq mi)
292 m (958 ft)
 • Density1,300/km2 (3,400/sq mi)
Time zoneEET/EEST (UTC+2/+3)
Postal code
Area code(+40) 02 45
Vehicle reg.DB

Târgoviște was one of the most important cities in the history of Wallachia, as it was its capital from 1418 to 1659. At the 2021 census, the city had a population of 66,965 people, making it the 27th largest in the country.

Name edit

The name Târgoviște is a Slavic name which the city acquired in the Middle Ages. It is derived from the old Slavonic word for "marketplace", referring to the place rather than the market itself.

The name is found in placenames not only in South Slavic areas (Bulgarian Търговище, Serbian Трговиште and Croatian Veliko Trgovišće), but also in West Slavic such as Slovak Trhovište, Czech Trhoviště or Polish Targowica. Additionally, places with the same name are found in Romania, in the regions of Oltenia, Banat, and Moldavia.[3]

The Romanian and Bulgarian towns with the same name are also twinned.

History edit

Interior of the Ascension Cathedral

Early history edit

The area of Târgoviște which was first inhabited is located where the Saint Nicholas-Geartoglu Church and Stelea Veche Church stand today. It was in this place that the first fortifications were built: a small stone building surrounded by a brick wall and a moat, probably belonging to a local ruler.[3] However, archaeological evidence is scarce and it is difficult to pinpoint exactly when it was erected.[3]

Saxon colony edit

Another nucleus of the city was built by Saxon colonists from Transylvania, in the area where the Catholic Saint Mary Church is located, a church that was built during the early years of the colony.[4] A local tradition says that the church was built in 1300.[4] The colonists came around the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th century, the same period that Câmpulung was colonized.[4] There is archeological evidence that the land occupied by the new colonists had been previously inhabited by locals, which leads to the conclusion that it had been approved by the local ruler.[4]

The colonists influenced the local administration, as Târgoviște was the only town in Wallachia that had Transylvanian organization features, having official titles such as birău and folnog, which are found in documents together with local officials, like vornic and pristav.[5] The town had a night watch which was also known by a Latin term (viglu < vigilia) instead of the local terms such pază or strajă.[5] Under Mircea the Elder (1383–1419), Târgoviște became the third capital of Wallachia.[6]

After 1400, the town began to grow and become denser. In both the Saxon part (around the stronghold) and the Romanian part, there were several large dwellings with cellars and cocklestoves similar to those found in Central Europe. The wealth is also known based on the number of treasure troves discovered, the largest being a hoard of 6,284 silver coins, found in the Saxon part of the town.[5] The town gravitated around the Saxon part, this being valid until the Saxon community began its decline during the 16th century.[7]

Capital of Wallachia edit

Bucharest Gate

In the 15th century, the capital of Wallachia was Curtea de Argeș, however, due to Târgoviște's economic growth, toward the end of the century, it became a secondary residence of the Wallachian hospodar. In 1396, Bavarian traveler Johann Schiltberger mentions both Curtea de Argeș and Târgoviște as capitals of Wallachia.[7] While Mircea I lived in Curtea de Argeș, Michael I, Mircea's son and co-prince lived in Târgoviște, where he continued to live even as a single ruler. Dan II preferred Curtea de Argeș and he was the last hospodar to rule from that city, the court being finally moved to Târgoviște by Alexandru Aldea in 1431.[7]

Throughout the period it was the capital of Wallachia, the Târgoviște Princely Court (Curtea Domnească din Târgoviște) had been constantly refurbished and extended. The compound was surrounded by stone walls and a moat and a new church and a tower had been built.[7] Vlad III Dracula ("the Impaler") later added the Chindia Tower, now a symbol of the city.

Starting with 1565, for the next two centuries, the rulers alternated the capital between Târgoviște and Bucharest, often on political reasons, as the former was preferred by the rulers who were more friendly toward Transylvania and the King of Hungary.[8] Throughout the 15th and 16th centuries, Târgoviște was a major trade hub, especially with Poland, Brașov, and Sibiu.[9]

By the 16th century, the Romanians became majority in the city, as some Saxons left for Transylvania and others were assimilated. Greek merchants began to settle in the city, especially after 1500, while Greek monks settled in the nearby Dealu and Panaghia monasteries.[10]

As the capital of Wallachia, Târgoviște faced numerous sieges and invasions. In 1395, it was sieged and set on fire by Bayezid I.[11] In 1457, the townsfolk of Târgoviște were punished by Vlad III Dracula for their involvement in the assassination of his brother: the elite of the city were killed, while the young were sent to work at his Poenari Castle.[11]

The Ottoman invasion of 1462 did not reach the city, being prevented by Vlad III through the night attack at Târgoviște. In 1476, the city was taken by Stephen V Báthory following a fifteen-day siege intended to restore Vlad to the throne. Several other battles were fought near the city during the rules of Neagoe Basarab and Radu of Afumați.[11]

In 1597, the Hajduks of Mihai Viteazul and Starina Novak fought and won a decisive battle[which?] against the Ottoman Empire in Târgoviște.[6]

Decline edit

After the capital was finally moved to Bucharest during the rule of Constantin Brâncoveanu (1688–1714), Târgoviște lost its importance, decaying economically as its population decreased.

Modern history edit

Alexandru Ioan Cuza Street

Târgoviște was the site of the trial and execution of Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife Elena on 25 December 1989 during the Romanian Revolution.

Geography edit

One village, Priseaca, is administered by the city.

Population edit

In 2021, there were 66,965 inhabitants. According to the 2002 census, 96.6% of the inhabitants were Romanians and 2.84% Roma people.

Historical population
1900 9,400—    
1912 13,041+38.7%
1930 22,298+71.0%
1948 26,038+16.8%
1956 24,360−6.4%
1966 29,763+22.2%
1977 61,254+105.8%
1992 98,117+60.2%
2002 89,930−8.3%
2011 79,610−11.5%
2021 66,965−15.9%
Source: Census data

Transportation edit

Railway edit

Târgoviște rail station in 1930. The building was inaugurated in 1884.

Târgoviște is a railway node, with branches serving Titu (joining there the Ploiești and Pietroșița lines).The railway station building was inaugurated on 2 January 1884, served by the then new line from Titu to Târgoviște. This first line was built by the VIIth Rail Company of the Ist Engineering Regiment of the Romanian Army. On 27 May 1894, an extension of this line to Pucioasa was inaugurated. The Ploiești–Târgoviște branch construction was started in 1929, but officially inaugurated only on 29 June 1946.[citation needed]

The building of railway station was renovated in 2000–2004.

Today, the city is served by multiple stations:

  • Târgoviște (south-west of the town).
  • Romlux halt (north-west).
  • Teiș halt (former Târgoviște-Vest) (north).
  • Târgoviște Nord station (north-east).
  • Valea Voievozilor halt (east).

The railway station is open for both passenger traffic - with sales/reservation office and electronic ticketing machine - and merchandise traffic. Local halts serves the large industrial operators of the city - Mechel, Oțelinox [ro], Upet [ro], Erdemir, Romlux [ro], Rondocarton [ro].

Roads edit

Located at a crossroads of ancient trade routes, the city can be easily approached from all sides. Târgoviște Municipality is located approximatively 80 kilometres (50 miles) north-west of Bucharest, with a convenient access to Henri Coandă International Airport, located in Otopeni, to the north of Bucharest.

Road number Cities
  DN 71 Tărtășești — Târgoviște — PucioasaSinaia
  DN 72 Găești — Târgoviște — Ploiești
  DN 72A Târgoviște — Câmpulung

Also, a number of county roads pass the city:

Public transport edit

In the city, public transport is provided by Public Transport and include bus and maxi-taxi. From 1995 until 2005, trolleybuses operated in the city. In 2005 public transport was developed and modernized, Public Transport becoming a passenger transport company in public-private partnership.[dubious ]

Twin towns – sister cities edit

Târgoviște is twinned with:[12]

Sport edit

The city has one football club, FC Chindia Târgoviște which plays in the second tier of Romanian football, the Liga II.

Târgovişte is also home to Municipal MCM Târgovişte basketball club which competes in the Romanian League and the EuroCup.

Natives edit

Panorama of Târgoviște as seen from Chindia Tower

Gallery edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ "Results of the 2020 local elections". Central Electoral Bureau. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Populaţia rezidentă după grupa de vârstă, pe județe și municipii, orașe, comune, la 1 decembrie 2021" (XLS). National Institute of Statistics.
  3. ^ a b c Rădvan, p. 295.
  4. ^ a b c d Rădvan, p. 296.
  5. ^ a b c Rădvan, p. 297.
  6. ^ a b Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Tîrgovishtea" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 1009–1010.
  7. ^ a b c d Rădvan, p. 298.
  8. ^ Rădvan, p. 299.
  9. ^ Rădvan, p. 299-300.
  10. ^ Rădvan, p. 300.
  11. ^ a b c Rădvan, p. 302.
  12. ^ "Relațiile de cooperare/înfrățire cu Municipiul Târgoviște". www.pmtgv.ro (in Romanian). Târgoviște City Hall. Retrieved 9 December 2021.

References edit

External links edit

  Media related to Târgoviște at Wikimedia Commons