The Târnava (fully Romanian: Râul Târnava, Hungarian: Küküllő; German: Kokel; Turkish: Kokul or Kokulu) is a river in Romania[1][2]. It is formed by the confluence of the Târnava Mare and Târnava Mică in the town of Blaj. The Târnava flows into the Mureș after 23 km[2][3] near the town of Teiuș. The two source rivers of the Târnava are the Târnava Mare and Târnava Mică, and its tributaries include the Tur, Izvorul Iezerului, Secaș, and the Dunărița[2]. Its drainage basin covers an area of 6,253 km2 (2,414 sq mi)[2].[4]: 22 

Küküllő, Kokel
Raul Tarnava.jpg
Târnava is located in Romania
CountiesAlba County
Physical characteristics
SourceConfluence of the Târnava Mare and the Târnava Mică
 • locationBlaj, Romania
 • coordinates46°10′18″N 23°53′35″E / 46.17167°N 23.89306°E / 46.17167; 23.89306
 • location
Teiuș, Romania
 • coordinates
46°9′16″N 23°41′56″E / 46.15444°N 23.69889°E / 46.15444; 23.69889Coordinates: 46°9′16″N 23°41′56″E / 46.15444°N 23.69889°E / 46.15444; 23.69889
Length23 km (14 mi)
Basin size6,253 km2 (2,414 sq mi)
 • average25 m3/s (880 cu ft/s)
Basin features
ProgressionMureșTiszaDanubeBlack Sea
 • leftTârnava Mare, Secaș
 • rightTârnava Mică, Dunărița


The name Târnava is of Slavic origin from trn,[5] meaning "thorn".

Other proposed origins for the river's Romanian name is Turn (tower) + dav from Dacian dava (structure/fortress), i.e. "the river that flows amongst towers and davas[citation needed]"; or a reference to the Romanian city of Turda, forming Tur + ava from dava[citation needed].

Trn (thorn) is used by Slavic peoples in the Balkans, but the 60% R1a Slavs (Poles, Belarusians, Russians) say syp/ship[citation needed][weasel words].

The Hungarian name Küküllő is of Old Turkic origin from kukel meaning sloe, and is thought to have originated from the Avar people[citation needed].


  1. ^ "Planul național de management. Sinteza planurilor de management la nivel de bazine/spații hidrografice, anexa 7.1" (PDF, 5.1 MB). Administrația Națională Apele Române. 2010. pp. 337–340.
  2. ^ a b c d Atlasul cadastrului apelor din România. Partea 1 (in Romanian). Bucharest: Ministerul Mediului. 1992. pp. 156–169. OCLC 895459847. River code: IV.1.96
  3. ^ 2017 Romanian Statistical Yearbook, p. 13
  4. ^ Analysis of the Tisza River Basin 2007, IPCDR
  5. ^ See Trnka, Trnava, etc.