Alba County - Brasov County - Bistrita Nasaud County - Cluj County - Covasna County - Harghita County - Hunedoara County - Mures County - Salaj County - Sibiu County
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Other zones : Crisana and Banat - Dobrogea - Maramures - Moldova and Bucovina - Muntenia and Oltenia
- geographical situation: in the north-west o Romania, at the limit between the Western Carpathians and the Eastern Carpathians, one of the smallest counties of the country, in terms of
surface and population;
- neighbours-to the north-Satu-Mare, to the south-west-Bihor, to the south-east-Cluj;
- surface-3,864 square km (respectively 1.6% of the country-s territory);
- population-261,000 inhabitants;
- towns-ZALAU-county's capital (with 70,000 inhabitants, at the north-west end of the Mesesului Mountains, with an attractive natural scenery and beautiful sights, with a lot of facilities for recreation and relaxation: the narrow pass on the Somes, Barcaul Gorges, Bizusa mineral waters or Boghis thermal waters): Cehu Silvaniei; Jibou; Simleu Silvaniei.
- relief: it is varied, there can be distinguished four physical geographical areas: the mountain area (in the central south part, it includes Mesesul ridge-with Magura Priei Peak of 997 m and Plopisului Peak, through the north-eastern mountainside with heights of 600-900 m), depression area (in the east part, represented by Almasul Depression, drained by Almasul Valley and Guruslaul Depression on the Somes Valley), hilly area (the largest, but not very high, it is part of Somes Plateau or Somes Platform, with Salajana Platform of 150-300 m, with low hills traversed by the large valleys of the Barcaul, Crasnei and Salaj rivers, but also Silvana Hills), field area (large meadows of the Somes, Barcau, Crasna rivers);
- climate: it is mild continental, the annual average temperature is between 7.50 C and 90 C, and the rainfall is irregular, the main direction of the wind is from south-west and south-east;
- watercourses: they are uniformly distributed: the Somes river which is 70 km long in this county, with its tributaries: the Almasul, the Crasna, together with the Agrijul, the Barcaul, the Salajul, the Zalau Valley.
GORGES AND NARROW PATHS
- The Old Woman's Gorges-(in the Clearing valley) the gorges are situated between Poiana Blenchii and Baba (Old Woman), are accompanied by the road that links the two towns: Galgau with Tg. Lapus (Maramures county);
- Barcaul Gorges-(between Tusa and Sag), impressive and unexpectedly beautiful due to their picturesqueness;
PRESERVES AND MONUMENTS OF NATURE
- "Ogres' Garden"-(near Galgaul Almasului), it is a geological and geo-morphological preserve that has an interesting relief in the form of ruins due to erosion and numerous landslides;
- Daffodils Clearing-Racas;
- Preserve of Motley Tulips-Cehu Silvanei.
- Porolissum Fortress-Moigrad, a Dacian fortress next to which a Roman military establishment was built (on Pomat Hill), it was a grandiose construction, among the biggest constructions of Dacia. Next to it a civil establishment developed, which later was declared municipal establishment becoming Dacia Porolissensium's capital. From the ancient capital it remained the temples, an amphitheatre (which indicates an intense cultural life), necropolises, baths;
- Roman Military Establishment-Bucium was a very fortified point of the Roman Dacia's defensive system, protecting Porolissum. The stone establishment was built in 114 A.D. and was the headquarters of Cohors II Augusta Brittonum garrison;
- Medieval Fortress-Almas, one of the oldest and strongest fortresses of Transylvania in the Middle Ages, built between 1249-1278, it was used as a refuge and protection, and belonged to Transylvanian voivods and then to Petru Rares (1545-1546), now it came to ruin;
- The Ruins of Feudal Fortress-Cheud documentary mentioned in 1387, imposing ruins, 8 m high;
- Fortress-Magura Simleului (16th century), built by Sigismund Bathory, representative for the Renaissance architecture of Transylvania, now it came to ruin;
- Fortress-Simleu Silvanei, built in 1532 by the Bathory family, some parts of the walls, two towers and the entrance gate are still standing;
- Roman Military Establishment-Romanasi;
- Roman Military Establishment-Jibou;
- Wesseleny Castle-Jibou, built between 1779-1810, it has two floors and represents one of the biggest Baroque constructions of Transylvania;
- Fortified Castle-Cehu Silvanei, built in 1526 by the county ruler Dragfi Janos;
- "Csaky" Castle-Almasul (1815-1819), situated in the middle of a park.
- Wooden Church-Fidu de Sus, it is an historic monument of great artistic value, one of the most beautiful achievements of folkloric architecture in Romania. It was built in 1727, its steeple is 40 m high, the indoor paintings were made in 1856;
- Church-Uileacu Simleului, built in 1260-1300 in Romanic style, the only fortified church of the region, it has a great historic value;
- Benedictine Monastery-Simleu Silvaniei (1300);
- Church-Crasna, built between 1380-1400 in Gothic style, the paintings were made in 1736;
- Reformed Church-Cehu Silvanei, founded by the Dragu family in 1519;
- Roman-Catholic Church-Magura-Simleu (1532), in Gothic style;
- Reformed Church-Almasul (1640), the ceiling is painted;
- Wooden Church-Cricova (18th century).
MONUMENTS AND STATUES
- Commemorative Monument-Guraslau, constructed to commemorate the victory of the great voivode Michael the Brave over the army of Sigismund Bathory. This last battle of Michael the Brave took place on August 3rd,1601;
- Simon Barnutiu Monument-Bocsa, in the honor of the thinker, politician and revolutionist (1808-1864) born in Bocsa (memorial museum).
- Among the numerous ethnographic elements of this interesting region it can be mentioned: the artistic wood exploitation (Fildu de Jos, Creaga, Buciumi), wooden gates sculptured with floral and geometric motifs (Fildu de Mijloc), wickerwork and straw work (Cristur-Criseni, Var, Thau), pottery (Buciumi), folkloric costumes beautifully adorned, house-woven work, embroidery (Agry, Mesesenii de Jos, Moigrad).
Source: Romanian Travel Guide / Publirom