Town of Satu Mare
Location: Northwestern Romania
County: Satu Mare
Size: 58 sq. miles (150.3 sq. kilometers)
Elevation: 410 ft. (126 m.)
First documented: 1181
Located just 20-minutes from Romania -- Hungary border, Satu Mare is a natural gateway to the unique rural areas in northwestern Romania. The town stretches north of river Somes. Archaeological evidence shows settlements in the area dating to the Stone Age and the Bronze Age; there is also proof that the Geto-Dacian communities in this region continued to be free, even after the Roman conquest in 105-106 A.D.. Satu Mare was first mentioned in a written document in 1181 as Castrum Zotmar, a fortified stronghold from which the town derives its name.
In 1543, the Báthory family took possession of the citadel, proceeding to divert the Somes' waters in order to defend the southern part of the fortress; thus, the fortress remained on an island linked to the main roads by three bridges over the Somes River. In 1562 the citadel was besieged by Ottoman armies. Later it was besieged by the Habsburgs and set on fire. The Austrian general Lazar Schwendi ordered the citadel to be rebuilt after the plans of Italian architect Ottavio Baldigara; using an Italian system of fortifications, the new structure would be pentagonal with five towers. During the Middle Ages, Satu Mare and Mintiu were two distinct entities, but between 1712 and 1715 the two gradually united under one administration. On 2 January 1721 Emperor Charles VI recognized the union, at the same time granting Satu Mare the status of free royal town.
Satu means village/ town and Mare means large.
Satu Mare has a tradition in fencing dating to 1885, being the European town that has supplied the most world and Olympic champions.
The 18th century marked the beginning of an intense urbanization process of Satu Mare,
some of the main attractions in town, dating from this period, include: the old city hall, the military barracks, the Catholic and Reformed churches. The first park in Satu Mare was established in 1844.
During the early 1800s, the first large industrial companies were founded: the steam mill, the brick factory, the Neuschloss wood-processing factory, the lumber factory.
Located at the crossroads of commercial routes, Satu Mare became an important railway center.
The railway to Carei was built in 1871, the one to Sighet in 1872, and the one to Baia Mare in 1894.
Most attractions in Satu Mare are located in the Old Town. Most historic buildings and cultural istitutions lay along Traian Boulevard (Bulevardul Traian), Piata Libertatii (Freedom Square) and 1 Decembrie 1918 street. Satu Mare landmarks include the Archangels Gabriel & Michael Orthodox Church of the, . Other buildings on the same street show some of the old glamour of Satu Mare. In the centre, facing the eastern part of Piata Libertatii, you will notice the large domes of the Roman-Catholic Cathedral. The church was built around the year 1800, but it was heavily damaged during the Second World War. The shape is rather unusual and the dimensions inside are impressive. North of the centre there's the small and nice Piata Pacii (Peace Square). Right in the middle of this square stands the small 19th century Hungarian Reformed Church, also known as the Church with Chains (Biserica cu Lanturi), one of the oldest churches in town. Built between 1793 and 1802, the church has a valuable collection of plates, disks and glasses dating from 1657-1679, as well as the oldest bell in Satu Mare, dating to 1633. The furniture inside the church was made between 1799-1807, from oak, by a master craftsman named Frits Iosif.
Jewish Heritage: Satu Mare
Jews settled in Satu Mare around 1700.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, the population grew, reaching, before World War II, approximately 14,000 .
In early 1940s, the community was served by some eight synagogues, a yeshiva, and a Hebrew painting house. In May 1944, the Nazis deported most of the local Jewish population to death camps. A memorial to the 18,000 Jews from around Satu Mare murdered in the Holocaust stands between the two remaining synagogues. Tombstones in the Orthodox Jewish Cemetery (address: Str. 9 Mai) still show bullet holes and damage from World War II. Nearby there is also a Neolog Cemetery.
During the 19th and 20th centuries Satu Mare was the seat of the Teitelbaum and Gruenwald Hasidic Jews, who lived there until World War II.
Address: Str. Decebal 4 - 6
Built in 1890s, in similar design to the synagogue in Oradea, it remained closed for decades until the community reopened it as a concert hall and cultural venue.
Saar Ha Torah Synagogue
Address: Str. Decebal 4 - 6
Built in the 1920 and located next to the Great Synagogue, it is the only remaining working synagogue. A small prayer room is used for regular services.
Satu Mare Jewish Community
Comunitatea Evreilor din Satu Mare
Address: Str. Decebal 4A
Telephone: (+4) 0261 713.703
Romania Jewish Heritage more info
Art Collections Museum
Muzeul Colectiilor de Arta
Address: Piata Libertatii 21
Tel: (+4) 0261 710.114
Tue. – Sun.: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Satu Mare County Museum
Muzeul Judetean Satu Mare
Address: Str. Lucaciu 21
Telephone: (+4) 0261 737.526
Tue. – Sun.: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Land of Oas (Tara Oasului)Annual Gathering of Sheep Owners
When: 1st Sunday in May
Where: Huta Certeze (36 miles northeast of Satu Mare)
Access: car, bus
Each spring village people and farmers in the Oas region gather on a hillside overlooking Huta-Certeze to celebrate "Sambra Oilor". This centuries-old traditional festival marks the time of the year when shepherds leave for the mountains with their sheep. To help them get through the lonely months ahead of them, they celebrate one last time with folk music, dances and a rich meal. Since 1970 the event is complemented by a major folk festival.
A compilation of Romania’s main events is available at
The Merry Cemetery - Sapanta
Where: village Sapânța, 48 miles northeast of Satu Mare
Access: car, train
(nearest train station: Sighetu Marmatiei)
One of the most unique cemeteries in the world lays not far from Satu Mare. Colorful, five-foot, carved oak crosses, featuring carved portraits or scenes from the deceased's life, are inscribed with witty epitaphs that capture essential elements – both the good and the imperfections – of the villagers who rest here. Words and images were chosen by the sculptor as he saw fit at this unique cemetery located just 15 minutes outside of Sighetu Marmatiei.
The crosses also feature geometric designs in symbolic colors: yellow for fertility (the subject had many children), red for passion, green for life, black for early death. The townsfolk's ancestors considered death as a beginning, not the end. Therefore, the background is always blue, the color of hope and freedom.
Even without benefit of translation, visitors will appreciate the handiwork of sculptor Stan Ion Patras (1907-1977), who began carving these epitaphs in 1935. Patras' house in the village is now a fascinating museum. Vasile Stan, one of Patras' apprentices, continues the work of his master.
The wooden Churches of Maramures
Where: 60 - 90 miles west of Satu Mare
Town of Baia Mare
Where: 41 miles east of Satu Mare
Baia Mare info
Town of Oradea
Where: 81 miles south of Satu Mare
Satu Mare Airport (SUJ)
Aeroportul Satu Mare
Address: Soseaua Satu Mare - Zalau Km 9.5
Tel: (+4) 0261 768.640
Satu Mare is served by direct flights from/to Bucharest.
The airport is located about 7 miles south of town centre.
Bus # 9 links the airport with Piata Libertatii / town centre.
Satu Mare Bus Stations
Autogara Orizont - Satu Mare
Address: Str. Grivitei 1
Telephone: (+4) 0722 388.061
Address: Bd. Cloșca 14
Telephone: (+4) 0741 607.941
Daily domestic bus service from/to: Alba Iulia, Arad, Baia Mare, Bistrita, Carei, Cluj, Constanta,
Iasi, Oradea, Sebes, Sibiu, Sighetu Marmatiei, Sighisoara, Timisoara, Targu Mures
A shuttle service from Baia Mare - Satu Mare to Budapest (Hungary) Nepliget bus terminal
(with a stop at Budapest Airport)
is operated by Efi Travel / EFI Bus
For more information and reservations please
E-mail EFI Travel
or call (+4) 0745 600.796
Driving route from Bucharest to Satu Mare via A1 - E81:
Bucuresti – Pitesti – Sibiu – Alba Iulia – Cluj – Zalau – Satu Mare
Driving route from Budapest to Satu Mare via E71 – E671:
Budapest – Debrecen – Satu Mare
|Road Distance from/to Satu Mare:|
|Baia Mare||40 miles|
|Budapest (Hungary)||210 miles|
|Targu Mures||95 miles|
|Vienna (Austria)||360 miles|
Satu Mare train station
Gara Satu Mare
Address: Str. Grivitei 1
Telephone: (+4) 0261 768.704
Satu Mare train station is located ½ mile east of the city centre.
There are daily trains connecting Satu Mare to Baia Mare, Bucharest, Brasov, Cluj,
Sighisoara, Timisoara and several other cities in Romania.
To check train and bus schedules for domestic routes please visit
RomaniaTourism Domestic Transportation section.
25 bus routes connect Satu Mare main areas and tourist attractions.
Satu Mate public transportation routes map
|Satu Mare Taxi Companies|
|Prima Taxi||(+4) 0724 979.906 or 0261 949|
|Galant||(+4) 0745192.942 or 0261 942|
|VIP Taxi||(+4) 0788 510.222 or 0261 945|
|Cielo||(+4) 0788 704.190 or 0261 944|
Accommodations in Satu Mare include:
|Hugo||boutique / upper-midscale||Satu Mare town centre|
|Villa Central||boutique / upper-midscale||town centre – central park|
|Viena||four star / midscale||town centre|
|City Hotel||four-star / midscale||town centre|
|Dome||four-star / midscale||town centre|
|Charm||four-star / midscale||town centre|
|Marida||four-star / uppermidscale||three miles north of Satu Mare town centre|
|Aramia||three-star/ midscale||0.4 miles north of town centre|
|Aurora||three-star/ midscale||town centre|
|Coral||three-star/ midscale||4 miles northeast of town centre|
Satu Mare General Emergency Telephone number: (Ambulance (Ambulanta) , Police (Politia), Fire Department (Pompieri))
Satu Mare Consumer Protection Agency
Oficiul pentru Protectia Consumatorilor – Satu Mare
Address: Str. Gheorghe Lazăr 3
Telephone: (+4) 0261 736.240
Satu Mare Main Post Office
Address: Str. Mihai Viteazu 2
Tel: (+4) 0261 712.222
Mon. - Fri.: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sat: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Post offices display a postal horn symbol and the word Posta.
Telephoning Satu Mare from Abroad
International Access Code +4 (country code) + 0261 or 0361 (area code) + six-digit telephone number
Satu Mare - City Map (harta Orasului Satu-Mare)
Romania Physical Map (Romania - Harta Fizica)
Romania Detailed Road Map (Romania - Harta Detaliata)
Romania Road Map (Romania - Harta Drumurilor, Sosele)
Romania Rail Map (Romania - Harta Cailor Ferate)