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Cluj-Napoca was first mentioned in 1173 with the name of Clus (Latin name for "a place surrounded by hills"). Other names for the city were Kolozsvár (in Hungarian) and Klausenburg (in German) given by the Saxon colonists that settled in the Fortress during the reign of Stephen the Fifth of Hungary after the population was decimated by the Tatars. Klausenburg was one of the seven Medieval Saxon Fortresses (Siebenbürgen) of Transylvania. The first Romanian name of the city was Clus, sometimes written as « Klus ». In 1974 the name was changed into Cluj-Napoca, Napoca being the first name of the settlement used during the Roman times.

The first strengthened walled precinct of the medieval Cluj was built after the Tatars' invasion in 1241 and after the royal act in 1316, spreading on a territory of about seven hectares with the centre in the current Museum Square. The South-East tower, named The Stoneworkers' Tower after the guild that had in charge its administration, was also used as a prison.

The impetuous development of the city made necessary the extension of its fortifications, the inhabitants of Cluj receiving in 1405, from King Sigismund of Luxembourg, the right to build new defensive walls.

The second strengthened walled precinct was larger, comprising in its walls about 45 hectares. In the 15th century were mentioned 18 bastions and towers in the corners of the fortress, at the gates of the city or intermediary (The Bridge Tower, The Monastery Tower, The Tailors' Tower etc.), the city of Cluj being described by the classical writers as "a big and wealthy commercial city, well built, with strong and old walls and numerous towers" (Giovanandrea Gromo).





Category: EN Monumente arhitectonice