Skip to content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer

History of Cluj

Cluj-Napoca has always been considered ‘the heart of Transylvania’ and for the last 100 years has also been one of the most important cities in Romania.

Cluj-Napoca was recorded for the first time by the Greek geographer Claudius Ptolemy (AD 85 – 165) some two thousands of years ago. It was elevated to municipality during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian (AD 117 – 138) under the name of Municipium Aelium Hadrianum Napoca and later to a colony, around AD 180 under Marcus Aurelius or under Commodus.

After the departure of the Romans to the southern banks of the Danube in the 3rd century, nothing is certain about the site’s history as a settlement until the Hungarians (Magyars) arrived in Pannonia in the 9th Century. The modern city of Cluj-Napoca was founded by German settlers as Klausenburg in the 13th Century. The name “Napoca” was added to the traditional Romanian city name “Cluj” by dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu in 1974 as a means of asserting Romanian claims to the region on the basis of the theory of Daco-Roman Continuity. 

More historical facts: 

Legends of Cluj-Napoca:

The castles and citadels in Cluj country and in Transylvania form the most significant part of the province’s cultural and historical heritage. 

Top five Castles & Fortresses near Cluj-Napoca:

  1. Bánffy Castle in Bontida – 
  2. Kornis Castle, in Mănăstirea – 
  3. Bologa Fortress – 
  4. Potaissa Roman Castrum – 
  5. Bánffy Castle, in Răscruci – 

Other useful links:

Castles in Transylvania –  

Historical houses and palaces in Cluj-Napoca: 

Tourist information centers in the rural areas: 

Cluj Guided Tours: