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Zalau coat of arms
Zalau (Romania)
Paris plan pointer b jms.svg
Basic data
State : RomaniaRomania Romania
Historical region : Screeching area
Circle : Sălaj
Coordinates : 47 ° 11 '  N , 23 ° 3'  E Coordinates: 47 ° 11 '8 "  N , 23 ° 3' 22"  E
Time zone : EET ( UTC +2)
Height : 275  m
Area : 90.09  km²
Residents : 56,202 (October 20, 2011)
Population density : 624 inhabitants per km²
Postal code : 450016
Telephone code : (+40) 02 60
License plate : SJ
Structure and administration (as of 2016)
Community type : Municipality
Structure : Zalau, Stâna
Mayor : Ionel Ciunt ( PSD )
Postal address : Piața Iuliu Maniu, no. 3
loc. Zalau, jud. Sălaj, RO-450016
Website :
Zalau (red square) - Romania - Neighboring towns: Dej , Cluj-Napoca , Turda , Târgu Mureș , Baia Mare , Satu Mare , Carei

Zalău [ zaˈlə̯u ] (outdated Zălau also Zălău ; Hungarian Zilah [ ˈzilɒx ], German  Zillenmarkt or Waltenberg ) is a city in Romania and is located in the Sălaj district in the Kreischgebiet . The municipality consists of two settlements, the city of Zalău and Stâna and is located on the upper reaches of the Zalău - a right tributary of the Crasna - on the northwest slopes of the Meseș Mountains (Munții Meseș) .

In 2007 the city had about 63,600 inhabitants, in 1992 there were still 67,977 inhabitants. 20.1 percent of the population were Hungarians .

The name of the city changed several times during the past centuries (in the 12th century Ziloc , 1214 Ziloch , 1246 Sylac , 1282 Zylah and others different names. From the end of the 18th century mainly Zilah and Zălau , from 1956 the current name Zalău ).


The first references to a settlement in Zalău can be found in an anonymous chronicle to the documents of the Hungarian King Béla IV. With regard to the first documentary mention of the city, the sources are contradicting. Once it is said that it took place in the year 1200, a second source speaks of the year 1241, when the Mongols destroyed Zalau. German settlers (hospites) also came to the city. A church was built in 1246. Until 1538 the city was part of central Szolnok and thus part of the Hungarian kingdom.

On August 1, 1473, Matthias Corvinus , King of Hungary and Bohemia, granted city rights. The oppidum Zilah granted the inhabitants of the city appropriate privileges and gave them economic independence. From 1538 to 1552 Zalau was part of the partially independent principality of Transylvania, ruled by Johann Zápolya and Johann Sigismund Zápolya . From 1552 to 1570 Hungary was ruled by the Habsburgs . So it came about that the city with some other parts of the country was added to the Principality of Transylvania again after the Speyer Agreement in 1570.

From 1806 to 1876 the settlement got the status of a so-called Free Royal City . In 1867 the rulership changed again, this time it became part of Hungary again. 14 years later, Zalau became the capital of the Central Szolnok District and Szilágy ( Sălaj ) County ( 1876-1919 ).

In 1918 the city was occupied by the Romanian army and after the Trianon Peace Treaty in 1919/1920 it was part of the Romanian Kingdom. According to the Vienna arbitration of August 30, 1940, it belonged again to Hungary from 1940 to 1944, only to be added to Romania again after the Paris Peace Conference in 1946 .

Zalau has been the capital of Sălaj County since 1968.


After the Second World War , some industrial companies developed on the outskirts. Zalau has a transshipment terminal on a railway line. It is the regional center for agricultural products. A furniture factory uses the wood from the surrounding hills. The French tire manufacturer Michelin has its main Romanian plant on the western outskirts.


The district museum with a noteworthy archaeological department is located in the historic, rather small town center. It shows artifacts from prehistoric times as well as Roman times, especially from Porolissum . A large, but relatively low, green-roofed Reformed church stands out in the cityscape. Other eye-catching buildings in the city include:

  • Palace of Cultures (postmodern building with lots of glass)
  • Prefect's Palace
  • The building of the telephone company Romtelecom ( 2019 on Google Maps )
  • The Ioan Sima Art Museum

sons and daughters of the town

Town twinning

Zalău has had a partnership with the Hungarian city ​​of Szentendre since 1990 and with the Italian city ​​of Imola since 2005.

See also


  • János Kovács Kuruc, Zilah vallási életéről, In: Limes, 2000, 3, no. 1-2, pp. 138-143.
  • Éva Lakóné Hegyi; Wagner, Ernő. A zilahi kalandosok, In: EM, 2001, 63, no. 1-2, pp. 30-41.
  • Florin Mirgheșiu, Modernitatea Zalăului. In: AMPZ, 2001, 2, no. 4, pp. 11-19.
  • Moroti, Elisabeta. Scurtă privire istorică asupra dezvoltării economice a orașului Zalău, In: AMPZ, 2001, 2, no. 4, pp. 36-39.
  • Municipiul Zalau. Precentars. In: AMPZ, 2002, 3, no. 7-8, pp. 154-161.
  • Elena Muscă, Meșteșugari zălăuani și locul lor în structurile administrației publice locale, In: AMP, 2003, 25, pp. 325–332.
  • L. Nicoara; Puşcaş, Angelica. Rolul municipiului Zalau în zona de contact dintre depresiunea Transilvaniei și Dealurile de Vest, In: Studia geogr., 1999, 44, no. 1, pp. 99-112.

Web links

Commons : Zalău  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. 2011 census in Romania at
  2. ↑ Mayoral elections 2016 in Romania ( MS Excel ; 256 kB)
  3. Arcanum Kézikönyvtár: Historical-administrative book of place names of Transylvania, Banat and Partium., accessed June 14, 2020 (Hungarian).
  4. Information on the city's website
  5. Information on Zalau at
  6. Information on partnerships in Zalau's web presentation