Discover Horezu in Romania
Weather in the Horezu Depression
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Such a generous natural space as the one where the locality of Horezu lies offered since the most ancient times extremely favourable life conditions. The most visible traces of inhabitation in the Horezu area date since the Bronze Age transition period. The Iron Age is well-represented in the Horezu area, due, first of all, to the archaeological research and discoveries made at Ferigile, next to Horezu, who revealed objects dating back to the 9th and the 13th centuries. This shows an intense inhabitation of the area, but also a diversifying of the activities. The Horezu Sub-Carpathian region was part of Farcaş’ Principality, mentioned in King Bela IV of Hungary’s Diploma.
The development of the settlements in the Horezu is connected to the transhumance itineraries, to the outlaws’ paths that crossed the area, as well as to the Salt Road that “started from Ocnele Mari, it crossed Pietrarii de Jos, and from Horezu it went on towards Slătioara, reaching Cernești”.
The present-day name of the locality comes from “ciuhurez” (an owl-like bird populating the forests that surround the town). Initially, the name of Hurezi belonged to the village Romanii de Jos, located on the valley of the eponymous river, whose first appearance in documents dates from the second half of the 15th century, in a document issued on 5th September 1487 by the ruler of Wallachia, Vlad Călugărul.
The town is connected to the name of several rulers who played an important role in the history of Wallachia: Mircea the Elder, Vlad the Impaler, Matei Basarab, Tudor Vladimirescu, Gheorghe Magheru, Alexandru Ioan Cuza, but especially to the one of the martyr voivode Constantin Brâncoveanu (1688-1714). The Hurezi Monastery, founded by the latter between 1690-1697, became a major landmark of the region, being today a representative, emblematic element of the locality, included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
A social factor of cohesion for the local community was always represented by the presence of the freeholder peasants, owners of land (forests, pastures, arable land) in common. This type of land property lasted until 1948, when it was abolished by the Communist regime and replaced with other types of association (consumer cooperatives, handicraft cooperatives and other forms of association). The traditional type of land property was resumed after the December 1989 Revolution.
From an administrative point of view, Horezu had a recognized territorial role, ever since the 19th century, in 1855 being mentioned the “Horezu region”, having the seat at the borough of Horezu. During the interwar period it was known as “Horezu district”, with 45,713 inhabitants, the second district of the county from the point of view of its size, including 99 villages. Between 1950-1968, the districts and counties system was replaced by one based on departments and regions. The Horezu district, with small contour changes, became the Horezu department, initially included in the Vâlcea region and since 1952 in the Argeş region, with a number of 28 communes. Through the new type of administrative-territorial organization in the year 1968, the Horezu locality passed from the rural to the urban status, being turned into a town. This new status granted the promotion of a series of important investments in industry, infrastructure and public equipments, leading to major transformations in the economic, social and spatial profile of the locality.
Across the ages, no matter what its type of administrative organization, the locality of Horezu has always had, and it still has, a role of regional coordinator, due to the creation and development of public institutions and services of great importance: hospital, district court, high school, banks, notary public’s offices, law firms, financial administrations, etc.
In the system of localities of Vâlcea county, the town of Horezu holds a special position, being located on the main connection axis with the south-western part of the country (Drobeta Turnu-Severin – Oravița – Moldova Nouă) and representing an access gate for the tourist points of interest of the Southern Sub-Carpathians, having direct connections with Novaci – Rânca – Transalpina – Sebeș, Petroșani or Obârșia Lotrului, Vârfu Roman – Malaia – Voineasa. At the same time, on the southern direction, Horezu represents a contact point with DN 65 C, which leads to Craiova, a centre of regional importance. To the east, by means of DN 67 and E81 European Road, the town benefits of road connections with the cities of Transylvania and Muntenia.
Compared to the neighbouring towns, Horezu has a special place, being a centre of commercial and tourist interest, a traditional place of fairs and a road junction, having a social and organizational influence over more than 20 rural localities and a population of more than 70,000 people.