INFO

General information about Gorj County and its features!

LOCATION & ACCESS

Gorj County is located in south-western Romania, in the region of Oltenia, south of the Carpathian mountains and north of the Danube river. It is situated at the crossroad of the 45 degrees northern latitude and 25 degrees eastern longitude, in central – south-eastern Europe. The best option to reach Gorj County from outside Romania is by using flights to one of the major airports in Romania and then connecting by train, bus or car (3-5 hours connection from most airports).

  • The E79 European Road passes through the central part of Gorj County, from north to south, linking Hungary to Romania, Bulgaria and Greece.
  • The E70 European Road passes close to the southern border of Gorj County, connecting Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Georgia.
  • The DN66 National Road passes through central Gorj from north to south, overlapping E79. The DN67 National Road passes through central Gorj from east to west.
  • A national railway line passes through central Gorj County from north to south, Targu Jiu having direct connections to most major cities of Romania, including Bucharest.
  • Targu Jiu is located about 300 km from the major airport of Bucharest. Other close airports include Craiova (120 km), Sibiu (240 km), Cluj Napoca (300 km) and Timisoara (300 km).

GETTING AROUND

While the transport infrastructure of Gorj County is not as developed as it should be, there are various ways to get around the beautiful towns and villages. Some remote destinations are not accessible by public transport, but this is also part of the authentic charm of this amazing place.

If you come by car, traveling around Gorj County should be easy, as there are fairly decent roads to most settlements and tourist attractions. While not all roads are in good condition, they are practicable and driving is safe. If you plan to explore the countryside, make sure you fuel your tank, as there are few gas stations outside of towns.

There are buses and minivans that connect the county capital of Targu Jiu to most other towns and villages. Most of them are modern and offer good conditions for traveling anywhere. Tickets are usually purchased from the driver and prices are moderate, if not cheap (somewhere at 1 Euro/20-25 km).

Train is not a common or convenient way to get around Gorj County, as the main train line just stops in 3 or 4 other towns, but if you are left with no option, the train station in Targu Jiu offers good information about schedule and destinations. While there were many trains that stopped in every small station, these are extremely scarce today.

Taxis can be found in Targu Jiu and other towns, offering rides to any destination within the county. It is important to be informed on how much a ride should cost and always ask the driver to start the meter when leaving. Fares for longer trips can be negociated, but the mean price in 2016 is about 1.5 RON, or 0.30 Euros.

Until some years ago, everyone used to hitchhike a ride to town from the villages of Gorj County. If you wish to try your luck, stand by the road and signal free cars, one will eventually stop, as Romanians are used to this type of transportation. It is also fairly safe to hitchhike in Gorj County and the rest of the country.

GEOGRAPHY OF GORJ COUNTY

The territory of Gorj County features almost all terrains, positioned in steps from north to south. The highest peaks of the Carpathian Mountains along the north broder of the county reach 2519 meters in Parang Mountains. The mountain ridges gradually descend towards the south, into the depressions and hills of the Sub-Carpathians and further to the south, into the Getic Plateau, with low hills divided by the river valleys. The main river of Gorj County is Jiu, passing through the central part from north to south.

A particularly attractive feature of Gorj County are the forests, a grand part of its territory being covered in oak, birch or fir woods. The mountains of the north offer stuning landscapes and are teeming with wildlife, while the southern hills are mostly used for agriculture and human habitation. The climate of Gorj County is temperate-continental, with four seasons that offer extreme climate diversity, from cold winters with heave snow to hot summers. Mean temperature throughout the year is around 100C in Targu Jiu and gradually decreassing in the mountains.

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HISTORY TIMELINE

PALEOLITHIC

First traces of human habitation in Gorj County, rock paintings, silex tools and one of the oldest human bone in Europe – discovered in Muierii Cave.

NEOLITHIC

Settlements, tombs and isolated archeological finds. Several Dacian fortresses have been discovered, the best known being the one at Polovragi.

105-106 AD

Dacia is conquered by the Roman Empire and Gorj County becomes Roman territory. Although scarce, traces of the Roman occupation have been discovered, with the ruins of the Bumbesti Jiu castrum, the settlement of Sacelu and others.

13th CENTURY

The territory of today’s Gorj County was included into a so-called “country”, known as Terra Lytua, under a local ruler called Litovoi. He dies in battle against the kingdom of Hungary, becoming the first known hero of Gorj County.

JULY 29TH 1497

The first attestation of Gorj County in official historical documents.

16TH-19TH CENTURY

Gorj County was constantly under attack from either the Austro-Hungarian or the Ottoman Empire. In 1821 – the hero of Gorj, Tudor Vladimirescu, led his “panduri” troops in a revolution against the foreign occupation. Unfortunately, he was betrayed and killed close to Targoviste, but not before changing history with his actions.

AUGUST 1916

By entering the war against the powers of the Axis, Gorj County became a battlefront in 1916. At first, Romanian troops breached the front and pushed the Austro-Hungarian and German troops back towards Transylvania. Nevertheless, the superior enemy forces counterattack and breach the Jiu Defile in October 1916. Reaching the city of Targu Jiu, they are fiercely met by the remained inhabitants, veterans, school scouts, women and old men. In what became known as a miracle, they stop the enemy army at the bridge over the Jiu river, enough to allow the Romanian troops to regroup.

ECATERINA TEODOROIU

One of the heroes of World War I in Romania was Ecaterina Teodoroiu, a young girl born and raised in Targu Jiu. She participated in the Battle of the Jiu River and continued on the front, first as a nurse and then as an active soldier. By 1917, remarked for her dedication and heroism, she was upgraded to sub-lieutenant. Ecaterina Teodoroiu died in the first lines of battle at the age of 23, leading her plutoon in the battles of Marasesti in Moldova.

1937-1938

To honor the heroes of World War I, the authorities of Gorj County commissioned Constantin Brancusi, born close to Targu Jiu and reaching fame in Paris, to create a monument in this hometown. The monument became a complex, known as the Heroes Path, a masterpiece of universal art and modern sculpture in particular.

WORLD WAR II

The territory of Gorj County was mostly unharmed by the Second World War, considered one of the most peaceful place to be in Romania. One of the least known facts is that the Romanian Thesaurus was hidden during the war in the cave behind the Tismana Monastery in Gorj.

GORJ COUNTY TODAY

Gorj is one of the 41 counties of Romania, not including the capital of Bucharest. Primarily known in the world as the birthplace of Constantin Brancusi and the location of its evocative monuments, Gorj was one of the main industrial counties through the Communist era, fueling a big percentage of the Romanian energy sector through its rich coal deposits, excavated in large surface quarries, as well as its important hydro power resources. With about 70% of the national coal production and two major coal powered plants, as well as several big hydro-electrical systems, Gorj County is the energy heart of Romania.

Tourism has always been regarded as a secondary resource of Gorj, with little development and investment in the tourism sector. Despite all these, the potential of the county is immense and diverse, considered one of the most enticing and authentic destinations in Romania. Today, more and more projects have been developed in the tourism sector with the purpose of drawing foreign and Romanian tourists to discover the amazing heritage of Gorj County. Although there are still many more things to be changed or improved, Gorj County is a very safe and welcoming destination for anyone, offering unforgettable experiences.

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