Friday, 6 March 2009on
Arad was first mentioned in documents in the 11th century.
The Mongol invasion of the Kingdom of Hungary in 1241 showed that defensive fortifications were needed, and in the second half of the 13th century stone fortresses at Soimos (Solymos), Siria (Világos), and Dezna (Dézna) were built.
The Ottoman Empire conquered the region from Hungary in 1551 and kept it until the Peace of Karlowitz of 1699. She was also an eyalet center, which compromised sanjaks of Varad (Arad), Logoş, Kacaş, Beşlek and Yanova since 1660 until 1697, when she was captured by Austrians during Ottoman-Habsburg wars (1683-1699).
After 1699, the city was ruled by the Habsburg Monarchy. According to 1720 data, the population of the city was composed of 177 German families, 162 Serbian, and 35 Hungarian.
The new fortress was built between 1763 and 1783. Although it was small, it proved formidable having played a great role in the Hungarian struggle for independence in 1849. The city possesses a museum containing relics of this war of independence.
Bravely defended by the Austrian general Berger until the end of July 1849, it was captured by the Hungarian rebels, who made it their headquarters during the latter part of the revolution. It was from Arad that Lajos Kossuth issued his famous proclamation (11 August 1849), and where he handed over the supreme military and civil power to Artúr Görgey. The fortress was recaptured shortly after the surrender of Görgey to the Russians at Şiria/Világos and is now used as an ammunition depot.
Thirteen rebel generals were executed there on 6 October 1849, by order of the Austrian general Julius Jacob von Haynau. These men are known collectively as the 13 Martyrs of Arad, and since then Arad is considered the "Hungarian Golgotha". One of the public squares contains a martyrs' monument, erected in their memory. It consists of a colossal figure of Hungary, with four allegorical groups, and medallions of the executed generals.
Arad enjoyed a great economic development. In 1834 it was declared a "free royal town" by Emperor Francis I of Austria.
Aradu Nou / Újarad ("New Arad"), situated on the opposite bank of the Mureş/Maros, is a suburb of Arad, to which it is connected by a bridge. It was founded during the Turkish wars of the 17th century. The works erected by the Turks for the capture of the fortress of Arad formed the nucleus of the new settlement.
In 1910, the town had 63,166 inhabitants: 46,085 (73%) Hungarians, 10,279 (16.2%) Romanians, 4,365 (7%) Germans.
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