The city of Bacau is situated in the northeastern part of Bacau County (of which it is the county seat), in the area where the rivers of Bistrita and Siret meet, at an altitude of 170 meters.
European roads 85 and 57 pass through the city, connecting it to Bucharest, the northern parts of the country as well as Transylvania. The city is also host to an international airport, as the website of the Bacau City Hall informs.
Archeological research has unearthed an Geto-Dacian incineration necropolis dating back to the 2nd-3rd centuries BC, as well as the vestiges of a settlement dating back to the4th-7th centuries AD (in the form of houses, clay pots, as well as local and slavic jewelry). Archeologic discoveries also attest the fact that Bacau was already a market town in the mid-14th century, before the establishment of the feudal Moldovan state, while in the 15th century it was an important trade and crafts center in full efflorescence.
Bacau was first attested documentarily on October 6, 1408 as a city and border point, in a document issued by the ruler of Moldova Alexandru the Kind (1400-1432), namely a document granting commercial privileges to the tradesmen from the Polish city of Lwow, through which their trade on the internal market was regulated.
The city of Bacau was also the destination for many Hussites as they sought refuge from Hungary and Poland, they were mentioned in documents in 1431 that also reveal that the Moldovan rulers were tolerant of them.
The 15th century features a lot of documentary mentions of the market town of Bacau (1435, 1439, 1453, 1457, 1460, etc). In November 1467 the town is set on fire by Matthias Corvinus, the Hungarian king, during the expedition conducted in Moldova against Stephen the Great that ended with the former’s defeat at Baia.
Between 1472-1491 Stephen the Great built a Princely Court in Bacau to serve as the residence of his son Alexandrel. The princely court became also host to the Precista Church, consecrated on January 1, 1491. The Court was later expanded by Bogdan III, another of Stephen the Great’s sons. Bacau was chosen as the place of the princely edifice also due to the fact that the main trade roads towards central and western Moldova passed through it: The Moldovan road that came from the north through the Siret river valley and went on towards Galati, branching out towards Wallachia as well; the salt and tar roads that came from Ocna on the Tazlau river valley and from Moinesti on the Trotus river valley; the Oituz road that led to Transylvania.
An important commercial and customs center by tradition but also through its gradual economic development, Bacau is frequently mentioned as a market town in the 17th and 18th centuries in various documents, while in the early 19th century it became one of the most important towns in Moldova.
If in 1821 Bacau had a little over 1000 inhabitants, a constant demographic increase was observed from there on. The growth was put in motion, mostly, by the phenomenon of Jewish immigration of the first half of the 19th century, doubled by, between 1859-1899, a massive influx of rural populations towards the newly industrialized town, according to the the website of the Bacau City Hall.
In what regards industrial development, we can mention as temporal landmarks the building of the Letea paper factory in 1881, the beer factory built in 1857, as well as the brick factory built in 1870.
During the First World War, the town was host to the command of the Second Romanian Army that resided in the Anania House on George Bacovia street.
During the interwar period Bacau developed from an urbanistic point of view, being the second town of the Old Kingdom (formed by Moldova and Wallachia after the union in 1859) after Bucharest to have asphalted roads.
It was declared a city on February 17, 1968. At the 2011 Census, Bacau was recoreded to have 144,307 inhabitants.
Situated in the center of the North East Region, today’s Bacau is remarkable for its aeronautics, foodstuffs, construction materials, and IT industries.
The AEROSTAR Bacau company, founded in 1953 (at that time by the name of the Bacau Aircraft Reparations Plant), is one of the industrial brands of the country, with remarkable contributions to Romanian aeronautics. Privatized on February 11, 2000, the company is nowadays centered aroudn fabrication of aviation components and maintenance of high-capacity or military aircraft, continuing, due to the special value of the projects and programs, to produce light training or school aircraft and elements of military equipment. Presently, AEROSTAR’s markets are spread throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Northern American, foreign market sales covering in 2012, 63 percent of the company’s production.
Among the monument and tourist objectives in Bacau we can recall the Princely Court complex (15th-16th centuries), with the Precista (also known as the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God) church, the city’s oldest intact construction (built in 1490-1491, it has undergone several restoration processes in the 19th and 20th centuries); the County Library (building raised in the 19th century that previously served also as a fire station and town hall); the eclectic baroque Administrative Palace built in the 19th century using the plans of Filip Xenopol; the Water Tower (1890) that is now host to the Astronomical Observatory; edifices such as the Postal and Telecommunications headquarters and the George Bacovia theater, both monuments of neo-Romanian architecture dating back to the early 20th century; the Bacau County Iulian Antonescu Museum of History and Archeology; the Natural Sciences Museum Complex; the George Bacovia Memorial House; the Mihail Jora Philharmonic; the statue of Stephen the Great and Holy (unveiled on October 6, 1997); the Saint Nicholas (1840), Holy Emperors Constantine and Helen (1845), the Holy Trinity (1876), the Annunciation of Our Lord (1880) churches; the Synagogue (1906); as well as the Catholic Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral and others. AGERPRES