Cluj-Napoca (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈkluʒ naˈpoka] ( ); German: Klausenburg; Hungarian: Kolozsvár,Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈkoloʒvaːr] ( ); Medieval Latin: Castrum Clus, Claudiopolis; Yiddish: קלויזנבורג,Kloiznburg), commonly known as Cluj, is the second most populous city in Romania, after the national capital Bucharest, and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest (324 kilometres (201 miles)), Budapest (351 km (218 mi)) and Belgrade(322 km (200 mi)). Located in the Someşul Mic River valley, the city is considered the unofficial capital to thehistorical province of Transylvania. Between 1790-1848 and 1861-1867, it was the official capital of theGrand Principality of Transylvania.
As of 2011, 324,576 inhabitants live within the city limits, marking a slight increase from the figure recorded at the 2002 census. The Cluj-Napoca metropolitan area has a population of 411,379 people, while the population of the peri-urban area (Romanian: zona periurbană) exceeds 420,000 residents. The new metropolitan government of Cluj-Napoca became operational in December 2008. According to a 2007 estimate provided by the County Population Register Service, the city hosts a visible population of students and other non-residents—an average of over 20,000 people each year during 2004–2007.
The city spreads out from St. Michael’s Church in Unirii Square, built in the 14th century and named after the Archangel Michael, the patron saint of Cluj-Napoca. The boundaries of the municipality contain an area of 179.52 square kilometres (69.31 sq mi). An analysis undertaken by the real estate agency Profesional Casa indicates that, because of infrastructure development, communes such as Feleacu, Vâlcele, Mărtineşti, Jucu and Baciu will eventually become neighbourhoods of the city, thereby enlarging its area.
The American online magazine InformationWeek reports that much of the software/ITactivity in Romania is taking place in Cluj-Napoca, which is quickly becoming Romania’s technopolis. Nokia invested 200 million euros in a mobile telephone factory near Cluj-Napoca; this began production in February 2008 and has been closed in December 2011. It also opened a research centre in the city that was shut down in April 2011. The Nokia factory was purchased by the Italian appliance manufacturer, De’Longhi. The city houses regional or national headquarters of MOL, Aegon, Emerson, De’Longhi, Bechtel, FrieslandCampina, Office Depot,Genpact and New Yorker. Bosch has also built a factory near Cluj-Napoca, in the same industrial park as De’Longhi.
Cluj-Napoca is also an important regional commercial centre, with many street malls and hypermarkets. Eroilor Avenue and Napoca and Memorandumului streets are the most expensive venues, with a yearly rent price of 720 euro/m², but Regele Ferdinand and “21 Decembrie 1989” avenues also feature high rental costs. There are two large malls: Polus (including aCarrefour hypermarket) and Iulius Mall (including an Auchan hypermarket). Other large stores include branches of various international hypermarket/cash&carry chains, like Cora, Metro, Selgros and do-it-yourself stores like Baumax and Praktiker.
Among the famous retailers found in the city centre are United Colors of Benetton, Triumph and Paco Rabanne, while shopping centers on the outskirts include stores like H&M, Zara, C&A, Mango, New Yorker, Guess, Lee Cooper, Kenvelo, Camaieu, Tommy Hilfiger, Sephora, Douglas, Yves Rocher, Swarovski, Ecco, Bata, Adidas, Converse, Nike, Decathlon, Hervis.
In 2008, the city’s general budget amounted to 990 million lei, the equivalent of over 266 million Euros (207 millionpounds sterling). Over the previous year, the budget increased 19% in 2006, 56% in 2007 and 35% in 2008. In lei, the budgets for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 are 396,303,743, 472,364,500 739,214,224, and 990,812,338 respectively.
In 2007, the hotel industry in the county of Cluj offered total accommodations of 6,472 beds, of which 3,677 were in hotels, 1,294 in guesthouses and the rest in chalets, campgrounds, or hostels. A total of 700,000 visitors, 140,000 of whom were foreigners, stayed overnight. However, a considerable share of visits is made by those who visit Cluj-Napoca for a single day, and their exact number is not known. The largest numbers of foreign visitors come from Hungary, Italy, Germany, the United States, France, and Austria. Moreover, the city’s 140 or so travel agencies help organise domestic and foreign trips; car rentals are also available.