Arad. City of Old and New

Arad is an old city, being mentioned in documents for thefirst time in the eleventh century. It is believed that the city has got its name from Knight Orod, knight of King Saint Stephen around 1000 AD.. Turks conquered the region in sixteenth century and their occupation lasted for almost two centuries. Under this Turkish occupation a new fortress (a historical monument that is still in use today) was built. It was bigger than the previous ones and had three exterior walls and many small defense points in the immediate surroundings for increased protection. Later, the region entered under the occupation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and many important treaties were signed in the Arad's fortress. At the beginning of the 20th century Arad was the biggest town in Transylvania, today being the second largest one after Timisoara.
Arad is situated on the right bank of the river Mures, and consists of the inner town and five suburbs. Arad is a modern town and contains many handsome private and public buildings, including a cathedral. It is the seat of a Greek-Orthodox bishop, and possesses a Greek-Orthodox theological seminary and a conservatory for music.
The nomad tribe's invasions, more than 800 years ago determined the local people to build defense positions showed that defense positions were needed and in the second half of the thirteenth century there were built fortresses at Soimos, Siria and Dezna on the hills surrounding the city. Some of their walls are still standing today and offer a great tourist attraction.