Named literally for a ‘market’ on the Mures River and known as the city of roses, Targu Mures enjoys the best of both Romanian and Hungarian cultures. Numerous vestiges attest the presence of Neolithic cultures and those of the Bronze and Metal Ages in this area. Archaeological diggings have brought to light Roman relics in the surrounding towns.
Beginning with the 16th century, Targu Mures excels as an important cultural and education centre. The first school appears in 1492. In 1786, the first printing shop is established and in 1802 count Teleki Samuel, chancellor of Transylvania, lays the foundations of the documentary library that bears his name to this day. The city received a major boost to its social and economic life in 1754 when it became the seat of the supreme court of justice of the Principality of Transylvania.
Targu Mures became a modern town in the second half of the 19th century, along with the expansion of the railway line. Today its centrally located Piata Trandafirilor (Roses Square) is lined with modern streetside cafes and restaurants, churches, and monuments. Targu Mures’ top attraction is located at the south end of the square: the Culture Palace, a flamboyant early 20th-century city hall with an outstanding stained-glass hall, housing some of main local museums.