Carei (Carei; Hungarian: Nagykároly, German: Grosskarol/Großkarl, קראלי (Krula)) is a city in Satu Mare County, northwestern Romania, near the border with Hungary. It has 23,000 inhabitants (2004): 53% Hungarians, 40% Romanians, 3% Roma, and 3% Germans.


The city was named after an old Hungarian noble family, the Károlyi. The municipality contains two settlements: the city of Carei and the village of Ianculeşti. The neighbouring communities are Căpleni, Urziceni, Foieni, Sanislău, Petreşti, Tiream, Căuaş, and Moftin.


The city of Carei was first mentioned in 1335 as being a borough of the Károlyi family. Located in Szatmár County in Hungary, it became part of the Kingdom of Romania in 1919/1920. Until 1940, Carei was in Sălaj County. It then reverted to Hungary for a short time during World War II. Carei was re-taken from Hungarian and German troops by the joint counteroffensive of Romanian and Soviet forces on October 25, 1944. This date has since become the Romanian Army Day. After the war ended, Carei, was returned to Romania by the Treaty of Paris of 1947.

Carei was located in the Baia Mare Region between 1952 and 1960, in the Maramureş region between 1960 and 1968, and since 1968, it has been in Satu Mare County.


Carei has a 13th century castle, modified in the 19th century. The castle is surrounded by a dendrological park (one of the few in Europe), filled with some of the rarest types of trees and plants.

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