Tǐrgovişte, town (1990 pop. 100,948), S central Romania, in Walachia, in a petroleum-producing region. Oil refining and the manufacture of oil-field equipment and iron and steel are the chief industries. Tǐrgovişte was the administrative, political, and cultural center of Walachia from 1383 until 1698, when the capital was moved to Bucharest. It was destroyed by the Turks in 1737. The town is now the seat of an Orthodox bishopric. Many tourists are attracted by Tǐrgovişte's historic buildings, including a remarkable 16th-century cathedral with nine towers, a 15th-century monastery, and the ruins of a 14th-century castle.

Târgovişte (old spelling: Tîrgovişte; tɨr.ˈgo.viʃ.te) is a city in the Dâmboviţa county of Romania. It is situated on the right bank of the Ialomiţa River. As of 2003, it has an estimated population of 89,000.


First attested in 1396, in the Travel Accounts of Johannes Schiltberger, it became the capital of the Wallachian voivodship, probably during the reign of Mircea cel Bătrân, when the Royal Court ("Curtea Domnească") was built. Vlad III Dracula later added the Chindia Tower, now a symbol of the city.

In 1597 Mihai Viteazul fought and won a decisive battle against the Ottoman Empire in Târgovişte.

After Constantin Brâncoveanu moved the capital to Bucharest, Târgovişte lost its importance, decaying economically as its population decreased.

Târgovişte was the site of the trial and execution of Nicolae Ceauşescu and his wife Elena in December 1989. Interestingly, there are towns with the same name (albeit with different spellings as they are written in our days in the Cyrillic alphabet) in both Bulgaria and Serbia. The Romanian and Bulgarian towns are twinned. The name is of Slavic origin, from the root -trg- or -tǎrg- ("trade") and the placename suffix -ište, and means "marketplace".


  • 16th century: 60,000
  • 1900: 9,400
  • 1977: 61,300
  • 2002: 89,930

Twin cities

Famous natives

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