rom. cath

Şimleu Silvaniei

Şimleu Silvaniei (Szilágysomlyó, Schomlenmarkt) is a town in Sălaj County, Transylvania, Romania with a population of 16,066 people (2002 census). It is 65.7% Romanian, 25% Hungarian, 8.9% Roma, and 0.4% others.


In 1258 it was mentioned as Wathasomlyowa. The name means "Wata's mountain"; the name Wata is of Old Turkish origin, while somlyowa is an archaic Hungarian word for mountain(side).

The town belonged to the Báthory family, whose ancestral castle stood here. The castle was built by Miklós, Voivod of Transylvania in the early 13th century and was first mentioned in 1319. After the Báthory family built a mansion in the town in 1592, the castle became deserted and today lies in ruins.

The mansion was occupied by Giorgio Basta from Zsigmond Báthory in 1600. In 1703 it was occupied by Kurucs.

In 1919, the first Romanian-language high school in Sălaj County was founded here, and today the town is home to three high schools.

Sights to see

  • Castle ruins
  • Báthory mansion (16th century)
  • Roman Catholic church (1532)
  • Romania's first Holocaust Memorial Museum was dedicated here in September 2005 by Dr. Alex Hecht and Adam Aaron Wapniak. The museum centerpiece is a synagogue originally built in 1876. The museum is open daily, offering guided tours.

Famous natives

Sister cities



This article is based on a translation of the Szilágysomlyó from the Hungarian Wikipedia on 18 March 2007.

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