Marosvásárhely (in Romanian: Târgu Mureş or Tîrgu-Mureş as spelt Romanian after WWII and before the change of regimes; in German: Neumarkt am Mieresch and in Latin: Novum Forum Siculorum) is a city in Maros County, Romania. It is the capital of the Székelys and an intellectual centre as well as a centre of public education, industry, commerce, transport and education. It used to be the seat of the former Marosszék (Scaunul Mureş), of the Maros-Torda County in the Kingdom of Hungary, then became a Hungarian Autonomic Province, and today it is the seat of Maros County and the centre of the Metropolis Zone of Târgu Mureş that has evolved around it. As far as the number of its population is concerned, it is the sixth largest city in Transylvania and the sixteenth largest city in Romania. Marosvásárhely has the largest number of Hungarians in Romania even more than Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca).
The first settlement, which we may actually consider as the predecessor of today's Marosvásárhely, evolved in the 11th century. The first written reference to the city as Novum Forum Siculorum was in 1323. In the first part of the 15th century Marosvásárhely was still a market town. In time, it became more and more independent and received more and more privileges from the emperors. The first judicial privilege was granted to the town by King Matthias Corvinus in 1470, which was followed by the right to organise fairs in 1482. From István Báthory to Queen Consort Isabel it received several other privileges. In 1601, as a result of the Long war, the troops lead by Giorgio Basta burnt down the town. Therefore the need to build a fortified fortress arose. They began to construct such a fortress and it was also the time when the town got the status of a free royal city. Town life got a real impetus at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century when György Bernády was the mayor of the city.
The highest registered number of population was 164 445 residents in 1992 of which 51.4% were Hungarian people. According to the census of 2002, the Hungarians have become a local minority. The latest census of 2011 shows that the number of the city's residents shrank to 127 849 people of which 44.87% (57 362 people) declared themselves Hungarian.
The main sights of Marosvásárhely include the downtown Roses Square with its numerous baroque and art nouveau buildings such as the St John the Baptist Church, the famous steeple of the Grey Friars' Church, the Old City Hall or the Cultural Palace. The 17th century atmosphere is ensured by the City Fortress with its four bastions, in the south-western part of which the steeple of the Fortress Church projects into the air. Among the numerous other sights of the city with County Rank, there are monuments, churches, public and residential buildings, museums and galleries in baroque, classicist, neo-renaissance, eclectic and art nouveau styles as well as a multitude of public statues and commemorative monuments.
The current main industrial facilities of Marosvásárhely were almost all established during the time of socialism. Most of them have got privatised after 1989.
Of the main industrial units that determine the city's development and have been operating even today is Electromureş (in Hungarian Elektromaros), which was established in 1949 and which offered nearly 10,000 jobs to the town and its immediate environment already in 1989.
Marosvásárhely is well known for its high medical standards all over Romania, which is partly thanks to the University of Medicine and Pharmacy and Armedica, the pharmaceutical company. In 1998 Gedeon Richter România SRL bought the 50.98% majority share of the company from the Romanian state. The pharmaceutical company was already present in the Romanian market with 39 products in 2006. Its main product groups are cardiovascular drugs, drugs for the central nervous system and antibiotics in the form of tablets, ointments and solutions. The increase in the domestic and foreign markets and the strengthening of the market position made the establishment of a modern logistics centre necessary in 2007. This centre has a built-up area of 13,000 m² right next to the city of which 5,200m² is taken up by warehouses.
The largest local industrial facility is the Azomureş (in Hungarian: Azomaros) chemical plant. The milk processing plant of Friesland Câmpina also provides employment to many people and is an important local economic participant.
The city's transport was helped by the establishment of its international airport in 1961 to a great extent, which airport connects the city with many significant European cities. The industrial park built in 2006 from the EU's SAPARD funds is right next to it. The industrial park hosts many multinational companies giving several thousands of jobs to the citizens of the nearby settlements.
Many multinational wholesale companies operate in the region too. The first such large wholesale network was started on the north-eastern limits of the city in 2002. In the local development of hypermarket chains the establishment of the European Retail Park (in short: ERP) brought about a crucial change in 2007. In this park various hypermarkets operate in almost 18,000 m².