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Gheorgheni (in Hungarian Gyergyószentmiklós, in German Niklasmarkt) is a town in Harghita county, Romania. It is the centre of the former Gheorgheni district. The Red Lake belongs to this town. The town lies 59 km away from Miercurea Ciuc, northwest of the Békény brook, at the eastern part of the Gheorgheni basin. The first part of its name is the continuous form of the hungarian gurog (= greek verb), from this developed the görgő, then gyergyó, but it can have the sens of Gyergyjó (=György river), which was earlier a name of a river. The second part of its name is the name of the Szent Miklós church.

Brief History

Even in the 13th century it was a settlement round the György brook. 1607 it acquired the right to hold fairs. 1637 a significant number of Armeninan people settled here, who in 1687 joined the Roman Catholic Church by conducting their ceremony. 1716 the town was ruined by the Tatars. 1719 the plague devastated the region. 1808 the town was ravaged by a fire, 700 houses were burnt to ashes. By the 19th century it became the commercial centre of the region, after the 70ies there were built factories. By the end of the century it developed the present town centre. By 1907 it became a town. 1944 the town hem was ravaged by a fire. Its first high school was opened in 1908, its building was finished in 1915. 1910 among its 8905 inhabitants, 8549 was Hungarian, 155 Romanian and 115 German. Until the Peace Treaty of Trianon it was the centre of the Gheorgheni district in Ciuc county.

Tourist attractions

* Its Gothic Church was consecrated in 1498, between 1756 and 1772 it was rebuilt, 1784 it was fortified by bastions and stone walls. The steeple of the church was upswet in 1733, in 1756, then in 1837.
* Its Armenian Catholic Church was built between 1730 and 1734 with the use of a stone chapel from 1650. 1748 it was fortified by wall and round towers; its parsonage was built in 1769.
* Its Calvinist Church was built between 1895 and 1899, its Orthodox Church between 1929 and 1937.
* In the 1807 metres height Ciobot mountain, eastwards from the town, there is a hungarian and an armenian Roman Catholic Chapel, named Szent Anna. The former was built in the 13th century, then it was reconstructed in Baroque style, and the latter was built after the plaque epidemic, in 1700.
* The school was finished in 1783.
* The Vertan-house, built between 1770-1778, once was the command centre of the 1st Székely regiment, today it is the building of the Tarisznyás Márton museum.
* On the cliff, at the junction of the Belkény and Várpatak creeks , it can be seen the ruins of the Hiripné and Both castles. Its origin is unknown. In the 14th century, with the use of its ruins, it was built a fortified castle, which is in possesion of the Both family. During Rákoczi's insurrection it was destroyed by the Imperials, and since then it decays. 1933 in the centre of the castle it was built a small chaple.
* The sight of the town is the Csiki-kert, which is an arboret of 16 hectares. It was planted by Dr. Csiki Dénes lawyer.
* The museum disposes of rich ethnographic and art gallery.

Districts of the town

* The town hem, the east side of the town, is situated eastwards from the Roman Catholic Church; it is a very underdeveloped district, here can be seen aparment houses and the town's military barracks.
* The centre and the centre square, the former includes the latter and its surroundings, most of the sights and institutions it can be seen here.
* Northwards from the centre can be seen the Temető-telep, where we find the town's cemetery and several apartment houses.
* The Hóvirág-telep, southeast side of the town, where we see apartment houses and grasslands.
* The market-place, here is the town's market, and here is directed the truck traffic towards the roadway, in addition institutions and apartment houses are to be found. This district last to the railway station, which is in the north side of the town.
* Virág and Bucsin districts, these are districts of apartment houses, the cleaner and more developed side of the town.
* Eastwards from the railway station is the industrial district, it is plenty long, here we find factories, offices and warehouses.

Famous people

* here was born in 1740 Ákontz Kövér István, monk of the Mechitarist Order, Archbishop, Abbot.
* here was born in 1800 Fogarassy Mihály, Bishop of Transylvania.
* here was born in 1809 Földváry Károly, colonel in the revolution of 1848, comander of the Hungarian legion in Italy; and Földváry Sándor, colonel in the revolution of 1848.
* here was born in 1881 Lázár István, author and poet.
* here was born in 1899 Karácsony János, painter.
* here was born in 1908 Vákár Tibor, illustrator and painter.
* here was born in 1909 Balás Gábor, author, translator, legal historian, the founder of the Székelykör.
* here was born in 1912 Salamon Ernő, author.