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    Romanian County Alba is newest IRE member

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    The Institute of the Regions of Europe (IRE) is pleased to announce the newest member of the IRE-network: Alba County. It is a district located in Central-Western Romania and is one of the 16 counties forming the Romanian Centru development region, the historical region of Transylvania. With its total area of 6,242 km², 59% of which is occupied by mountains, Alba County is one of the most historically significant areas of Transylvania and has always been at the heart of the regional, political, religious and cultural life of the region.
    Traces of human settlements in the region date back to the Neolithic period, where the intermontane valleys of the region hosted many communities. Signs of this are still visible today, as in the prestigious Roman archaeologic site of Alba Iulia.
     

    City of Alba Iulia, Roman archaeological site
     

    Thanks to its central position in Eastern Europe, the county played a crucial role, particularly in the 18th century, when the Alba Carolina citadel was reinforced and turned into the fortified city of Alba Iulia, dedicated to Emperor Charles VI of Habsburg. Alba Iulia is now capital of the Alba County, and with a population of 66.400 inhabitants, it is the 33rd most populous city in Romania.
     

    Alba Iulia, aerial view with fortress 
    The strongest economic sectors in Alba County are the food industry (with corn growing in the south and wheat in the northern areas) and mineral ore mining. In particular, metals (gold, silver, copper and mercury), salt, marble and granite come from the region. Other important production areas are machinery, the textile and paper industry, and leather and wood production.
     

    Abrud, countryside in the Alba County

    Sources:
    http://www.visitalbaiulia.com/alba-county
    https://www.britannica.com/place/Alba-county-Romania 
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alba_County 
    http://www.cjalba.ro/english/ 

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