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Romania is divided into forty-one counties (judete), as well as the municipality of Bucharest (Bucuresti), which is its own administrative unit. Each county is administered by a county council (consiliu judetean), responsible for local affairs, as well as a prefect, who is appointed by the central government but cannot be a member of any political party. In alphabetical order, the counties are:

Arges
Timis
Tulcea
Vaslui
Vâlcea
Vrancea
 
Harghita
Caras-Severin

Alongside the county structure, Romania is also divided into eight development regions, which correspond to NUTS-II divisions in the European Union, but which have no administrative capacity and are instead used for co-ordinating regional development projects and statistical purposes. The country is further subdivided into 2686 communes, which are rural localities, and 265 towns. Communes and towns have their own local councils and are headed by a mayor (primar). Larger and more urbanised towns gain the status of municipality, which gives them greater administrative power over local affairs.

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Harghita County

Harghita (Hungarian: Hargita) is a county (judet) in the center of Romania, in eastern Transylvania, with the county seat at Miercurea-Ciuc.

Demographics
In 2002, it had a population of 326,222 and a population density of 52/km².

Hungarians- 84.6% (or 276,038)
Romanians - 14.1% (or 45,870)
Roma - 1.2% (or 3,835), and others.

Harghita county has the highest percentage of Hungarians in Romania, just ahead of Covasna county. The primary Hungarian group, the Székely (Szeklers, Secui in Romanian), form the majority of the population in most of the county's municipalities, with Romanians concentrated in a few enclaves, such as Toplita.

The Székely are mostly Roman Catholic, while Romanians are primarily Orthodox, and the other Hungarian groups are Reformed and Unitarian. By religion, the county is divided roughly as follows:

Roman Catholic (65%)
Orthodox (13%)
Reformed (13%)
Unitarian (7%)
Other (2%)

Year County population
1948 258,495
1956 273,964
1966 282,392
1977 326,310
1992 348,335
2002 326,222

Geography

Harghita County has a total area of 6,639 km².

Harghita consists primarily of mountains, connected to the Eastern Carpathians, such as the Ciuc and Harghita Mountains; volcanic plateaux, foothills, and the more densely populated river valleys.

The mountains are volcanic in origin, and the region is known for its excellent hot mineral springs. Harghita is known as one of the coldest regions in Romania, although summers can be quite warm.

It is in this county that two of the most important rivers in Romania, the Mures and the Olt, originate. These rivers' origins, near the villages of Izvoru Muresului and Sândominic, are only a few miles apart; yet the Mures flows west to the Tisza, while the Olt flows south to the Danube. In the western part of the county the two Târnava rivers (Târnava Mare and Târnava Mica) flow to the Târnava Plateau, which is part of the Transylvania Plateau.

Harghita's many spectacular natural scenery include Sfanta Ana Lake, a volcanic crater lake near the town of Baile Tusnad; Lacu Rosu a mountain lake in the northeast near the town of Gheorgheni, and Cheile Bicazului, a dramatic, narrow canyon formed by the Bicaz stream. The county is renowned for its spa resorts and mineral waters.

Neighbours

  • Neamt County and Bacau County to the East.
  • Mures County to the West.
  • Suceava County to the North.
  • Brasov County and Covasna County to the South.

Economy

The predominant industries in the county are:

  • Wood industry – up to 30%;
  • Foods and beverages industry;
  • Textile and leather processing;
  • Mechanical components.


Tourism

The main tourist attractions in Harghita county are

  • The cities of Miercurea Ciuc, Odorheiu Secuiesc, Gheorgheni, Toplita.
  • The mountain resorts of
    - Baile Tusnad (Tusnádfürdo)
    - Borsec (Borszék)
    - Lacu Rosu (Gyilkos-tó)
    - Izvorul Muresului (Marosfo)
    - Harghita Bai (Hargitafürdo)

Administrative divisions

The county has 4 municipalities, 5 towns, and 58 communes. (Hungarian names in parentheses)

Municipalities

  • Miercurea Ciuc (Csíkszereda) – county seat; population: 42,029
  • Gheorgheni (Gyergyószentmiklós)
  • Odorheiu Secuiesc (Székelyudvarhely)
  • Toplita (Maroshévíz)

Towns

  • Baile Tusnad (Tusnádfürdo)
  • Balan (Balánbánya)
  • Borsec (Borszék)
  • Cristuru Secuiesc (Székelykeresztúr)
  • Vlahita (Szentegyháza)

Communes

  • Atid (Etéd)
  • Avramesti (Szentábrahám)
  • Bilbor (Bélbor)
  • Bradesti (Fenyéd)
  • Capâlnita (Kápolnásfalu)
  • Cârta (Csíkkarcfalva)
  • Ciceu (Csíkcsicsó)
  • Ciucsângeorgiu (Csíkszentgyörgy)
  • Ciumani (Gyergyócsomafalva)
  • Corbu (Gyergyóholló)
  • Corund (Korond)
  • Cozmeni (Csíkkozmás)
  • Danesti (Csíkdánfalva)
  • Dârjiu (Székelyderzs)
  • Dealu (Oroszhegy)
  • Ditrau (Ditró)
  • Feliceni (Felsoboldogfalva)
  • Frumoasa (Szépvíz)
  • Galautas (Galócás)
  • Joseni (Gyergyóalfalu)
  • Lazarea (Gyergyószárhegy)
  • Leliceni (Csíkszentlélek)
  • Lueta (Lövéte)
  • Lunca de Jos (Gyimesközéplok)
  • Lunca de Sus (Gyimesfelsolok)
  • Lupeni (Farkaslaka)
  • Madaras (Csíkmadaras)
  • Martinis (Homoródszentmárton)
  • Meresti (Homoródalmás)
  • Mihaileni (Csíkszentmihály)
  • Mugeni (Bögöz)
  • Ocland (Oklánd)
  • Pauleni-Ciuc (Csíkpálfalva)
  • Plaiesii de Jos (Kászonaltíz)
  • Porumbenii (Galambfalva)
  • Praid (Parajd)
  • Racu (Csíkrákos)
  • Remetea (Gyergyóremete)
  • Sacel (Székelyandrásfalva)
  • Sâncraieni (Csíkszentkirály)
  • Sândominic (Csíkszentdomokos)
  • Sânmartin (Csíkszentmárton)
  • Sânsimion (Csíkszentsimon)
  • Sântimbru (Csíkszentimre)
  • Sarmas (Salamás)
  • Satu Mare (Máréfalva)
  • Secuieni (Újszékely)
  • Siculeni (Madéfalva)
  • Simonesti (Siménfalva)
  • Subcetate (Gyergyóvárhegy)
  • Suseni (Gyergyóújfalu)
  • Tomesti (Csíkszenttamás)
  • Tulghes (Gyergyótölgyes)
  • Tusnad (Tusnád)
  • Ulies (Kányád)
  • Varsag (Székelyvarság)
  • Voslabeni (Vasláb)
  • Zetea (Zetelaka)