The Jiu Valley, Romania’s former largest coal mining area, is nowadays defined by wonderful landscapes, an exceptional river basin, and a very ancient history and culture. With a population of around 135.000 inhabitants, composed by 6 towns and several villages, Jiu Valley lies in Central-West Romania, close to the Western border. It is fully surrounded by mountains and offers its inhabitants and visitors clean fresh air, a variety of local traditions, and a wide diversity of amenities.
In the second half of the XXth century, the Valley was established as one of the four most important engines of the Romanian industry, based on coal extraction, along with Ploieşti (oil extraction), Braşov (industrial and military equipments) and Constanţa (exports by sea). This is the reason behind the massive migration of workers from all around Romania, including the first years after the Revolution. In 1997, Jiu Valley counted 171.650 inhabitants. Most of them worked in the mining (around 60.000) or related sectors (30.000) of the industry.
Now, the Jiu Valley is seen as a region in transition, a process that will decide its future. There are two possibilities: we either send our workforce and creative brains to the magnet cities, or transform into a resilient destination in the Romanian economic landscape. We see the second option as the only questionable one, looking at our strong points and the general socio-economic trends.
Each city in the Valley has its own reasons to be considered unique, regarding their relation to the surrounding landscape and the position in the general accesibility network.