Due to its positioning in the Transylvanian Alps, Uricani is dominated by the mountain peaks of Retezat and Valcan and lies in the South-western part of the Petrosani Depression – of the Western Jiu River, at an altitude of 650-725 meters, in Hunedoara County. The city occupies an important place in the landscape of Jiu Valley, because it is the city with the largest administrative area in Romania. Located 29 km from Petrosani and 125 km from Deva, the access is made via the national road 66A (to which works are carried out for the connection with the Herculane resort).
Administrative area: 25.141 ha
- moderate continental;
- multiannual average temperatures of the mountain climate type, without great frosts in winter and hot summer heats;
- the average annual temperature varies around 7° C;
- the lowest average temperatures are recorded in January (-15° C) and the highest in July (20° C);
- abundant precipitations, with an annual average between 900 mm – 1000 mm;
Vegetation and fauna:
- the protected flora of the area of Uricani is represented by 1050 plant species, the woody species being included in the protected areas or declared natural monuments (fir, spruce, pine, larch, mountain maple, ash tree, hornbeam, beech, birch);
- the protected fauna is represented by 19 species (bear, wolf, fox, wild boar, chamois, wild cat, deer, roebuck, squirrel, hare, marten, otter, badger, weasel, ermine, collared cat); the pride of Retezat is the chamois population;
- other animals/birds that are rare and protected by law are the Lynx, the Eagle Mountain (the most powerful bird of prey in the country), the capercaillie;
Population: (census 2011) 8.749 inhabitants
- Campu lui Neag
- Valea de Brazi
Distribution of nationalities:
- 95.03 % Romanians
- 4.25 % Hungarians
- br/>0.72 % other nationalities
- 93 % Orthodox
- 5 % Roman Catholic
- 2 % Pentecostal worship
In the 13th-century, the territory in which lies the town of Uricani was part of the Voivodeship of Litovoi (Lytua Country) which comprised the area of Gorj, Jiu Valley and Hateg. A document dated 18 April 1461 mention, by a decree of the voivode of Ardeal, that Murzina (Marginea – the Edge), Prince of Densus, sells its properties, including Sylotena (Valea Vacii – Valley of the Cow), an area of 10 km located 90 % on the surface of the city of Uricani, in Mailat meadow. Another document dating back to 1493, delivered by the Court of King Vladislav II of Hungary shows that the boyar Mihail Cânde owns several properties in this area, including Campu lui Neag (Nzakmezeu). In 1788, the city of Uricani is sacked by the Adlai Turks (from Ada Kale) who take as slaves 16 people, cut off the head of the parish priest at that time and burn the Church. The first official mention of the town, under the name of Hobiceni - Uricani, is made in a document dated 1818, the name coming from the inhabitants of two villages, Hobita and Uric, lieing to the North, beyond the mountains, in the area of the locality of Pui.
In the autumn of 1916, during World War I, the city is lost and recaptured three times by the Romanian army, in honor of the heroes standing even today the monument on Tulisa Peak. After the unification of Transylvania with Romania in 1918, the city's name is changed to Uricani, and its membership includes the neighboring villages Campu lui Neag and Valea de Brazi. With the end of World War II and the installation of the Communist regime, the process of higher coal mining is amplified. In 1965 the town is elevated to the rank of city, with a population of over 4,000 inhabitants. Between 1968 and 1970, on the place of the old church, the new Orthodox church of the city is built, with the dedication day of "The Ascension" – a Church that has books of historical value, such as "The Gospel" printed in Blaj in 1817. The graveyard surrounding the abode houses the Monument of the Mining Heroes.
Regarding "Campu lui Neag",it is highly possible that the first inhabitants came from northern Oltenia,the old stories were talking about a partisan,Neagu.He,because of the Turkish invasion from the beginning of the XVI-th century,settled firstly at "Dosul Pribeagului" and then in the Jiu meadows.
Neagu is told to have marked the centre of the future village by placing a 2 meter monolith on the ground. The rock had two white quartz strands in the middle,forming a cross.In 1850 the village preist found this huge rock fallen on the bank of the Jiu River,and,helped by a two oxen-drawn cart,took the massive rock to his courtyard. His courtyard,from 1890 to1936 was also the village school. Today, the rock stands at the entrance to Campu lui Neag.
The village was independent until 1965, when it became a part of Uricani.Between 1984 and 1987 the village was completely demolished,the inhabitants were forcibly moved in the new apartment blocks built in Uricani,to make more room for a surface exploitation of the reserves of coal.As the reserves were consumed, the quarry was abandoned. Where the quarry was now stands a beautiful lake, which is a recreation site for tourists, the ones who visit it use to call it "Marea Saracilor",or the seaside of the Jiu Valley.