It is situated on the right bank of the Maros, on the outskirts of the Transylvanian Erzgebirge or Ore Mountains, and consists of the upper town, or citadel, and the lower town.
In the 16th century, when Transylvania separated from Hungary, the town became the residence of the Transylvanian princes.
Bethlen no sooner felt firmly seated on his throne than he seized the opportunity presented to him by the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War to take up arms in defence of the liberties and the constitution of the extra-Transylvanian Hungarian provinces, with the view of more effectually assuring his own position.
To his translation (1530) of a Latin Chronicle and Description of Turkey, by a Transylvanian captive, which had been prefaced by Luther, he added an appendix holding up the Turks as in many respects an example to Christians, and presenting in lieu of the restrictions of Lutheran, Zwinglian and Anabaptist sects, the vision of an invisible spiritual church, universal in its scope.
The greatest elevations are in the Tatra mountains of the north of Hungary proper, in the east and south of Transylvania (the Transylvanian Alps) and in the eastern portion of the Banat.