Mures, an Affluent of the Past

General Characteristics

raul_muresMures is the biggest affluent of Tisa, and a main affluent of the Danube. The river, which crosses the city with the same name, springs from the Hasmasu Mare massif, drains Gheorgheni Rau Depression, and it is the left affluent of Tisa: 756 km (of which 718,5 km on Romanian territory). It also crosses the volcanic chain (through Toplita-Deda Defile), and then the Transylvanian Plateau (from north-east to south-west), and last, but not the least, it separates the Poiana Rusca Mountains from the Apuseni Mountains through the Deva-Rodna defile.

Mures is a river that flows between Romania and Hungary, marking on a portion of 22.3 km the Romanian-Hungarian border. It is considered one of the most significant rivers of the Carpathian basin, for the length of the main course is of 780 km of which 28.130 km2, respectively 761 km, are included on the Romanian territory. The main affluents of Mures are Târnava, Arieş, Sebeş, Cugir and Cerna.

Râul Mureș văzut de pe culmea Cioaca Tăutului din județul Arad (foto Mircea Rareș Ţetcu, Wikipedia)
The Mures river, seen from Cioaca Tăutului hill, in Alba county (photo by Mircea Rareș Ţetcu, Wikipedia)

The surface of the hydrographic basin is of 29.767 km2, which makes this basin present numerous landforms, such as: mountains in proportion of 23%, hills and plateaus 25%, and plains in a higher proportion of 52%, with altitudes varying between 2500m in the Retezat Mountains, and under 100 m in the Western Plain.

The River has a large variety of fish species (carp, salmon, caraş, luce, barbell, broad snout, chub, etc) which makes possible practicing sport fishing.


The historians clam that ever since the Antiquity, Mures River has been representing a navigable way intensely used for commercial purpose, as well as for strategic purpose, becoming in time a true highway for the North of the Danube aria. The first information mentioned about Mures, were made by Herodot in 484 before Christ, naming it Maris River.

Between the years 101-102 and 104-105, which was the period of the Dacian-Roman wars, the control on Mures River was a military strategy wanted by the Roman army in order to have an advantage before the Dacians. Thus, at the beginning of the second Dacian-Roman war, it is said that Traian together with the chivalry formed of the Inferior Pannonian troops would have passed towards Sarmisegetuza, on Mures Valley. After Dacia has been kneeled, the raw materials that have been transported form the Dacian lands to Rome were exported by water. Mures has become the most important civil river port of the Roman Dacia.

mures si oltLegend has it that once upon a time lived an emperor and an empress who had two sons. The lads were physically alike, but their soul was completely different. One was testy, Olt, and the other one, Mures, had a calm and obedient temper. A war started, and their father, the emperor, left to war with his army, but he never came back. Growing older, the two boys took off to seek for their father hoping to find out the way in which he found his end. Before purchasing, the two went to their mother to receive her blessing. She was pained in her heart that the two offspring were going to soar worldwide, but, impressed by their initiative, she gave them her blessing, asking them to always stick together, and never deviate from their path.

The two lads promised their mother that they will stick together, but before even properly leaving home they argued, and Old went south, while Mures went north. Their mother, learning about their dispute, took off to reconcile them, but she never found them again. With the passing of time, Mures began to miss his brother and turned south to find him. But his search was in vain, for the impetuous Old was not to be found. Their mother’s hopeless tears eventually turned them into rivers. Like his character, Olt became the river which spumes running through the rocks, while Mures peacefully follows his course.

Mihaela Ştefania Puţeanu

Back to Top
© 2017 Agata Asofroniei