|Coordinates: 46°10′31″N23°54′52″E / 46.17528°N 23.91444°E Coordinates: 46°10′31″N23°54′52″E / 46.17528°N 23.91444°E|
|• Mayor (2020–2024)||Gheorghe-Valentin Rotar  (PNL)|
|Area||98.93 km2 (38.20 sq mi)|
|Elevation||260 m (850 ft)|
|• Density||210/km2 (540/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET/EEST (UTC+2/+3)|
|Area code||(+40) 02 58|
Blaj (Romanian pronunciation: [blaʒ] ; archaically spelled as Blaș; Hungarian : Balázsfalva; German : Blasendorf; Transylvanian Saxon: Blußendref) is a city in Alba County, Transylvania, Romania. It has a population of 20,630 inhabitants.
The landmark of the city is the fact that it was the principal religious and cultural center of the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church in Transylvania.
Blaj is first mentioned in 1271 as Villa Herbordi, after the deed of a Count Herbod.   In 1313, the domain passed to Herbod's son Blasius Cserei and the town was mentioned as Blasii. Started as a hamlet for the twenty families of servants of the noble's court, it was awarded town status on May 19, 1737.
Blaj is the principal religious and cultural center of Greek Catholics in Transylvania. At 27 October 1687 begins the history of the Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic, history directly connected to the history of the town Blaj. It all started at the end of the treaty through which Transylvania was entering under the protection of Austria, renouncing the protection of the Turkish Empire.[ citation needed ]
The first public school in Romanian was established in Blaj in 1754. Blaj was the first place to have Romanian written with Latin alphabet instead of Cyrillic in which it had traditionally been written. Blaj was also a center for the Romanian Age of Enlightenment, being the founding site of the Transylvanian School that promoted the Roman cultural heritage of the Romanians. Thus Blaj gained the nickname "The Little Rome",  as Romania's national poet Mihai Eminescu called it.
In 1848, Câmpia Libertății in Blaj was where over 40,000 Romanians met to protest Transylvania becoming a part of Hungary, holding that the lands would be stolen from them. 
Blaj lies at the confluence of the Târnava Mare and Târnava Mică rivers, where they form the Târnava River. It is located 39 km (24 mi) northeast of the county seat, Alba Iulia, in a renowned wine-growing region.
Blaj has a humid continental climate (Cfb in the Köppen climate classification). The city has a continental temperate climate, characteristic for the Transylvanian Plateau, with moderate precipitations of around 550 mm/m2.
|Climate data for Blaj|
|Average high °C (°F)||2.3|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−1.6|
|Average low °C (°F)||−5|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||29|
|Source: Census data|
The city administers eight villages: Deleni-Obârșie (Obursatanya), Flitești, Izvoarele (until 1960 Ciufud; Csufud), Mănărade (Monora), Petrisat (Magyarpéterfalva), Spătac (Szászpatak), Tiur (Tűr) and Veza (Véza).
The city has several high schools, including the Inochentie Micu Clain National College, the Ștefan Manciulea Technological High School , and the Sfântul Vasile cel Mare Greek-Catholic Theological High School.
The castle of the Bethlen dynasty is a popular tourist site near Blaj. Other sights worth visiting include the Metropolitan Palace, the Holy Trinity Cathedral, the "Buna Vestire" Monastery, the Greeks' Church, the "Liberty Field", and Avram Iancu's oak.
Blaj is twinned with:
Mediaș is the second largest city in Sibiu County, Transylvania, Romania.
The Romanian Greek Catholic Church or Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic, sometimes called, in reference to its Byzantine Rite, the Romanian Byzantine Catholic Church is a sui iuris Eastern Catholic Church, in full union with the Catholic Church. It has the rank of a Major Archiepiscopal Church and it uses the Byzantine liturgical rite in the Romanian language. It is part of the Major Archiepiscopal Churches of the Catholic Church that are not distinguished with a patriarchal title.
Făgăraș is a city in central Romania, located in Brașov County. It lies on the Olt River and has a population of 28,330 as of 2011. It is situated in the historical region of Transylvania, and is the main city of a subregion, Țara Făgărașului.
Târnăveni is a city in Mureș County, central Romania. It lies on the Târnava Mică River in central Transylvania. The city administers three villages: Bobohalma (Bábahalma), Botorca (Őrhegy) and Cuștelnic (Csüdőtelke); the last was part of Gănești Commune until 2002.
Avram Iancu was a Transylvanian Romanian lawyer who played an important role in the local chapter of the Austrian Empire Revolutions of 1848–1849. He was especially active in the Țara Moților region and the Apuseni Mountains. The rallying of peasants around him, as well as the allegiance he paid to the Habsburg got him the moniker Crăișorul Munților.
Câmpia Libertății is located in the city of Blaj, in Transylvania, Romania. It was the place where two national assemblies were held during the 1848 Revolution, the first one in May, and the second one in September.
Iuliu Hossu was a Romanian Greek-Catholic prelate who served as the Bishop of Cluj-Gherla. Pope Paul VI elevated Hossu to the rank of cardinal in pectore, that is, secretly, in 1969 but did not publish his appointment until after Hossu's death. The Communist authorities arrested Bishop Hossu on 28 October 1948. From 1950 to 1955 he was detained as political prisoner at the Sighet Prison. He spent the rest of his life under house arrest and died in 1970.
George Bariț, was an ethnic Romanian Austro-Hungarian historian, philologist, playwright, politician, businessman and journalist, the founder of the Romanian language press in Transylvania.
Gheorghe Șincai was an ethnic Romanian Transylvanian historian, philologist, translator, poet, and representative of the Enlightenment-influenced Transylvanian School.
Valea Lungă is a commune located in Alba County, Transylvania, Romania. Is composed of six villages: Făget (Oláhbükkös), Glogoveț (Kisgalgóc), Lodroman (Lodormány), Lunca (Küküllőlonka), Tăuni (Hosszúpatak) and Valea Lungă.
Șona is a commune located in Alba County, Transylvania, Romania. It is composed of seven villages: Alecuș (Elekes), Biia (Magyarbénye), Doptău (Dobtanya), Lunca Târnavei, Sânmiclăuș (Betlenszentmiklós), Șona, and Valea Sasului (Szászvölgy).
Alba County is a county (județ) of Romania located in the historic region of Transylvania. Its capital is Alba Iulia, a city with a population of 63,536.
Ioan Suciu was a Romanian bishop of the Greek-Catholic Church, born into a clerical family in Blaj.
Ioan Vancea was an Austro-Hungarian ethnic Romanian bishop of the Greek-Catholic Church. Born to noble parents in Văşad, Bihor County, he was ordained a priest in 1845 following studies in Oradea and Vienna. After the death of Ioan Alexi, he was consecrated Bishop of Gherla in 1865. Three years later, following the death of Alexandru Sterca-Șuluțiu, he was elected Archbishop of Făgăraş and Alba Iulia, enthroned at Blaj in 1869. He advocated the rights of Romanians in Transylvania and contested the authorities' policy of Magyarization. Vancea died in office in 1892.
Ioan Axente Sever was a Romanian revolutionary in Austria-Hungary who participated in the Transylvanian Revolution of 1848.
Zenovie Pâclișanu was an Austro-Hungarian-born Romanian historian, diplomat and cleric. A native of Transylvania, he completed a doctorate at Vienna, and during the 1910s was active in the cultural and religious life of Blaj. Following the creation of Greater Romania, which he enthusiastically supported, he became a civil servant, twice taking part in treaty negotiations. After World War II, the new communist regime suppressed his Greek-Catholic Church and threw Pâclișanu in prison, where he died. His work, banned under communism but partly re-edited in the years since, focuses on the history of Transylvania between the 17th and 19th centuries, particularly in the religious sphere.
The Church of the Holy Archangels, also known as the Greeks' Church, is a Romanian Orthodox church located at 3 Mitropolit Ioan Vancea Street in the Transylvanian city of Blaj. Until 1948 the church was Romanian Greek-Catholic.
Ioan Bianu was an Imperial Austrian-born Romanian philologist and bibliographer. The son of a peasant family from Transylvania, he completed high school in Blaj, where he became a disciple of Timotei Cipariu and Ioan Micu Moldovan. As a youth, he espoused Romanian nationalism, and came into conflict with the Austro-Hungarian authorities, before finally emigrating to the Romanian Old Kingdom in 1876. There, he attended the University of Bucharest, later joining the faculty, where he taught Romanian literary history. He was affiliated with the Romanian Academy Library for over half a century, transforming the institution from the meager state in which he found it, and overseeing a five-fold increase of its collection. He helped author two important multi-volume works detailing early books and manuscripts from his country, and was a founder of library and information science in his adoptive country. Near the end of his life, struggling with deafness, Bianu withdrew from the Library in favor of his friend Radu R. Rosetti, but went on to serve as president of the Romanian Academy.
Iuliu Coroianu was an Imperial Austrian-born Romanian lawyer and activist.
Augustin Bunea was an Austro-Hungarian ethnic Romanian historian and priest within the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church.