Bacau is a judet (county) in the region of Moldavia, Romania. Its administrative center is the city of Bacau, which has a population of about 177,000. Until recently the city was an unattractive industrial center. However, the gritty community and the smoke-fouled air have been cleaned up, so that now people come to the budget hotels in Bacau because of its historical significance.
King Stefan III of Moldavia, known in Romania as Stefan cel Mare (Stefan the Great) was born in the Bacau community of Borzesti ca. 1436. He became famous for the many battles he fought against the Ottoman Empire and to keep Poland and Hungary from expanding into what is now Romania. At Bacau you can see ruins of his court that date back to 1481. In 1409 Stefan’s son, Prince Alexandru, built the fortification called Biscerica Precista that is now the city of Bacau’s principal tourist attraction. There is also a fine Ethnographic and Art Museum here. The Runc Monastery in the community of Buhusi was founded by Stefan in 1457. Another monastery, dating to 1664, can be seen at Targu Ocna. Your discount hotel in Bacau also puts you within easy reach of the World War I battlefields of Casin, Oituz, and Ciresoiaia, where Romanian soldiers distinguished themselves. For excellent handmade carpets and pottery, go to the villages of Brusturoasa, Casin, Oituz, and Salatruc. For relaxation, the health spa at Slanic Moldova has 20 different mineral springs.