Bihar (county)

Bihar (county)

Infobox Former Subdivision
native_name =
conventional_long_name = Bihar County
common_name = Bihar
subdivision = County
nation = the Kingdom of Hungary
p1 =
s1 = Bihor County
s2 = Hajdú-Bihar
year_start = 11th century
event_end = Treaty of Trianon
year_end = 1920
date_end = June 4

capital = Nagyvárad
stat_area1 = 10657
stat_pop1 = 646300
stat_year1 = 1910
today = Romania, Hungary
footnotes = Oradea is the current name of the capital.
:"For current affairs, see Bihor County and Hajdú-Bihar County"Bihar is the name of a historic administrative county (comitatus) of the Kingdom of Hungary. Its territory is presently mostly in north-western Romania, where it is administered as Bihor County, and a smaller part in eastern Hungary. The capital of the county was Nagyvárad; the city now lies in Romania under the Romanian name of "Oradea".


Bihar county shared borders with the Hungarian counties Békés, Hajdú, Szabolcs, Szatmár, Szilágy, Kolozs, Torda-Aranyos and Arad. Three tributaries of the river Criş/Körös flow through the county (Crişul Repede, Crişul Negru and Berettyó). The western half of the county is in the Pannonian plain, while the eastern half is part of the Apuseni mountains. Its area was 10,657 km² around 1910.


Bihar was one of the oldest counties of the Kingdom of Hungary, formed before the twelfth century.

In 1876 the Kingdom of Hungary was divided into seven Circles, with a total of 64 counties [H. Wickham Steed, Walter Alison Phillips, and David Hannay , "A Short History of Austria-Hungary and Poland", (London: Encyclopaedia Britannica Company) 1914. [ On-line] .] The Circle on the left bank of the Theiss contained eight counties, including Bihar Megye ("Megye" means county), with the other seven being Békés, Hajdú, Máramaros, Szabolcs, Szatmár, Szilágy and Ugocsa. Bihar county in the Austro-Hungarian Empire contained Debrecen and Nagyvárad.

In 1918/19 (confirmed by the Treaty of Trianon 1920), about 75% of the county became part of Romania. The west of the county remained in Hungary. The capital of this smaller county Bihar was Berettyóújfalu. After World War II, the Hungarian county Bihar was merged with Hajdú county to form Hajdú-Bihar county. The southernmost part of Hungarian Bihar (the area around Sarkad and Okány) went to Békés county.

The Romanian part of former Bihar county now forms the Romanian county Bihor, except the southernmost part (around Beliu), which is in Arad county. This part was occupied by Hungary between 1940-1944 during World War II.


In the early 20th century, the districts ("járás") and their capitals were:

The towns of Derecske, Berettyóújfalu, Biharnagybajom and Biharkeresztes are presently in Hungary, while the other towns mentioned are in Romania.


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