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CRAIOVA, or Krajova, the capital of the department of Doljiu, Rumania, situated near the left bank of the river Jiu, and on the main Walachian railway from Verciorova to Bucharest. Pop. (1900) 45,438. A branch railway to Calafat facilitates the export trade with Bulgaria. Craiova is the chief commercial town west of Bucharest; the surrounding uplands are very rich in grain, pasturage and vegetable products, and contain extensive forests. The town has rope and carriage factories, and close by is a large tannery, worked by convict labour, and supplying the army. The principal trade is in cattle, cereals, fish, linen, pottery, glue and leather. In the town, which is the headquarters of the First Army Corps, there are military and commercial academies, an appeal court and a chamber of commerce, besides many churches, Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant, with synagogues for the Jews.

Craiova, which occupied the site of the Roman Castra Nova, was formerly the capital of Little Walachia. Its ancient bans or military governors were, next to the princes, the chief dignitaries of Walachia, and the district is still styled the banat of Craiova. Among the holders of this office were Michael the Brave (1593-1601), and several members of the celebrated Bassarab family (q.v.). The bans had the right of coining money stamped with their own effigies, and hence arose the name of bani (centimes). The Rumanian franc, or leu ("lion"), so called from the image it bore, came likewise from Craiova. In 1397 Craiova was the scene of a victory won by Prince Mircea over Bayezid I. sultan of the Turks; and in October 1853, of an engagement between Turks and Russians.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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