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city, capital of Maramures judet (county), northwestern Romania. It is situated in the Sasar River valley, surrounded by mountains. This location affords the city protection from the cold northeastern winds and sustains a quasi-Mediterranean vegetation. Founded in the 12th century by Saxon immigrants, it was first known as Neustadt. The first document mentioning the name Baia Mare dates from 1329. Until 1948 it was the see of a bishop of an Eastern-rite church in communion with Rome. It was a mining centre of fluctuating fortunes until after World War II, when chemical and metallurgical works, lead works, and other nonferrous heavy industries were developed there. Baia Mare contains a 14th-century Gothic-style clock tower, which dominates the medieval quarter. Pop. (1992 prelim.) 148,815.