Deva (German: Diemrich, Hungarian: Déva) is a city situated on the left bank of the middle course of the Mureş river. It is the capital of Hunedoara county in Romania and has around 80,000 inhabitants, including subordinated villages. In Ancient Times it was a Dacian fortress called Singidava.
The name Deva is considered to come from the ancient Dacian word dava, meaning "fortress" (e.g Pelendava, Piroboridava, Zargidava etc). Other theories trace the name to a Roman Legion, the Legio II Augusta, transferred to Deva from Castrum Deva, now Chester in Britain. On medieval maps, Deva appears as Deva or Dewan.
Documentary evidence of the city's existence first appeared in 1269. Under Voivod John Hunyadi, Deva became an important military and administrative centre. Partially destroyed by the Ottoman Turks in 1550, it was afterward rebuilt and the fortress extended. In 1621 Prince Gabriel Bethlen transformed and extended the Magna Curia Palace (also known as the Bethlen Castle) in Renaissance style.
Mining, foodstuffs, civil engineering, and power industries are important to Deva's economy.
A private University of Ecology and Tourism was established in the city in 1990, and the academic centres of Timişoara and Cluj-Napoca have opened branches in the city. Deva is also the home of Romania's national women gymnastics training centre, Cetate Deva.
Deva is dominated by Citadel Hill, a protected nature reserve because of its rare floral species and the presence of the horned adder. Perched on the top of the hill are the ruins of the Citadel built in the 13th century.