Carei Municipality is located in the North-West of Romania, at 99 km from Oradea Municipality. It is located in the South West of Satu Mare County, in a field area, at 35 km from the county capital. Its advantageous geographic position allowed production development but also commerce development even from old times. Gradually, small craftsmen appeared, who laid the basis of service providing, and later of the industrial production. Agricultural production is based on cereal, beetroot, and especially vineyard and sun flower crops. Carei represents a specific tradition in vineyard crops, the wine growers being united under the Order of „Saint Orban Knights”, which, this year, have organized the 15th edition of the noble wines contest in Carei. The wines produced in the Carei area have registered in the last year a significant increase as for quality. This was the conclusion of the specialists present at the event – noble wines contest from March 2013 have reached, according to the local press, after analysing the 126 samples registered in the contest. In the area there is also a series of touristic objectives which can be visited, as the Karolyi Castle in Carei. Its history dates back to year 1482. The fortress has played an importantrole during the 17th century, beingpart of the big fortresses to protect the western border of Transilvania.
The importance of the fortress is mentioned especially after its reconstruction between 1661-1666. Its importance continues during the wars led by prince Rakoczi Francisc the 2nd against the Habsburg family (1703-1711). The fortress is besieged by the prince´s army but after a few days Karoly Sandor takes his side and he is appointed the leader of the army. In 1705, the fortress is attacked by Austrians and partially destroyed, being rebuilt the same year. As at the end of the 18th century the fortress stopped playing a military role, Karoly Jozsef decided to demolish the walls and cover the ditches. Keeping the foundation and some of the walls, later, a rectangular castle was built, with only one floor. The construction was finished in 1794, in Barroque style, and enclosed 20 rooms on the ground floor, 21 on the first floor and a chapel. Also during this period the rare plants park is set up and a horse stable for 24 horses is built. After the earthquake in 1834, the castle in great part was demolished, its restoration being done between 1894-1896. This time, the castle is modified even more, adding another level to the façade, three small towers and four big ones. The restoration was done in Neo-Gothic style and was conducted by the architect Meining Arthur helped by well skilled craftsmen from Carei. The defence elements from the present form of the building have only a decorating purpose (the stronghold, water ditch). The interior architecture of the building, the doors, windows, the interior staircase handrail, as well as the wrought iron objects were made by the local craftsmen. The hall was meant for receiving guests, the ground floor rooms were used as living rooms and kitchen, while the rooms from the first and second floor were bedrooms. Nowadays, there is a historic and natural science museum in the castle, and also a library with over 80.000 volumes. Around the castle in 1700, there was a nice garden, Barroque style. In 1790, the gardener Bode Gyorgy makes around the castle a new English garden. The garden had also a greenhouse with exotic plants. In its present form, it has an extension of 12 ha. Taking into consideration the rare plants of the garden(208 species and subspecies of bush plants), in 1982 it was declared protected dendrologic park, (the huge buttonwood in front of the castle, with a diameter of 205 cm was planted in 1810). Other touristic attractions: Local Theatre built in 1907, Students ‘Club – normal school of the town built in 1779, Heroes´ monument – work of the sculptor Vida Gheza and of architect Anton Dâmboianu. Inaugurated in 1964, the monument is made in white stone and has impressive dimensions: front opening of 18 m, depth of 5 m and height of 12 m. This commemorative landmark is made of five elements with symbolic meanings: a farmer´s head, which inspires dignity and stability, (symbol of the farmers ‘revolts), a door with carvings similar to those which appear on the doors in Maramures, („poarta jertfelor”), a woman planting a flower (symbol of renewal), the face of a soldier which impresses by massiveness and rough traits and an obelisk similar to the church towers in Maramures (symbol of the eternal flame).
On the route Carei – Pir, near Pir commune, there is Tasnad town, with a series of touristic attractions which can be visited: The Orthodox Cathedral, Roman – Catholic Church and the Town Museum located in a building dating back to the 18th century, historic monument. Tasnad, due to its richness, (hydro-mineral ores, with water temperatures of 72° C) is also a therapeutic resort of local and territorial interest, having a thermic pool, treatment micro-base and other similar facilities.
Pir Commune is located in the South – West of Satu Mare County, on the left bank of Ier river, at 32 km from Carei, 24 km on the left of Tăşnad. The Occidental Carpathian Hills and Tisa Field meet near the village. The commune neighbours Bihor County. The income sources of the local people are coming mainly from agriculture. Besides cereal crops, a big importance is given to cultivating fruits and vineyard. The wine produced in Pir dates back to the 17th century, the commune being one of the most famous wine producers from the Carpathian Basin. In the 19th century, the phylloxera destroyed the vineyards in the region, after which the American type of vines were brought. Nowadays, the vineyard cultivation and wine production are coming back, the wines produced here being rewarded at regional contests on vineyard owners. Small factories function in the commune for the transformation of grapes, factories which ensure the next step in the formal, industrial production and selling. The accommodation in the commune is ensured in the locals´ houses, but the closeness to Tăşnad offers possibilities of exploring wine-growing tourism. Other touristic attractions in the area: Reformed Church in Pir, Pir Orthodox Church, Sărvăzel Orthodox Church, Ibranyi Mansion (Eördögh)1584, two fishing ponds. Among the local events we can mention the noble wine contest. The rustic caves of Pir are a major touristic attraction. In the last seven years, among the producers and consumers of wines, the regional wine contests organized in Pir, Halmeu, Carei and other places in the county have become very popular, being organized by the Order „Saint Orban” Wine Knights from Carei.