Pintea Viteazul Pintea the Brave, Grigore Pintea, or Pintea Haiduc ( he goes by different names, guess he was under cover for a lot of his life, so what do you expect?)
The story of Pintea the Brave is very similar to Robin Hood. The only difference is there is a lot of facts about Pintea proving he was a real local hero, where as Robin Hood, as far as I am aware, is poultry legend. Pintea was born in 1670 as the son of a noble Romanian who lived in Magoaja near Cluj Napoca. Pintea becomes in conflict with his fellow nobility of the area over social conditions with the local population and they ways local people where treated. Pintea decides to fight against these social injustices and so seeks the protection of the woods in Maramures as the Dacians did hundred of years before when the Romans arrived. Over the years, Pintea terrorised the local nobles who want to catch him, but according to legend, he always manages to escape to fight another day.
Pintea was well educated and spoke several languages and understood many military techniques, learned whilst being in the imperial garrisons. He was also a good diplomat and good negotiator . Pintea was regarded by historians as “one of the major Romanian seventeenth century”.
In spring 1703, several cities in northern Transylvania (Zalau, Satmar, Bistrita, Dej, Sighetu) fall into the hands of Pintea the Braves rebels. Pintea’s army had to just take the city of Baia Mare and control would be theirs – but on August 14 whilst the city was under siege Pintea was shot dead ending his quest against the Nobles of Transylvania.
The church Budeşti has his chain mail shirt and helmet inside the church and the Maramures County Museum in Baia Mare has some arms and harness that where used by Pintea and his rebels. There are stories of ‘Pintii spring’ , and ‘Pintii Peak’ on the Gutai Mountain behind Breb. It’s a great story and one told to every child in Maramures who have a great respect for him. The story talks of him jumping from a mountain top to another. Other legends say Pintea escaped using wings made of shingles that let him fly over the mountains. It is known Pintii and his merry med where rich and that the money came from the Nobility of the area and who then gave some of it to the poor. As told in this old song (translated from Romanian)
At Budesti, between the border,
It is a rare beech leaf
And the shadow of beech
Ortacii Pintea with him;
To forget how much Gutai
C-and there’s cellar
Pa mercy the poor,
Pa rob wealthy ”
His grave, is near the Barsana Monastery under a rock which it is believed that there sleeps for ever the last hero of Maramures. It’s a great story and as I get time I will piece together more of story and put it here. Better still, when you book your villa with us or come on one of our Transylvanian Tours, let Duncan know your interested in ‘Pintea the Brave’ and we’ll go off exploring when you arrive.