Craiova with 298.928 inhabitants, is one of the top five major cities of Romania. Craiova is located in southwestern region of the country and hosts the administrative buildings of the Dolj County and of the Oltenia district.
Craiova is the chief commercial city west of Bucharest and the most important city of Oltenia. The city prospered as a regional trading centre despite an earthquake in 1790, a plague in 1795, and a Turkish assault in 1802 during which it was burned. Eight villages are administered by the city: Făcăi, Mofleni, Popoveni, Șimnicu de Jos, Cernele, Cernelele de Sus, Izvoru Rece and Rovine. The last four were a separate commune called Cernele until 1996, when they were merged into the city. There are two possible etymologies for Craiova: Old Slavonic kral ("king"), which has been borrowed in Romania as crai and Slavonic krajina ("border" or "edge"). Since no source prior to 1475 mentions the city, it is impossible to tell which of the two words is the real etymology. The name is probably of Bulgarian or Serbian origin, due to historical autochthonous minorities in the area. Craiova, which occupied the site of the Dacian and Roman city Pelendava, was formerly the capital of Oltenia.