Carei is a city in Satu Mare County, northwestern Romania, near the border with Hungary.
The city was named after an old noble family, the Károlyi. The municipality contains two settlements: the city of Carei and the village of Ianculeşti The neighbouring communities are Hungarian-speaking villages of German origin, such as Căpleni, Urziceni, Foieni, Sanislău, Petreşti, Tiream, Căuaş and Moftin.
The first historical document mentioning the name of the city dates form March 20, 1320. The settlement was called at the time "villa Karul".
According to written sources, king Nagy Lajos permitted the organization of weekly market gatherings in Carei in 1346. The development of the trade in the region stimulated the wealth and expansion of the city. Wars, plague and famine during the Middle Ages decimated the population and the Karoly family took steps in bringing schwabs on their lands.
The first group of colonists came in 1712, opening a century-long period of gradual colonization with Schwabs, Slovaks, and Jews. Effects on cultural and social life began to show: in 1725 the Piarist Gymnasium was established, in 1754 the first typography was built, and in 1756 a drugstore was opened. The light industry began to bloom in the city starting with the XIX century, when the first public institutionswere also created. Carei was declared a city in 1871.
Carei was taken from Hungarian and German troops by the joint counteroffensive of Romanian and Soviet forces on October 25, 1944. This date has since become the Romanian Army Day. After the war ended Carei was returned to Romania by the Treaty of Paris of 1947.
Carei was located in the Baia Mare Region between 1952 and 1960, in the Maramureş region between 1960 and 1968, and since 1968, it has been part of the Satu Mare County.
The most important historical building in the city is the Károlyi castle. Built originally as a fortress around the fourteenth century, it was converted to a castle in 1794, undergoing further transformations during the nineteenth century. The manor is surrounded by a dendrological park covering a surface of about 30 acres and containing a great variety of species of trees and plants.