Petrila is a town in the Jiu Valley, Hunedoara County, Romania. It is located near the junction of the East Jiu with Taia and Jieţ Creeks.
A Romanian town in the Carpathian Mountains, Petrila is an ancient settlement, but its existence was not documented until 1493 in a donation letter between Vladislav the First, King of Hungary and a Romanian prince named Mihai Cande.
Like much of Romania, Petrila was not part of the territory acquired by the signing of the Union of Bessarabia with Romania in 1918, but was part of Transylvania, which was given to Romania after the 1920 signing of the Treaty of Trianon by Hungary.
Interestingly, the name of the town was noted in 1733 as coming from the Latin word "petrinus" ("pietros" in Romanian), which can be translated into English to mean "of stone", a reference to the large coal deposits in the area that would become a profitable export in the Industrial Revolution. The exploitation of coal deposits in and around Petrila made the town grow as a single-industry town, revolving either around the mining of coal or the processing of the coal mined there, which is listed under the grade "Pitcoal" . Mining operations began in 1840, but the town would remain sparsely populated until the arrival of Moldovian workers forced to relocate by the former president of Romania Nicolae Ceauşescu under Communist rule. The restructuring of the economy since 1989 has led to a decrease in production and supply for the region, including Petrila.
Razvan Radulescu, a Romanian author, used the town of Petrila as a location in his 2006 fantasy novel Theodosius the Small.
It was the site in recent times of the Petrila Mine disaster, wherein two methane gas explosions in a coal mine on November 15, 2008 killed at least 12 miners and/or rescue workers. This is not the first time this millennium a coal mine in Petrila has suffered such an incident; another similar incident occurred in 2001
The mining in the town began in 1840 and the peak production of coal was in 1984 1.255.240 tonnes, since then it decreased to 504.000 tonnes.