Historically, the town has its origins in the 15th century under the name of Rechyoka and Rechycha. Archaeological research found traces of habitation going back to the Neolithic, Dacian and Roman eras. It was mentioned in 1673 under the name of Reszinitza, whose citizens paid taxes to Timişoara, and by the years 1690 – 1700, it was mentioned as being part of the District of Bocşa together with other towns in the Bârzava Valley. The town was referenced to in the conscription acts of 1717 under the name of Retziza. On 3 July 1771, it became an important metal-manufacturing center in the region. The foundation of the industrial Reşiţa were laid with the establishment of factories near the villages of Reşiţa Română (Reschiza Kamerală or Olah Resitza) and Reşiţa Montană (Eisenwerk Reschitza, Nemet Reschitza or Resiczbanya). Reşiţa Montană was at first inhabited by Romanians, and later, in 1776, 70 German families settled there. Between the years 1910 – 1925, Reşiţa had the status of a rural area, and in 1925, it was declared a town thanks to its development to a powerful industrial location in modern Romania. In 1968, it became a municipality.
After 1989 Reşiţa lost most of its importance and its economy faced a drawback, along with the Romanian economy. The population also suffered a decrease, dropping from 110,000 in 1989 to 86,000 in 2006. After the fall of communism, the Reşiţa Steelworks (Combinatul Siderurgic Reşiţa, CSR) were bought by an American investor who brought the factory just one step away from bankruptcy. Today the steelworks are run by a Russian company, who has projects of modernization for the CSR. Still, it is believed that CSR would never reach again the status it had in the communist era.
An important iron and steel center, Reşiţa is the site of blast furnaces, iron foundries, and plants producing electrical appliances, chemicals and machinery.
A locomotive museum featuring Romania's first locomotives is located in Reşiţa, in the Triaj neighborhood.
There are also important cultural points in Reşiţa that have been renewed in 2006, including the Scoala de Beton, Centrul Civic (Downtown) and Sala Polivalenta.
The Centrul Civic has been mostly renovated in 2006, but it is not yet finished, even though most of it is free of restrions. Another important point to view in Reşiţa is its famous fountain located in the Centrul Civic witch has been built in the communist era and it is one of Europe's most beautiful fountains, which can even change the water's shape in the air. Unfortunately it is not always on because it consumes a large amount of electricity. The city is considered by inhabitants as being divided into two big areas, Reşiţa de sus or oraşul vechi (old city), respectively Govândari area built after 1965. The old town is made up of 10 neighbourhoods : "Muncitoresc", "Valea Domanului", "Lunca Pomostului", "Moroasa I and II", "Driglovăţul Nou" , "Driglovăţul Vechi", "Stavila", Minda", "Başovăţ" şi "Lend"; while the newest part of the city, Govândari is divided into 4 "Microraioane". Complementary to this there are the surrounding small towns, considered neighbourhoods: Câlnic, Ţerova, Secu and Cuptoare and Moniom .
Also, the city is a hub for leisure locations all around. Locations near Reşiţa include the ski resort at Semenic, Lake Gozna, Lake Secu, the Trei Ape Lake, Gărâna, Brebu, and Văliug.
Reşiţa has long been considered as the second largest industrial center of Romania. It has a population of about 86,000 inhabitants (2006). It is an important center in manufacturing steel and vehicle manufacturing. C.S.R. (Combinatul Siderurgic Reşiţa) and U.C.M.R. (Uzina Constructoare de Maşini Reşiţa) are the factories which sustained the city's life for more than 300 years. The first factories were built in 1771, during the reign of Maria Theresa. During the XIXth century, the steel works were known as StEG. After the end of World War I, when Banat became part of Romania, they changed their name again, this time to Uzinele şi Domeniile Reşiţa or UDR (Reşiţa Works and Domains). Only later, under the Communist regime, did the UDR split to CSR and UCMR.
The economy of Reşiţa has faced a drawback since 1989, but began recovering as investment is on the rise.
- Industry: Automobile industry, Iron industry, texture industry, civilian constructions;
- Agriculture: 1% of the labour force of the city works in agriculture;
- Services : public alimentation, internal and international transport;
- Tourism : 2 tourism societies (Tourist Semenic SA and BIRTA SA);