The city is now composed of former villages which now form the main sectors: Baciu (Bacsfalu, Batschendorf), Turcheş (Türkös, Türkeschdorf), Cernatu (Csernátfalu, Zerndorf) and Satulung (Hosszufalu, Langendorf).
After the second half of the 11th century the villages are mentioned as "septem villae valacheles" (seven Vlach villages).
The first official mention is an act issued on May 16, 1366, by the Hungarian King Ludovic I de Anjou in which he offers the area between the Timiş and Tarlung rivers to a trusted friend - Count Stanislav.
The name "Săcele" is first mentioned in a letter between the Wallachian Prince Vlad Călugărul (1482-1495) and the magistrate of Braşov. The etymology of "Săcele" is from "sătucele" meaning "small villages". An unofficial name was also "şapte sate" which means "seven villages" and which is closer to the Hungarian and German names.
The oldest local inhabitants were the "mocani" - local shepherds. They are mentioned in numerous official documents and appear to have had a flourishing material existence and rich cultural and spiritual life. They owned thousands of sheep, the villages being among the wealthiest in the area. They carried the local traditions across many Romanian lands due to the transhumance method of shepherding.
Their customs exist to these days: the "Sintilie" (Saint Elijah) festival, national costumes, architecture, etc.
Between the 13th and 14th centuries, an important Hungarian population has established in the region and marked the further development of the area.
After the fall of Communism in Romania in 1990, the city has diversified its economy. In Săcele there are nowadays several small furniture factories, lumber-mills, as well as meat-packaging facilities.
The city has 17 churches of the following denominations: Orthodox, Lutheran, Roman Catholic.