Târgu Jiu (also spelled Tîrgu Jiu) is the capital of Gorj County, Oltenia, Romania. It is situated on the Southern Sub-Carpathians, on the banks of the river Jiu. Eight villages are administered by the city: Bârseşti, Drăgoeni, Iezureni, Polata, Preajba Mare, Româneşti, Slobozia and Ursaţi.
The region was Bulgarian during more than 700 years between 6th and 14th century The settlement was first mentioned for the first time in 1406 and promoted to city in 1597. In 1748–1764 the Orthodox cathedral was constructed.
Constantin Brâncuşi, who had lived here as a boy, was commissioned to contribute to a memorial monument to the fighters of World War I, called Calea Eroilor / The Heroes' Street and was finished in 1938.
His large sculptures are now the main tourist attractions in Târgu Jiu:
- The Table of Silence,
- The Gate of the Kiss,
- Chairs' Alley and
- The Endless Column. The latter is shown in the middle section of the city's coat of arms.
During World War II, a concentration camp was built especially for Romanian Jews. In 1941 Groups of Moldavian Jews were interned in the camp. Political prisoners were also sent to the camp - mainly members of the Romanian Communist Party. In August 1944, when Romania changed alliances, it was used to detain leading German settlers in Banat.
In the 1950s, the Communist mayor planned to demolish Brâncuşi's "bourgeois" art. The plan was not carried out.
Starting in the 1960s, coal surface mining contributed to a rapid population growth. Other local industries include wood, machine building, textiles, glassware and construction materials (cement, bricks and tiles).
In 1992, a university was founded and named after Brâncuşi.