The Uricani locality is first mentioned in a certified document dated 1818, when the locality was referred to as Hobiceni-Uricani, the name it carried until the union in 1918. The name of Uricani is derived from the name Hobita (listed in documents from 1411) and Uric (from 1473) from Hateg Land. After Ardeal’s union with the mother country, the locality's name was changed to Uricani. Over time, the village of Campu lui Neag functioned as either a political commune or a village belonging to the Uricani locality. In 1965, Uricani was declared a city, and the villages of Valea de Brazi and Campu lui Neag villages were added under its jurisdiction.
Like the other Jiu Valley cities, Uricani's principal economic activities revolve around the region's coal mines, although the city, like the region, is in a period of transition as the mines have been gradually closed and many of the workers made redundant.
The city location lies on the western side of Jiu Valley and at the foot of the Retezat Mountains, with the geographical coordinates of 23o10’ meridian, east longitude and 45o25’ parallel, north latitude. The city is located in Hunedoara County and adjacent to Mehedinti and Gorj counties. It lies at an altitude of 729 m altitude on the west side of the Petrosani Depression and along the West Jiu River. Its area also contains the smaller waterways of Lazarul, Valea de Pesti, Buta, and Bilugu, as well as the fresh water reservoir which contains the drinking water used throughout Jiu Valley.
Uricani is accessed via the DN 66A, the 27 kilometer long west branch of the DN 66 that connects the cities of Petrosani, Vulcan, Lupeni and Uricani.
The city covers 25,141 hectares, the largest geographical area of all the Jiu Valley cities. The city limits are bordered to the east by Cow’s Valley, to the west by Retezat National Park, to the north by peaks of the Retezat Mountains (Custura, Lazarul -2282m, and Tulisa-1782m), and to the south by peaks of the Vâlcan Mountains (Coarnele-1789m and Siglaul Mare-1682m). The surrounding mountains are part of the Meridional Carpathians (in an area commonly referred to as the Transylvanian Alps).