The first colonization by the Transylvanian Saxons occurred in 1206, when Nösen place was established, the nearby region receiving the name of Nösnerland.

Nösen was certified since 1241, receiving city rights starting with 1353 and permitting the organization of an annual 15 day fair and the possession of an own seal (an ostrich head with a golden hoof in its beak) which honored important activities, crafting and trade. Bistrita was an important medieval trading center, being one of Transylvania’s 7 citadels (Siebenbürgen).

Between 1241 and 1242 the city was devastated by Tartars and the next step was building defense walls around the citadel. In 1465 the city had 18 towers and bastions protected by the city’s craftsmen grouped in guilds. Its organization only shows that it is one of Transylvania’s most important cities, along with Sighisoara and Sibiu.

The city’s strong development in past centuries is proven by its architecture and preserved monument buildings:

  • Bistrita’s citadel (15th and 16th century) from which only Cooper’s Tower and some wall -fragments are still preserved.
  • Sugalete – a 13 building complex from the 15-16th centuries, the most typical Renaissance constructions from Transylvania. Sugalete is built from more multi-stage buildings, linked by spacious entrances that form a gallery with 20 bolts and 21 pilasters.
  • The Silversmith’s House – an architectural monument from the beginning of the Renaissance period.
  • John the Bricklayer’s House - Johannes Lapicida’s House - an architectural monument from the beginning of the Renaissance period, the oldest building in Bistrita.
  • Palace of Culture, Bistrita.
  • "Liviu Rebreanu" National College.
  • "Andrei Muresanu" National College.
  • National Bank, Bistrita.
  • The Old Post-Office Building, Bistrita.

Worship places:

  • The Evangelical Church was built initially in a Roman style and extended in the second half period of the 14th century in a Gothic style. The church’s tower was established between 1487 and 1519. It has a height of 75 meters, being one of the tallest Gothic towers in Transylvania.
  • The Entry into the Temple of the Most-holy Virgin Mary Church – former church of the Franciscan Monastery is Early Gothic by style (1270-1280), with Cistercian influences.
  • The Orthodox Cathedral.
  • Greek Catholic Church.
  • Catholic Church.
  • Reformed Church.
  • Synagogue, Bistrita.

Museums and exhibitions:

  • Bistrita-Nasaud County Museum, Bistrita.
  • The Museum under the gate, Livezile.
  • The Silversmith’s House Museum, Bistrita.
  • "Andrei Muresanu" Memorial House, Bistrita.
  • Arcade 24 Gallery.
  • "George Cosbuc" Exposition Hall