Avram Iancu (1824 – September 10, 1872) was a Transylvanian Romanian lawyer who played an important role in the local chapter of the Austrian Empire Revolutions of 1848–1849. He was especially active in the Țara Moților region and the Apuseni Mountains. The rallying of peasants around him, as well as the allegiance he paid to the Habsburg got him the moniker Crăișorul Munților ("The Little Prince of the Mountains"). Avram Iancu was born in Vidra de Sus (currently Avram Iancu, Alba County), Transylvania, then part of the Austrian Empire into a family of peasants that had been emancipated from serfdom. His father was Alisandru Iancu (1787-1855) and his mother was Maria Gligor. He had one elder brother, Ion (born 1822), who became a priest.
Avram Iancu's grandfather was Gheorghe Iancu (deceased before 1812), who had seven children (four girls and three boys): girls - Sântioana, Maria, Zamfira and Ana; boys - Alisandru (the father), Avram and Ioan.
Little is known today about Avram Iancu's childhood. It is known, by local tradition, that he had a typical moț character, joyful and witty and he played well the leaf, alphorn, flute and violin.
Avram Iancu attended primary school in his village, in the "Târsa" hamlet. His was Mihai Gomboș. After a while, he was sent by his parents at the school in Neagra village. Further, he attended the school from Câmpeni, Alba county, his teacher being Mihai Ioanette. He graduated the Câmpeni school at age 13.
After this, he went to school in Zlatna, where he studied in a Hungarian school, in the Latin language, as Romanian schools didn't exist in this area. His teachers were Iozephus Stanken (1837-1838), Gregorius Iakabus (1838-1839) and Ludovicus Kovács (1839-1840 and 1840-1841). He graduated at age 17.
He studied humanities from 1841, in the Piarist College of Cluj, graduating law school.
Avram Iancu became a law clerk in Târgu Mureș, and it was there that he learned about the events of March 1848 of Vienna and Pest. His attitude at the time showed the nature of the conflict that was to engulf Transylvania: while Iancu welcomed the transition, he was indignant at the fact that Hungarian revolutionaries (many of whom were landowners) refused to debate the abolition of serfdom (which at the time was the state of the larger part of the Romanian population in Transylvania).
In the Apuseni mountains, he started rallying peasants in Câmpeni. The protests he organized were recognized as peaceful by the authorities, but nevertheless worried them. Iancu and his associate Ioan Buteanu quickly became the main figures of the Romanian-led actions in the area, especially after they took part in the Blaj Assemblies starting in April, where over 40,000 Romanians met to protest against Transylvania becoming a part of Hungary. In Blaj (formerly known as Balázsfalva/Blasendorf) both opted for the main, radical wing of the movement. Centered on Alexandru Papiu Ilarian, the group opposed the Hungarian revolutionary option of uniting Transylvania and Hungary. It got into conflict with the minority wing around Greek-Catholic Bishop Ioan Lemeni, one which chose not to boycott the elections for the Hungarian Parliament.
While the union was carried of on May 30, 1848, the majority of Romanian activists looked towards Vienna and Emperor Ferdinand, sharing the cause of the Transylvanian Saxons. Things became heated after July 11, when Hungary declared its independence. Austria started to open itself to the Romanian demands, while bloody conflicts ensued between the Hungarian nobles and their Romanian serfs. The last Assembly in Blaj saw the Habsburg governor, Anton Freiherr von Puchner, approve of the arming of National Guards for Romanians and Saxons. On September 27, the lynching of Austrian plenipotentiary Count Lemberg by a Pest crowd cut off any dialogue between the two centers. The new Emperor Franz Joseph and the Austrian government granted the Romanians numerous liberties and rights; although Lajos Kossuth's government abolished serfdom, this was no longer a match for the Imperial offer.
Statue of Avram Iancu (1824-1872) is placed in the Republic Square (city center Turda), the place where until 1998 was located in Turda statue Lupa Capitolina (moved in the same year in Romana Square).
The inscription on the pedestal is: The only miss of my life is to see my nation happy. It was built to celebrate 150 years since the revolution of 1848. It was unveiled on 25 October 1998 Armed Forces Day, the care Turda City Council, Mayor Virgil Blasiu and Society "Avram Iancu". The statue, made in July 1998, sculptor Ilarion Voinea, in collaboration with Emil Cretu in Cluj-Napoca, Adrian and Daniel Sandu Mitran. It was translated into bronze. It has a height of 3.5 m.