Paleu, alongside Toboliu, is one the most recent developed local authorities in Oradea Metropolitan Area. Despite this its composing villages are: Uileacu de Munte, Săldăbagiu de Munte and Paleu. All these have a rich history being mentioned in written documents.
Village of Paleu – seat of the local authority is presented in the historical documents with the name of Hegyközpályi, which translated means Paleu near the mountains. Documents indicating the existence of human settlements in this region present the hardships that the local population had to endure. From the first document dating from 1685 one can read that Paleu village was destroyed by fire, being repopulated 10 years later when King Leopold I propose to move some people from neighboring villages to this area in exchange for exemption of property taxes and mandatory work on the King’s lands for 3 years. According to historical sources, the village was surrounded by water, with only a dam serving the local inhabitants as access point to the settlement. The main occupation of people was brick making.
Uileacu de Munte village was founded in 1210 when the Bishop of Oradea brought colonists to lands devastated by Tatars and Turks. A long time area was called Uileacu de Paleu, only after 1792 receiving the name Uileacu de Munte. The reason for this change is that the town is surrounded by mountains (Hills of Plopiş and to the east by Plopişului mountains).
Săldăbagiu de Munte village – initially called Zaldobag – is mentioned in various historical documents since 1360. In the second half of the fifteenth century, the village is owned by the Catholic Church, being transformed into a fief. A long period of time the village stays inhabited due to the Turks and Tatar invasions, which killed almost all the inhabitants. In 1697 only two people managed to come back, finding the village in ruins. Săldăbagiu de Munte almost burned completely in 1802, destroying also the village archive.
Paleu is located in the central-western part of Bihor county within the North-West development Region. At the level of Oradea metropolitan Area the settlement has a rather central location. From an administrative point of view Paleu is neighbored to the north by Cetariu and Biharia, to the east by Ineu, to the south Oşorhei and to the south-west Oradea.
Paleu consists of 3 villages: Paleu (seat of the local authority), Uileacu de Munte şi Săldăbagiu de Munte. The 3 villages of Paleu are located on the 3 hills that surround Oradea.
Access to Paleu is made through county road DJ 767 F. Săldăbagiu de Munte is reachable through the local road DC37. Paleu is located at about 9 km from the nearest railways (Oradea railway station) station and 16km to the Oradea International Airport.
From Oradea there are several links with private transport companies (buses) to all three villages of the Paleu. Departures from Oradea are done several times a day, either from the bus station Velenta or Great Square.
The total area of Paleu is 47,86 km2. In relation to the area of Oradea Metropolitan Area, Paleu covers 6,4%. At the county level Paleu holds a share of 0,63% of the whole land mass.
Paleu is located in a hilly area, connecting the mountain areas in the eastern part of the county (Munţii Plopişului) and the western plain region (Biharia Plain, Crişurilor Plain). The altitude of Plopişului Hills that are on the territory of Paleu is of 450-500 m, near the mountains, to approximately 200 m, near Crişurilor Plain.
Climatic conditions in Paleu are under the specific hillside climate found at the level of the county, under the influence of the western air circulations that carry humid oceanic air. The average annual temperature is between 7 ° - 10 ° C, average similar to the hilltop area in Bihor County. Average annual rainfall is 700-1000 mm/year and most frequent winds are the southern ones followed by the west ones and those from the northern part.
The main natural resource in Paleu is agricultural land, its share in total land area being 66,8%. The settlement is located in a hilly landscape, surrounded by deciduous forests that have a rich flora and fauna. Valea Roșie natutural habitat ROSCI0267 is located in Paleu being specific for its beech forests Asperulo-Fagetum. According to the standard Natura 2000 from, 86% din of the site is occupied by deciduous forests, pastures 5%, 5% of forest habitats (forests in transition), 2% 2% vineyards and orchards and other farmland. This is a very important site, due to its proximity to Oradea and the fact that it supports 14 species of endangered species of plants, species of amphibians and reptiles of national importance and well preserved forests.
Among the natural resources, the hydrographic network can be included, the community being crossed by numerous branches of Barcău river.