Oradea – a small town where various eras and architecture styles are combined into one

Author: Oltea Zambori

Oradea is one of those Romanian towns where the time, the various peoples who lived there for centuries – Romanians, Hungarians, Turks and Austrians –  and the history they created, left a strong  print on the streets and the foundation stones of many buildings, making this town, which was initially known by its Latin name, Varadinium, more beautiful.

This town located on the Crișul Repede river, situated near the Hungarian border, is inevitably one of the most beautiful towns in Romania. The town’s specificity and architecture are marked by the Austrian-Hungarian influence acquired during Oradea’s centuries of imperial domination. Thus, if you are planning a trip to Oradea, arm yourself with a photo camera, in order to immortalise every beautiful thing that you see. You should also get a map or a tourist guide, to help you plan your route, so you can see everything you want to see, without missing anything.

You can find, below, the most beautiful places in Oradea – tourist attractions that are worth seeing.

The Zion Neological Synagogue is the third largest Synagogue in Europe. It was built by the Jewish Community in Oradea, who contributed to the town’s development. Another tourist attraction is the local Baroque Complex, built during the second half of the 18th century, which is considered to be one of the most representative pieces in Europe. The Roman-Catholic Basilica can also be found here – comprising a piece that is definitely worth seeing – a pipe organ dating back to 1780. The instrument was a gift from Empress Mary Theresa of Austria. Another grandiose building is the Baroque Palace, also known as the Palace of the Roman-Catholic Episcopate. It is rightly considered one of the most grandiose baroque buildings ever built in Romania, having 100 rooms and 365 windows – one for each day of the year. When he built this venue, the Architect, Franz Anton Hillebrandt managed to reproduce the Belverde Palace in Vienna.

However, the most magnificent architectural piece in Oradea is the Black Eagle Complex (Complexul Vulturul Negru), which has a glass-covered inner passage. A dizzying variety of lines and curves, alternating with floral mosaics, stained glass windows and huge chandeliers will make you fall in love with this unusual building.

Another interesting thing that can be seen in Oradea is the mechanism in the tower of the Moon Church, which sets in motion a sphere circling around its own axis for 28 days, thus revealing all the Moon stages. Hence, the name of the Church – the Moon Church. We must also mention the Oradea Citadel which has hosted between its walls dozens of owners, over the years.  From the oriental culture of the Turk Sultans, to the Austrian-Hungarian Aristocracy, the citadel reveals the traditions of the most spectacular European cultures.  One of its most exciting items is the underground channel network, fed by hot water supply pipes, which do not freeze on winters. Currently, the citadel is going through a restoration. However, part of it hosts art exhibitions, handmade fairs and the Department of Plastic Arts within the Oradea University.

The video made by ZigZag Romania will definitely make you visit Oradea, the first chance you get : ORADEA