CLUJ-NAPOCA – THE TREASURE CITY OF TRANSYLVANIA

General Information

Location: Central Romania

Size: 16.2 sq. miles (42 sq. km)

Elevation: 1,181 ft. (360 meters)

Population: 340,000

Inhabited since: 200 BC

This western city in the region of Transylvania traces its origins back to the Dacian settlement of Napuca in the 2-nd century A.D. After the Roman take-over of Dacia, it was renamed Napoca and in 124 A.D., received the rank of “municipium”. The city quickly advanced socially and economically and during Marcus Aurelius’ reign Napoca received the title “colonia”, the highest possible urban status in the Roman Empire.

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aeroport-cluj-napocaCluj-Napoca. The name Cluj comes from Castrum Clus, first used in the 12-th century as the name of the citadel surrounding the city. Clus means “closed” in Latin and refers to the hills that surround the city. German merchants, who arrived here in the 12th century, rebuilt the medieval earthen walls of Clus in stone after the Tartar invasion of 1241.
With one of the most vibrant economies in the country and a population of around 330,000, Cluj, is today a vibrant cultural and educational city. The six state and several private universities located here also make Cluj Napoca the city with the largest percentage of student population in Romania. Cluj Napoca national Theatre The main square, resplendent with 18th and 19th century buildings and home to many shops and restaurants, is dominated by the 15th century St. Michael’s Church, one of the finest examples of gothic architecture in Romania. The square also claims the 18-th century baroque Banffy Palace, housing the weaponry and Romanian art collections of the Art Museum. Visitors who want to learn more about the region should pay a visit to the open-air section of the Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania, a true display of folk architecture. For entertainment, spend an enjoyable evening at the Opera or attend a classical music concert offered by the Cluj Philharmonic.

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Landmarks

Union Square (Piata Unirii). Featuring baroque, gothic, Renaissance and neoclassical buildings, the square allows for quick access to St. Michael’s Church and the Banffy Palace. Flanking the church on the south side is a 1902 equestrian statue of the 15-th century ruler, Matei Corvin. In the southwest corner of the square stands Hotel Continental, built in 1895 in an eclectic style combining Renaissance, classical and baroque elements. During World War II, the hotel served as the German military headquarters in Transylvania. Across the square, you can visit the Hintz House, which served as Cluj’s first and longest-running pharmacy (1573-1949) and is now home to the Pharmacy Museum (see museum details).

St. Michael’s Church (Biserica Sfantul Mihail). This church is one of the most beautiful gothic monuments in Transylvania. St. Michael’s Church was erected between 1350 and 1487 on the site of the former St. Jacob’s Chapel. The altar, built around 1390, is the oldest part of the church. The most recent section is the tower, erected in neo-gothic style in 1860. The star-shaped vault, the stained-glass windows and the sculptures impress with their beauty and grandeur. Repeated restorations revealed early 15th century murals. The latest restoration took place between 1957 and 1960.

Banffy Palace (Palatul Banffy). An imposing former residence of the Austro-Hungarian governors, Banffy Palace was designed by the German architect, Johann Eberhard Blaumann, for then-governor of the city, Banffy Gyorgy. Built between 1774 and 1775, it is considered the most representative example of baroque style in Transylvania. In 1951, the palace became the home of the Cluj National Art

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Parks and Gardens

Central Park (Parcul Central). Hire a boat to row on the small lake or just enjoy a stroll in this 180-year old park.

Romulus Vuia Ethnographic Park (Parcul Etnografic Romulus Vuia). Founded in 1929, the park exhibits some 90 Romanian, Saxon and Szekler traditional houses, sawmills, wells, potter’s workshops, sheepfolds and outbuildings for grinding gold-bearing ores, sheep rearing, blacksmithing and tanning hides. The park also contains several 18th century wooden churches from the Transylvania region.

cluj-national-theatreCluj National Museum of Art (Muzeul National de Arta Cluj). The 22 halls of the Banffy Palace display sculptures, graphics, weapons, furniture, carpets, and paintings by famous Romanian artists such as Nicolae Grigorescu (1838-1907), Theodor Aman (1831-1891) and Theodor Pallady (1871-1956). Both Grigorescu and Aman were influenced by the Barbizon group and the Impressionists, while Pallady spent many years in Paris and drew inspiration from Matisse.

Emil Racovita Speleology Institute & Museum (Insitutul de Speologie Emil Racovita). The Emil Racovita Speleology Museum is the only one of its kind in Europe. The museum displays the fascinating collection of renowned Romanian biologist, Emila Racovita (1868-1947), who set up the Romanian Speleology Institute in 1920. Here, you can admire some of the discoveries made by Racovita in the spectacular caves of Romania, including different types of rocks which preserve the traces of animals that died thousands of years ago.

ubbEthnographic Museum of Transylvania (Muzeul Etnografic al Transilvaniei). Endowed with a collection of more than 65,000 ethnographic items, the museum offers an excellent introduction to Transylvanian folk art and traditions. Founded in 1922, it is one of the most important ethnographic museums in Romania. Its various sections, devoted to trades, lodging, food, pottery, textiles, national costumes and customs, include more than 50,000 photographs as well as open-air and international sections. Together, they paint an image of Transylvania’s folk culture.

History Museum of Transylvania (Muzeul National de Istorie al Transilvaniei). Founded in 1859, this museum illustrates the history of Transylvania from Paleolithic times to the present. The size of the collection has grown from about 24,000 items in the 1870s to more than 400,000 today, including many rare or extremely valuable objects. Strange skulls, mammoth tusks, arrow- and spearheads illustrate the progress from the Neolithic and Bronze Ages to the rise of the Dacian civilization, which reached its peak between the second century B.C. and the first century A.D. The sections for medieval, modern and contemporary history and the Numismatic Cabinet contain collections of decorative art, ancient books, old printings, memoirs, history and coins.

sonia_iovan_1964bGYMNASTICS is one of the largest sporting disciplines that gave performers and technicians, even if you remember Andrew Abraham, Albert Ion Vasile Moldovan – components of the team that participated in the O.G. 1936 – Olga Gecző (-Göllner ) – part of the national team at the 1952 Olympics -, Ileana Gyárfás – among the top performers of female gymnastics – Alexander Szilagy – multiple national champion in the 60s – Ileana Jackal – multiple national champion -, Sonia Iovan – the first European medalist, in 1957 at the first edition of  Women European Championships -, Vanda Hădărean – medalist at the Olympic Games, WCh and ECh -, Oana Ban, Iosif Hidi – contributed to the formation and specialization of several generations of physical education teachers and coaches who have dedicated gymnastics -, Bela Károly – known trainer of great champions, including Nadia Comaneci and – they, and not only them, starting from the lands Cluj to high performance. Also at Cluj took place and 8 National Championships final, and in April 2017 will be the host of the 7th European Individual Championship.

USEFUL INFORMATION

Transportation

By Air

Cluj Napoca International Airport (CLJ). Address: Str. Traian Vuia 149 Tel: 0264  416.702 The airport is located 2.5 miles from the city centre.

Airlines with service to Cluj Napoca:

Austrian Airlines Direct flights from/to: Vienna

Lufthansa Direct flights from/to: Munich

Tarom Direct flights from/to: Romania (Bucharest, Constanta); Austria (Vienna); Germany (Frankfurt); Italy (Bologna); Spain (Madrid); Switzerland (Geneva, Zurich)

WizzAir Direct flights from/to: France (Paris); Germany (Dortmund); Italy (Bologna/Forli, Milan, Rome/Fiumicino, Venice); Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Parma de Mallorca, Valencia); UK (London/Luton).

By Train

Cluj Napoca – main train station (Gara Cluj Napoca) Address: Str. Garii 1-3 Tel: 0264  592.952 or 952 There are daily trains from/to Budapest (journey time – 8 hours). Trains to other western European cities run via Budapest.

For the list of international trains with service to/from Romania please visit: www.RomaniaTourism.com/Transportation.html#ByTrain 

Cluj-Napoca – Useful Telephone Numbers

Cluj-Napoca Area Code (Prefix Cluj-Napoca)

0264 or 0364

Ambulance (Ambulanta)

112

Police (Politia)

112

Fire Department (Pompierii)

112

Local & County Archives (Arhivele locale)

0264  598.979

City Hall (Primaria)

0264  196.030

Consumer Protection Agency

0264  431.368