Romania 2017: The big streets of Cluj-Napoca

By Ruben
This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series Romania 2017

Though it was also originally one of the seven Saxon towns of Transylvania (Klausenburg), Cluj-Napoca doesn’t have much to show for its Germanic heritage. It was rather in the 19th century, during the (Austro-)Hungarian period (when it was known as Kolozsvár), that the city experienced rapid growth: from 19,000 in 1850 to 51,000 in 1900. (I got this information from Wikipedia, but the whole story is quite complicated and involves rather a lot of conflicts between the various ethnicities living in the city. Hungarians were a majority in Cluj until the 1960’s, and that they still form a considerable minority of about 50,000 today. The university is even bilingual Romanian-Hungarian.) And as you will see in this post, it is also this period that is most visible in the architecture of central Cluj.

Click on the image below to view this post as a full-screen slideshow.

1. The station (I slept in a hotel across the street on my first night)
2. Strada Horea, the street from the station to the centre
3. Strada Horea
4. Synagogue on Strada Horea
5. Strada Horea (on my 2009 visit to Cluj, when there were fewer cars but more old Dacias)
6. Strada Horea
7. An art deco building on Strada Horea
8. Strada Horea
9. Strada Horea
10. The Széki Palace, which was built for a rich merchant and completed in 1893
11. View towards the citadel hill (which you can see from the other side on photo 13)
12. The Little Somes river (Somesul Mic)
13. Strada Horea
14. Strada Horea
15. Strada George Barițiu
16. Looking down Strada Horea to the old town
17. Also on Strada Horea, the most hated building in Cluj (which I’m afraid to say I quite like)
18. A communist-era building on Strada George Barițiu
19. Canalul Morilor (Mill Canal)
20. The 14th-15th century Church of Saint Michael on Piața Unirii
21. The southern half of Piața Unirii, Cluj’s main, was pedestrianised since my last visit. The statue in front of the church is of Matthias Corvinus, who was of Romanian ethnicity, but was king of Hungary from 1458 to 1490
22. Piața Unirii
23. Piața Unirii
24. Bulevardul Eroilor
25. An art-nouveau building on Bulevardul 21 Decembrie 1989

Piața Avram Iancu is a park-like open space that covers few blocks (the whole width of the centre) in the middle of the city. It contains three monumental buildings:

26. Dormition of the Theotokos Cathedral, which was completed in 1933
27. The Romanian National Opera, which was built between 1904 and 1906
28. And finally, the new Greek-Catholic Cathedral that you saw from the other side in the last post

In the next post, I will show you the small streets of Cluj-Napoca’s old town.

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This entry was posted in Cluj County, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

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