miercuri, 3 octombrie 2012

City breaks in Romania: Oradea

Very proud of itself, Oradea (Nagyvarad in Hungarian, Grosswardein in German) waits unpatiently and very happy his guests.
Oradea, the River Crisul Repede and the Downtown

You can reach Oradea coming from Hungary, through the charming puszta, or from Arad, but I can propose you a much better and more picturesque way. Namely, come from Cluj Napoca, cross the mountains, and don't miss the source of the River Crisul Repede. Further, to west, after the mountains come the hills, and very soon after the hills also end and the plain starts, you can see the majestic Oradea. The city emerges in the plain, and acts very confident and even very relaxing when coming from this direction! Really hard to explain this strange feeling, I please other visitors, or even locals, to tell me if they experienced the same feeling when entering Oradea. Very amazing for me, I always felt in Oradea excellent, like at home.
The interesting Synagogue from Oradea. Unfortunatelly, through massive deportation during WWII, the Jewish minority almost perished

Oradea is divided in tho halves by the River Crisul Repede. Inhabited from the antique by the Dacs and Romans (her Latin name is Varadinum), it is for the first time mentioned in the XIth century, and completely destroyed by the Mongol invasion of 1241. Rebuild, has gained in prosperity and local importance. The Turks also ruled the city between 1660-1692, followed by Hungarians, and Austrian Habsburg. In 1918 Oradea became part of Romania, which it enjoys up today, almost 100 years ago. Shortly, during WWII, Hitler gave North Transilvania (including Oradea) to Hungary, which ment a condamnation for the strong Jewish minority of Oradea (in 1944 about 25000 Jewish have been deported to the concentration camps! Today there is no more a jewish minority in Oradea, unfortunately).
Oradea, the River Crisul Repede, and the Hotel Continental Forum, the city's best and biggest.

Today, the Hungarian population of Oradea is about a quarter of the total, and sometimes appear again tensions between these people, set up mainly by silly extremists existing on both sides. Nevertheless, Oradea is a very peaceful city, with many mixed marriages and bilingv children, but living at high speed.

There is an old city in Oradea (baroc style from the end of XIXth century), and also a Medieval citadel. Look for History Museum (former Bishop residence), City Hall, Catholic Cathedral, The Black Eagle Palace. Walk in the Downtown and enjoy the people, the city, the weather, everything. Nice city, wonderful life.. Not far, in Felix, you can find thermal baths and follow longer or shorter  treatments, according to needs and budgets. I wish you not to use this opportunity, but keep in mind, who knows!

Some good words about my personel experiences in Oradea hotels. First, I met a Norwegian group on behalf of Karpaten Tourism, who was lead by Kjell Hagbarts and drove by Oivind, at Ramada Hotel. Gyury, Restaurant manager, cooked miraculously within minutes, a refreshing meal for my hungry tired tourists. Btw, he is Hungarian, speaks Romanian, and I have the honor to be among his friends ever since. And another experience, with a Swiss group, staying in Hotel Continental Forum, the city's biggest and best! Which honored allright his **** with the only mention, that the room cards lost easily their magnetic field!

Really a nice city, worths a visit. Contact me for any possible question about Oradea, feel free to do it.

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