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Welcome to Oradea.....to Nagyvárad ......

to Grosswardein !!

Bine ati venit la Oradea !

Bienvenue aux Oradea !

Üdvözlöm Nagyváradon !

When I was born, my birthplace was named Nagyvárad...at other times it was Varadinum... Grosswardein.. now it's Oradea. Depends to what country it belonged.

 

The first documented mention of the name of the city, Varadinum, appeared in 1113, although it Img62.pngappears that the foundations of the city were set by the river Crişul Repede much earlier. The old fort that was used to defend against the Turks is still there, just like it has been for the last 900 years. The Fortress first built between 1092-1095, was destroyed by the Tartars in 1241, and was fortified in the second half of 16th century.

 

 

The city was in the middle of much history, given its strategic geographical location as a gateway from the Orient to Western Europe. If your Hungarian is up to it, a complete history of the city is available in a book posted in its entirety on the Web by one of my compatriots, who now lives in Sweden:

 

http://home.swipnet.se/nagyvarad/konyv%20index.html

 

I am not going to bore the occasional visitor with historical minutiae, but I must mention a few of the more interesting things about the city. During the Renaissance, the city had substantial contact with Italian artists, who bought with them the sophistication of their culture. It is quite probable that during the 1400s, one could hear Italian being spoken on the streets. Oradea is quite possibly one of the most beautiful cities of Eastern Europe. It is located on the hills between Crişana Plain and the foot of the Western Carpathians, on the banks of the Crişul Repede River.

 

In the early 20th Century Oradea/Nagyvárad was called Petit Paris. The spirit of the "belle époque" can be easily seen even today, despite incessant bombing raids during 1944 and 1945, which destroyed much of the city and certainly despite a half-century of further destruction by an esthetically-impaired communist regime known mostly for its atrocious gray concrete apartment houses that look old and decrepit as soon as they are finished. :-( Luckily, the unique architectural Secession style gives a special elegance to this town, still preserving the atmosphere of the turn of the last century. The straight lines are joined with ornate curves and various geometrical shapes, rarely seen until then in any architecture. The interiors of the buildings were equally interesting, frequently displaying first-class sculptures and high (20 ft) ceilings that were also painted and quite often works of art in themselves.

 

 

There are an incredible number of Art Nouveau oradea emke.pngSecession style buildings throughout the city. If you ever travel to Oradea do yourself a favor and look up Moskovitz Palaces I and II, Appollo Palace, Stern Palace, Adorján Houses I and II and Darvasy Palace. Don't forget to visit some of the famous villas (Vila La Izoche, Vila Vágó, Okány Schwartz), the hotels (Hotel Pannonia, EMKE, Rimanóczy, Weiszlovits, Fekete Sas/Vulturul Negru) and even government and public buildings such as the Town Hall (Primaria), the Orthodox Episcopal and Img76.pngthe Greco-Catholic Episcopal Palaces, and the Palace of Justice. The architects were famous by European standards and included: Lechner Ödön; Jakab Dezso, Komor Marcell, Vágó László si József, Mende Valer, Sztarill Ferenc, Lobl Ferenc, Rimanóczy primaria1.pngKálmán senior and junior and Anton Sallerbek.

 

Terrific pictures can be seen on many of the sites designed by people of who are just as proud of their heritage as I am. Credit for their work is hereby given with my thanks:

 

http://www.c3.hu/~joco/nagyvarad.html

http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Hangar/9361/poradea.html

http://home.swipnet.se/nagyvarad/

http://www.oradea.ro/index.php

http://www.lego.rdsor.ro/oradea/home.html

http://www.valibi.4t.com/photo.html

 

Some of the most beautiful pictures (some of which I "borrowed") and excellent information is to be found at Oradea-OnLine. You can start a virtual tour there, so please visit them: http://www.oradea-online.ro/oradea/1/index.htm

 

 

For a couple of interesting panoramic views go to the Propaganda site:

http://www.propaganda.rdsor.ro/oradea/panorama_unirii.html

http://www.propaganda.rdsor.ro/oradea/panorama_ferdinand.html

 

There is even a Forum of people from Nagyvarad/Oradea:

forum.png

 

 

Enjoy the next page of Roots, where I put some more pictures!

 
 
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