Cluj-Napoca (Hungarian: Kolozsvár; German: Klausenburg; Latin: Claudiopolis), the seat of Cluj county, is one of the most important academic, cultural and industrial centers in Romania.
The city is located in northwestern Romania, and is approximately 480 km (200 miles) northwest of Bucharest in the Somesul Mic valley.
Settlement at Cluj-Napoca reaches as far back as prehistoric times.
After the Roman Empire conquered Dacia in the beginning of the 2nd century, Trajan established a legion base at a Dacian settlement known as Napoca.
Although it was founded as a military base, Napoca grew rapidly as civilians settled nearby.
Hadrian raised Napoca to the status of a municipium, naming it Municipium Aelium Hadrianum Napoca.
The locality was later raised to the status of a colonia, probably during the reign of Marcus Aurelius.
Napoca became a provincial capital of Provincia Porolissensis and the seat of a procurator.
However, during the Migrations Period Napoca was overrun and destroyed.
King Stephen V of Hungary encouraged the Transylvanian Saxons to colonize near the Roman city of Napoca in 1272.
Their settlement received the German name Klausenburg, from the old word Klause meaning "mountain pass."
It has been suggested that the Romanian name Cluj is derived from Klause as well, or from the Latin clusum (closed), referring to the city being surrounded by hills.
The city of Cluj / Klausenburg was also known as Kolozsvár by the Magyars who lived there.
In 1270 Cluj was given urban privileges by Stephen V and began to grow quickly: the Saint Michael Church was built under King Sigismund.
Cluj became a free city in 1405. By this time the number of Saxon and Hungarian inhabitants were equal, and King Matthias Corvinus (born in Cluj in 1440) ordered that the chief judge should be Hungarian and Saxon in turn.
In 1541 Cluj became part of the Principality of Transylvania.
Although Alba Iulia was the political capital for the princes of Transylvania, Cluj was the main cultural and religious center for the principality.
Stephen Bathory founded a Jesuit academy in Cluj in 1581.
Between 1545 and 1570 large numbers of Saxons left the town due to the introduction of Unitarian doctrines, while Hungary's wars with Ottoman Empire further reduced the German population.
They were largely replaced with Magyars, and the city became a center for Hungarian nobility and intellectuals.
The first Hungarian newspaper appeared in Cluj in 1791, and the first Hungarian theatrical company was established in 1792.
In 1798 the town was heavily damaged by a fire.
From 1790-1848 and 1861-1867, Cluj was the capital of the Grand Principality of Transylvania and the seat of the Transylvanian diets.
Beginning in 1830, the city became the centre of the Hungarian national movement in the principality.
During the Revolutions of 1848, Cluj was taken and garrisoned in December by Hungarians under the command of the Polish general Józef Bem.
After the Ausgleich (compromise) which created Austria-Hungary in 1867, Cluj and Transylvania were reintegrated into the Kingdom of Hungary.
During this time Cluj was the second-largest city in the kingdom behind Budapest, and was the seat of Kolozs county.
After the First World War Cluj became part of the Kingdom of Romania, along with the rest of Transylvania.
In 1940 Cluj was awarded to Hungary through the Vienna Award, but Hungarian forces in the city were defeated by the Romanian and Soviet armies in October 1944.
Cluj was restored to Romania by the Treaty of Paris in 1947.
Hungarians remained the majority of the population until the 1950s.
According to the 1966 Census from the 185,663 inhabitants of the city, 56% were Romanians and 41% Hungarians.
In 1974, the city was renamed from Cluj to Cluj-Napoca.
The twelve year mayorship of Gheorghe Funar was marked by rising anti-Hungarian sentiment, and a number of public art projects were undertaken by the city with the aim of obscuring its Hungarian heritage.
In June 2004 Gheorghe Funar was voted out of office, coming in third in the first round of voting.
He was replaced by Emil Boc of the Democratic Party, who began working with Hungarians to restore ethnic relations in the city.
In 1994 and in 2000, Cluj-Napoca hosted the Central European Olympiad in Informatics (CEOI).
It thus made Romania not only the first country to have hosted the CEOI, but also the first country to have hosted it a second time.
From the Middle Ages on, Cluj-Napoca has been a multicultural city with a diverse cultural and religious life.
As of 2002 the city's population was 318,027 (ranked third in Romania after the capital Bucharest and Iasi).
The ethnic composition, according to official sources is: 252,433 Romanians (79.4%), 60,287 Hungarians (19%), 1% Roma, 0.23% Germans and 0.06% Jews.
Babes-Bolyai University (the largest in the country with more than 43,000 students) offering 105 specialisations in Romanian, 52 in Hungarian, 13 in German and 4 in English
There was another university in Cluj-Napoca, simply called University of Cluj (Romanian: Universitatea din Cluj, Hungarian: Kolozsvári Tudományegyetem), founded in 1872 by Emperor Franz Joseph I.
In 1881 this university was renamed Franz Joseph University (József Ferenc Tudományegyetem).
Soon after World War I, in 1919, the university moved to Budapest, where it remained until 1921 when it moved again, this time to Szeged.
In August 1940, during the Second World War, Hitler awarded the northern half of Transylvania (including Cluj-Napoca) to Hungary by the second Vienna Award (Vienna Arbitration Award or Vienna Diktat).
During the Hungarian occupation of northern Transylvania, from August 1940 until 1945 the university moved to Cluj-Napoca.
In 1945 it moved back to Szeged and was renamed University of Szeged, which became one of the most distinguished universities in Hungary and in Central Europe.
Some tourist attractions
The Avram Iancu Square with the Orthodox Cathedral and the National Theatre
The Unirii Square with the Catholic Church and the Matthias Corvinus (Matei Corvin in Romanian, Mátyás Hunyadi in Hungarian) Statue
The Universitatii Street with the Babes-Bolyai University and The Reformed Church
The Lucian Blaga Square with the University Library
The Botanical Garden
The George Baritiu Street with the Technical University
The Cetatuia with its wonderful panorama of the city
The Central Park
For a more information about Cluj Napoca see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This page was retrieved and condensed from
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cluj Napoca) November
Hui Chin and I visited to Cluj Napoca in 2005.
We spent some time to explore the city inside-out, but during our ten weeks in Europe we have seen many, many cities, towns etc.
Later on during our trip two of my cameras, vallet etc was pinched from me and without my photos of Cluj Napoca, I find it difficult to recall some of the details of our experiences here.
Unfortunately I do not have any of my photos of this place left from our 2005 trip, although we had four cameras between us and we have taken many, many photos wherever we went, two of my most favoured cameras: a JVC video camera I favoured because of the quality of photos it produced, ease of use and its excellent compression rate, and my Panasonic camera for its miniature size. Both had large, 512 MB SD Cards and many thousands of photos on them were stolen from my bag, later into our trip, by some 'lowlife', with my wallet and money.
You'll see this message a few times, because my JVC and Panasonic cameras' cards had many-many pictures stored on them.
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
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