Oradea (-Romanian, Hungarian: Nagyvárad, sometimes Várad; German: Großwardein) is a city located in the county of Bihor (BH), in Transylvania, Romania.
The city proper has a population of 206,614 (according to the 2002 census); this does not include areas outside the municipality; they bring the total urban area population to approximately 220,000.
Oradea is one of the most prosperous cities of Romania.
Nicknames for Oradea have included "Felix civitas", "Paris on the riverside of Pece", "the City of Tomorrow", "Athens on the (Sebes-)Körös", and "the City of Yesterday".
Area: 111.2 km˛
Population: 206,614 - 2002 (census)
Working languages: Romanian, Hungarian
Sister cities: Debrecen
Geographical co-ordinates: 47°40' N, 21°56' E
Postcode range: 4100xx
Municipal Website: (http://www.oradea.ru)
The city is located near the Hungarian border, on the Crisul Repede river.
Oradea dates back to a small 10th century castle, while its bishopric was founded during the 11th century by King Ladislaus I of Hungary.
The first documented mention of its name was in 1113 under the Latin name Varadinum.
The Citadel of Oradea, the ruins of which remain today, was first mentioned in 1241 during the Mongol invasion.
However, it was not until the 16th century that Oradea started growing as an urban area.
In the 18th century, the Viennese engineer Franz Anton Hillebrandt planned the city in Baroque style and, starting from 1752, many landmarks were constructed such as the Roman Catholic Cathedral, the Bishop's Palace, and the Muzeul Tarii Crisurilor ("The Museum of the Land of the Cris").
After the Ottoman invasion of Hungary in the 16th century, the city was administered at various times by the Principality of Transylvania, the Ottoman Empire, and the Habsburg Monarchy.
At the end of World War I, Oradea and Transylvania were transferred to Romania.
During World War II, northern Transylvania and Oradea were returned to Hungary as a result of the Vienna Award; this dictate was reversed at war's end and the lands were awarded to Romania again.
In the post-war years the Communist government of Romania engaged in a policy of relocating Romanians from Oltenia and Moldavia, and more than 130,000 people were transplanted to Oradea between 1945-1985.
Ethnic tensions often ran high in the area.
Romanian nationalists believe Oradea and the surrounding Bihor region have always been Romanian and were finally restored to Romanian control at the end of World War I.
Hungarian nationalists refer to the city's pre-war Magyar majority and previous inclusion in the Kingdom of Hungary.
1082-1095 Várad Bishopric founded by King Ladislaus I of Hungary.
12th century the second cultural and religious center of the kingdom.
1208-1235 REGESTRUM VARADIENSIS is the oldest documents concerning Oradea.
The city flourished during the 13th.
The Mongol-Tatar attack against the city. The city's destruction was described by Rogerius in his work entitled Carmen Miserabile ("Sad Song").
5 kings were buried here, during the centuries: St. Ladislaus, Stephen II of Hungary, Andreas II, Mary of Hungary, Sigismund of Luxembourg.
The 14th century was one of the most prosperous period in the city's life.
Statues of St. Stephen, Emeric and Ladislaus (before 1372) and the equestrian statue of St. Ladislaus (1390) erected in Oradea.
St. Ladislaus fabled statue was the first proto-renaissance public square equestrian in Europe.
(The statues were torn down and melted by the Turks in 1660).
The Kolozsvari brothers only work which has survived the centuries is the Statue of St. George in Prague.
Bishop András Báthori (1329-1345) rebuilt the cathedral in Gothic style.
From that epoch dates also the Hermes, now preserved at Györ, which contains the skull of King Ladislaus, and which is a masterpiece of the Hungarian goldsmith's art.
Sigismund King of Hungary and Holy Roman Emperor intercede with the Pope on behalf of letting Oradea Cathedral having patronal festival rights.
Same as only two Basilica had at that time in Europe:
St Marks' Basilica from Venice and Santa Maria Portiuncula from Assisi.
In 1412, Wladislaus II of Poland came to St. Ladislaus gravestone barefooted.
In 1437, Sigismund died and was burried in Oradea Cathedral.
In 1445, Bishop John Vitéz of Zredna took up the duties of bishop.
He was one of the most distinguished and active promoters of Humanism in Hungary.
In 1474, The city was devastated by the Turks.
Matthias Corvinus met the Sultan's, the Emperor's and the Pope's ministers in Oradea Castle.
The peasent uprising from 1514 led by György Dózsa have sacked and burned the city.
In 1526, Bishop of Oradea Francis Perenyi was killed in the Battle of Mohacs.
Friar George Utyesenich took up the duties of bishop.
In 1538, Zápolyai's ablest adviser, the Croat Franciscan, Friar George, mediated the secret agreement of Oradea, under which each claimant (Ferdinand of Habsburg and John I of Hungary) recognised the other's title and the territorial status quo.
In 1541, after the fall of Buda, thousand of refugees arived to Oradea.
Ethnicity - Historical
Contemporary population - Ethnic breakdown from the 2002 census:
Romanian: 145,284 (70.31%)
Hungarian: 56,987 (27.58%)
Roma: 2,449 (1.18%)
German: 563 (0.27%)
Slovak: 474 (0.22%)
Ladislaus I, Saint
Eduard Szigligeti (Ede Szigligeti)
For a more information about Oradea see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This page was retrieved and condensed from
Sarolta and I visited Oradea driven around by my brother, Endre, accompanied by his wife and son in 1978.
Hui Chin and I visited Oradea during our trip around Romania in 2005.
I have been to Oradea twice now and although I have taken hundreds of photos in this city, - after all it is very beautiful - I still don't have a decent picture to show for it.
Unfortunately I do not have any of my photos of this place left, 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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