Cluj-Napoca

Cluj-Napoca (German Klausenburg; Hungarian: Kolozsvár), is the second most populous city in Romania, after the national capital Bucharest, and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Located in the Someșul Mic River valley, the city is considered the unofficial capital to the historical province of Transylvania. From 1790 to 1848 and from 1861 to 1867, it was the official capital of the Grand Principality of Transylvania.

It hosts the country’s largest university, Babeș-Bolyai University, with its famous botanical garden; nationally renowned cultural institutions; as well as the largest Romanian-owned commercial bank. As of 2015, Cluj-Napoca was European Youth Capital.

Cluj-Napoca has a number of landmark buildings and monuments. One of those is the Saint Michael’s Church in Unirii Square, built at the end of the 14th century in the Gothic style of that period. It was only in the 19th century that the Neo-Gothic tower of the church was erected; it remains the tallest church tower in Romania to this day.

Another landmark of Cluj-Napoca is the Palace of Justice, built between 1898 and 1902, and designed by architect Gyula Wagner in aneclectic style.This building is part of an ensemble erected in Avram Iancu Square that also includes the National Theatre, the Palace of Căile Ferate Române, the Palace of the Prefecture, the Palace of Finance and the Palace of the Orthodox Metropolis. An important eclectic ensemble is Iuliu Maniu Street, featuring symmetrical buildings on either side, after the Haussmann urbanistic trend. A highlight of the city is the botanical garden, situated in the vicinity of the centre. Beside this garden, Cluj-Napoca is also home to some large parks, the most notable being the Central Park with the Chios Casino and a large statuary ensemble.

As an important cultural centre, Cluj-Napoca has many theatres and museums. The latter include the National Museum of Transylvanian History, the Ethnographic Museum, the Cluj-Napoca Art Museum, the Pharmacy Museum, the Water Museum and the museums of Babeș-Bolyai University—the University Museum, the Museum of Mineralogy, the Museum of Paleontology and Stratigraphy, the Museum of Speleology, the Botanical Museum and the Zoological Museum.

The National Museum of Art is located in the former palace of the count György Bánffy, the most representative secular construction built in the Baroque style in Transylvania.
The city has a number of renowned facilities and institutions involving performing arts. The most prominent is the Neo-baroque theatre at the Avram Iancu Square. Built at the beginning of the 20th century by the Viennese company Helmer and Fellner, this structure is inscribed in UNESCO’s list of specially protected monuments. Since 1919, shortly after the union of Transylvania with Romania, the building has hosted the Lucian Blaga National Theatre and the Romanian National Opera. The Transylvania Philarmonic, founded in 1955, gives classical music concerts. The multiculturalism in the city is once again attested by the Hungarian Theatre and Opera, home for four professional groups of performers. There is also a number of smaller independent theatres, including the Puck Theatre, where puppet shows are performed.
Also held in the city is Delahoya, Romania’s oldest electronic music festival, established in 1997. Electric Castle Festival had an audience of over 30,000 people for its first edition in 2013 and was nominated by European Festivals Awards for the Best New Festival and Best Medium Size Festival awards, Untold Festival, (during the four days of the festival, more than 300,000 people attended the concerts held on several stages in the centre of Cluj-Napoca).

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