Oradea – Brief introduction to Oradea
Oradea, the Capitol City of Bihor County, is one of the important economic, social and cultural centers of north-western Romania, holding on to these characteristics throughout its history. The city is nestled among hills that divide and unify the Crișana Plains and the hill-like limits of the Apuseni Mountains in a harmonious way. Located on the Crișul Repede River which divides the city into almost equal halves, it is the gateway to Central Europe and Western Europe.
Its cardinal positioning places the city to the north-west of Romania, at the intersection of the 47°03’ northern latitude parallel with the 21°55’ eastern longitude meridian.
Located about 10 km from Borș – the biggest border point on the western border – Oradea ranks tenth in size out of the Romanian cities. Specifically, it covers an area of 11,556 ha.
The city lies at an altitude of 126 m above sea level, at the mouth of the Crișul Repede valley towards the low plain area, in the contact zone between extensions of the Apuseni Mountains and the extended Banato-Crișan Plane. It is a transitional area, from hilly terrain (The Western Hills, The Oradea Hills and The Gepiş Hills) to the Pannonian plain.
The topoclimate of the city is determined by the persistent action of the western winds. We are dealing therefore with a temperate continental climate with oceanic influences. The average multi-annual temperature is 10.4 °C. In July, the mean is approximately 21 °C, while in January the average temperature is –1.4 °C. Rainfall is relatively high, registering an annual average of approximately 585.4 mm, which is unevenly distributed throughout the year. We are thus unable to categorically define time spans of maximum or minimum rainfall.
The territory of the town is included in the drainage basin of the Crișul Repede River, with a rich network of rivers and streams, tributaries which concentrate in its catchment area.
It crosses the city right through its center, creating a meadow in the historical center and conferring natural beauty to the entire area. Traversing Oradea, we also have the Peța thermal stream and Paris, Sălbatic, Adona brooks, all tributaries to the Crișul Repede River.
The vegetation is mostly deciduous forest, dominated by oak (Quercus robur) and beech (Fagus sylvatica), but in the meadow area belonging to the Crişul Repede River we find hydrophilic and higrophilic trees, such as: willow (Salix alba), weeping willow (Salix L.), poplar (Populus nigra, Populus alba, Populus tremula) and alder (Alnus glutinosa). Herbaceous vegetation is dominated by grasses.
Fruit trees are found both in the hearth of the town as in the surrounding area. Oradea has an important horticulture and viticulture tradition thanks to the presence of slopes with southern and western solar exposure.
It is also specific of this interpenetration between the plains and the hill areas. Thus, even in the municipality of Oradea, in such areas as the Dendrology Nursery No. 2, Podgoria forest, the Criș meadow, the pond station, one can observe rodent species as the hare (Lepus Europaeus), birds like the partridge (Perdix perdix), pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), gull (Larus argentatus), swans (Cygnus Cygnus), egrets (Egretta garzetta), cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo), cranes (Grus grus), storks (Ciconia sarmatyca), mallards (Anatinae) or birds of prey such as falcons (Falco vespertinus), owls (Buho buho).
Ichthyofauna present in Crişul Repede is dominated by: chub (Leuciscus Leuciscus), broad snout (Chondrostoma Nasus), crucian carp (Carassius Carassius), boart (Rhodeus sericeus amarus), rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus) and pike (Esox Lucius).
The Oradea of today is home to a heterogeneous ethnic and confessional population. This heterogeneity is a great historical gain but also a proof of peaceful cohabitation between the two major ethnicities: the Romanians and the Hungarians.
According to statistics from the census results of 2011, there are 183,123 inhabitants living in the city of Oradea.
From an ethnic point of view, there are 133,199 Romanians (70.4%), 46,444 Hungarians (27.5%), 773 Roma (1.2%), 188 German (0.3%), 477 Slovakian (0,2%) and the rest is occupied by other ethnic groups (Hebrew, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Russian, Serbian, Czech, Turkish, Macedon-Romanian, Chinese).
From the point of view of confession, of adherence to faith, figures and statistics show the following percentages: Orthodox: 109,585 (58.9%), Roman Catholic 17,181 (11.2%), Greek Catholics 6,178 (3.3% ), 26,124 Protestants (11.1%), 6,813 Baptists (3.5%), Pentecostal 9229 (4.5%), Seventh-Day Adventists 566 (0.3%), Evangelical Christians 199 (0.09 %), Evangelical 115 (0.05%), Muslims 132 (0.06%), Mosaic 174 (0.08%), other religions 987 (0.4%).