Oradea, city with millennial history, at the confluence of the Occident with the Orient, a true “bridge-city” between two worlds, managed throughout its existence, to absorb and configure according to its own vision of the world, the best which the two great “tectonic” cultural plates had to offer. The spiritual effervescence, the economic wealth of the community and its taste for the beautiful led to the city becoming an arena for architects of redoubtable value and for architectural styles very close to those of Central and Western Europe.

Considered by art history specialists as a true “architectural reservation”, Oradea is host to no less than 77 monument-buildings officially listed in the records of the National Commission for Historical Monuments. City closest to Central Europe, existing for successive centuries in the area of influence of Hungarian royalty and the Viennese court, the current city of Oradea and its historic community have constantly been impregnated by values disseminated throughout Central Europe.

Oradea has been bounded into two distinct areas of interest, when it comes to the evidence of architectural heritage: The “Oradea Historic Center” Urban Ensemble (the area between the following streets: Independenţei, Mareşal Averescu, Redutei, Constantin Dobrogeanu-Gherea, Griviţei, Sucevei, Ion Vidu, Bacăului, Armatei Române, Universităţii, Parcul Nicolae Bălcescu, Decebal and Dacia boulevards, Rozmarinului, Berzei, Republicii, Louis Pasteur and Măcinului streets, I. C. Brătianu Park and Dacia bridge) and Oradea Urban Ensemble II (the area between Inului and Parângului streets, the Oradea Train Station and the Bihor Episcope).

These areas contain historical and architectural monument buildings, built in styles such as: Renaissance (The Oradea Fortress), Baroque (Basilica Minor – The Roman-Catholic Cathedral “Virgin Mary Ascension”, the Episcopal Palace, “The Priests’ Row”, The Moon Church, The Saint Ladislaus Church, The Saint Nicholas Church, the Hussar Barracks, the Roman-Catholic Church in the Fortress etc.), Romanesque (the City Hospital, the Ursulines’ Ensemble), Secession (The “Black Eagle” Complex, Adorján I and II Houses, Poynar House, Astoria Hotel (also known as the Sztarill Palace), Transylvania Hotel, Ulman Palace, Stern Palace, Moskovits Palace, Apollo Palace etc.), Classic (the Capuchin Complex), Eclectic (The Queen Mary Theatre, the Bazaar Building, the Town Hall Building, the Palace of Finance, Oradea Train Station, the Neuropsychiatry Hospital, the Rimanóczy Kálmán senior Palace, Rimanóczy hotel, the Central Savings House Palace, the Austro-Hungarian Bank (currently the regional headquarters of the Romanian National Bank), the Commercial Hall etc.)

image 392This valuable heritage sits at the foundation of a certain type of tourism – the patrimony tourism, part of cultural tourism, a segment of the touristic market in full ascension in Europe, and also a segment of fierce competition.
The relatively good state of the monument-buildings, some of them being the beneficiaries of certain rehabilitation programs which can be considered examples of good practice (the Greek-Catholic Episcopal Building, the Astoria Hotel, the County House, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry – the Headquarters of the Regional Water and Sewage Administration), as well as the hospitable atmosphere are elements which lead us to believe in an expeditious development of cultural tourism in Oradea.