Itinerary: The Fortress – The Franciscan Church – The Unitarian Church – Banffy Palace – The “Schimbarea la Fata” Greek-Catholic Cathedral – The Jesuit Church (Piarist) The route begins with a visit of the Fortress. Here, the Austrians built in the eighteenth century a Vauban fortress, after the design of the Italian architect Giovanni Morando Visconti. The complex sheltered administrative buildings, the garrison and the weapons store and had bastions at corners, a redoubt and three gates included in the storey buildings, of which are still preserved the ones on the east and north sides. The fortification had a controlling role over the city. We descend towards the city center, in Museum Square, where we will find one of the oldest and most significant buildings in the city: the Franciscan Church. The main component of this building built in Baroque style, is the tower, built by the Franciscans in 1728 on the occasion of the restoration of the building. On this occasion it was restored the interior of the building with typical baroque arching, lower than the old Gothic coverage, collapsed at that moment. Further, the Baroque architecture route in Cluj proposes a stop at the Unitarian Church, on December 21, 1989 Boulevard. As architectural styles, the building combines elements of Baroque, Classical and Rococo, the interior is mostly built in Baroque. Further, we will go towards Union Square, whose eastern side is dominated by Banffy Palace, the most artistic Baroque building in Transylvania. The building was designed and built by the architect Johann Eberhard Blaumann between 1774-1786. Many noble families who built their houses in Cluj after 1790 took as their model the Banffy Palace. The same architect, Johann Eberhard Blaumann, proved his skills in designing the harmonious façade and the tower of the “Schimbarea la Fata” Greek-Catholic Cathedral. The roof of the tower was destroyed by fire in 1798 and, after an interim solution, only at the end of the nineteenth century the original roof was rebuilt, in Baroque style. Another place of worship, the first ecclesiastic building in Baroque style in the province – the Jesuit Church (Piarist) – completes the route. Built between 1718-1724, the church presents a sharp contrast between the monumental and austere architecture in the exterior and an interior well decorated, almost exuberant, a jewel of Baroque style.
Itinerary: the “Schimbarea la Fata” Greek-Catholic Cathedral – the Reformed Church – the Orthodox Cathedral – the Reformed Church – the Two Towers Calvin – the Unitarian Church – the Evangelical Chuch – the Franciscan Monastery and Church – the “Saint Michael” Roman-Catholic Church – the “Bob” Church – the Piarist Church. Renowned as a multiethnic and multiconfessional city by tradition, Cluj is richly represented by the many religious buildings built over the centuries (XIV-XIX) in various architectural styles. We invite you to discover some of them. Our route starts with the “Schimbarea la Fata” Greek-Catholic Cathedral. Located on Eroilor Boulevard, is known as “Minorites Church” thanks to its founders. Thus, between 1779-1930 it was a Roman-Catholic Church. After the relocation of the Greek-Catholic Diocese from Gherla to Cluj in 1930, the church became a Greek-Catholic cathedral in 1948, and with the abolition of the United Roman Church, the church passed into the patrimony of the Romanian Orthodox Church. It was recovered by the Greek-Catholics in 1998, thus reentering in the possession of the Greek-Catholic Diocese. From the Eroilor Boulevard we continue our route on a very old street of Cluj, Mihail Kogalniceanu Street. In the eastern end of the street it is revealed a place of worship with the aspect of a fortress: the Reformed Church. The built of the building began in the period between the end of the fifteenth century and the beginning of the sixteenth century under the supervision of the Franciscan minorites monks, with the support of King Matthias Corvinus. It is the largest Gothic building with one nave (church hall) in Transylvania. Renowned for its acoustics, it hosts many organ concerts. From the reformed Church we are heading towards Avram Iancu Square. Here, the point of attraction is the Orthodox Cathedral, built during the years 1923-1933 after the designs of the architects Constantin Pomponiu and George Cristinel. In 1973, along with the rising of the diocesan seat of Cluj at the rank of archbishopric seat, the place of worship became the archbishop's cathedral. Since 2006 the buildings served as the Cathedral of the Archbishop of Vad, Feleac and Cluj, which is also the metropolitan of Cluj, Alba, Crisana and Maramures. Across the cathedral is the Reformed-Calvin Church with Two Towers. Also called the “reformed-Calvin Church in the Lower Town”, it was built in the nineteenth century in Neoclassical style, after the designs of the architect Winkler Georg, inspired by the great church of Debrecen. The construction took several decades due to lack of funds. After the death of Winkler Georg, Anton Kagerbauer was charged with the completion of works, but he modifies the plan of the façade and of the towers. Going west, on December 21, 1989 Boulevard we meet the Unitarian Church, built at the end of the eighteenth century, in Baroque style, with Rococo and Neoclassical elements, after the design of the Viennese architect Anton Türk. It is said about this place of worship that it accommodates the huge round stone on which David Francisc gave a sermon after which the citizens of Cluj moved to Unitarianism. On the same boulevard, at the end, at the intersection with Union Square is the Evangelical Church. To build this place of worship were used the stone blocks of the Butchers' Tower. We continue our route towards the oldest square of the city – Museum Square. Here is the Franciscan Church, place of worship built on the site of an old Roman-Catholic church, the first in Cluj, destroyed during the first invasion of the Tartars. The monastery built near the church in the fifteenth century houses today the “Sigismund Toduta” Music High School. From the Museum Square we continue towards another old square of the city – Union Square. One of the most imposing and valuable Gothic buildings in our country has its location here, namely the “Saint Michael’ Roman-Catholic Church. Seven centuries old, in this place of worship was baptized Matthias Corvinus and were invested the princes of Transylvania Gabriel Bethlen, Sigismund Bathory and Gabriel Bathory. The Tower on the northern façade of the church was built between 1834-1863, in Neo-Gothic style, with a height of 80 meters, including the cross. From Union Square we head towards the first Greek-Catholic church built in Cluj, and the oldest Romanian church in the city – Bob Church. The name comes from the bishop Ioan Bob, a Roman noble and Greek-Catholic bishop of Blaj, on whose expense the place of worship was built between 1801-1803. Here is where the wedding between Veronica Micle and Stefan Micle the future Rector of the University of Iasi, took place. The Piarist Church ends the route. Known ad the “Jesuit Church” or the “University Church” in Cluj-Napoca, is the first Catholic church built in Transylvania after the Protestant Reform. Below the church is a crypt with 140 burial places.
Cluj-Napoca is the beneficiary of a rich and interesting cultural heritage, the architecture and the archeological site preserving the memory and the identity of Cluj, defining its personality and offering the modern society a unique experience from an aesthetic and emotional point of view. Arranged since medieval times and then in the modern and contemporary era, as economic and leisure spaces, the squares and the pedestrian areas of the city will delight through the diversity of architectural ensembles – historical monuments. Union Square is, since ancient times, the center of the economic, spiritual and administrative life of the city, on its location (in the Roman period – 106-275) being carried out an intense daily life, as it was shown by the archeological excavations of the last decades. It was the most important area of the city in the fifteenth century, being the zero point of medieval, modern and contemporary history in this city. In the square also took place the less pleasant events, such as public executions, beheadings, burning at the stake, hangings. In the center of Union Square, lok down about 2 meters from the town today and discover fragments of the Roman city. The researches and the archeological excavations have revealed numerous testimonies and traces of inhabiting of the Roman Napoca: monetary treasures, pottery workshops, weapons etc. currently preserved in the Roman Lapidary of the National History Museum of Transylvania. In Museum Square, the oldest square in the city, you can see the preserved ruins of a stone building provided with heating system. From the Roman journey, discover Gothic Cluj or Baroque Cluj. In Museum Square, the traces of the first fortified enclosure of the city guard the entrance of the only speleology museum in the country. The defense tower of the South-East corner of the first fortified enclosure of Cluj dates from the second half of the thirteenth century. In the Middle Ages, along with the economic and demographic development of the city, the old defense wall of the city was dismantled, starting with the fifteenth century, after the considerable expansion of the surface surrounded by walls, as a result of the privileges granted by Sigismund of Luxembourg to Cluj. Thus, fragments from the second fortified enclosure can be seen in the area bounded by the streets Potaisa, Napoca and Universitatii. The second city was much larger in size than the first one, comprising between its walls about 45 ha. In the eighteenth century were mentioned 18 towers in the corners of the city, at the city gates or intermediate (Bridges' Tower, Monastery Tower, Tailors' Tower etc.). Of the 18 defense towers if the city you can visit today only Tailors' Tower. Along with its fragment of defense wall it was restored and included in the tourist circuit in 2009.
Itinerary: Museum of Art – the History of Pharmacy Collection – the Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania, the Pavilion section – the Museum of the University of Agricultural Sciences and veterinary Medicine – Zoological Museum – Vivarium – the Botanical garden – the Botanical Museum and Herbarium – the Mineralogical Museum – the Paleontology and Stratigraphy Museum – the University Museum – the Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania, the open-air section. The museums are in the service of society and are open to public and to scientists for research, education and relaxation of the visitors. In Cluj-Napoca the museums belong to different categories: art, history, ethnology and folklore, biology, geology etc. Starting from downtown, we propose a circuit of the main museums in Cluj-Napoca. At the Banffy Palace, the former residence of the governor of Transylvania in the eighteenth century, we invite you to admire the most important Baroque building in Cluj-Napoca. It now houses the Museum of Art, one of the most important museums in Romania with a valuable heritage of Romanian and European art, represented by a collection of over 12.000 pieces of painting, sculpture, graphic and decorative arts. Opposite from the Museum of Art we draw your attention of a very well-hidden museum in the heart of Cluj: the History of Pharmacy Collection. In the building where it was for more than five centuries ago the Hitnz pharmacy (the oldest pharmacy in Cluj) still preserves the authentic pharmaceutical furniture. The visiting halls of the museum are divided into the room where they were selling medicines and the basement of the pharmacy. From the eighteenth century the oficina is decorated with a mural painting in Baroque style, unique in Romania. Nowadays, the basement of the pharmacy where, in the medieval period only the pharmacists and his assistants had access, is designed for the public as a medieval pharmaceutical laboratory. If you want to see how universal medicines like the real mummy dust and dust from semiprecious stones look like, or you are interested in natural sources of calcium from coral dust and crab eyes you must visit this museum. In just 3 minutes walk you have the opportunity to relieve the life of Transylvanian peasants 200 years ago at the Pavilion section of the Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania. The building itself if it could talk it would tell you about the most important events that took place there during the five centuries of existence. Only the basement still keeps the architecture of the sixteenth century, but with the nineteenth century, there had functioned the largest inn in the city: „Calul Balan”. Later, the building became one of the most important politic, administrative and cultural buildings in Transylvania. Today, the permanent exhibition of the pavilion section is divided into: the secondary occupations (harvesting, hunting, fishing and bee etc.), growing animals, agriculture, handicrafts, traditional fabrics, traditional musical instruments, food, costumes, icons and traditional customs. The museum organizes annual fairs, scientific or cultural-educative activities. At the end of the visit in the museum's souvenir shop you will not choose easily the most representative traditional objects for Transylvania. The Museums of the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (USAMV) are well hidden in the Universities huge complex. Although the museums are not recognized due to their age, because the spaces were originally created for research, in time, they became tourist attractions. From all of them we remind: the Agrobotanic Garden and the Botanic Museum, the Aquarium and the Museum of Comparative Parasitology. For example in 2002 the Botanical Museum was arranged, hosting the scientific herbarium of 40.000 sheets, a rich collection of medicines from different medicinal plants, a collection of seeds from cultivated plants and from the spontaneous flora, molds, herbaria, old books and manuscripts of the teachers who have thought the Botanical discipline. Hopefully we have sparked your interest in visiting this complex which does not fit in the usual pattern. Continuing the marathon of visiting museums, you get to the Hasedu university campus, at the Zoological Museum of the Faculty of Biology and Geology within the “Babes-Bolyai” University. The plans after which this building was built are identical with the plans of the Institute of Zoology in Naples and was built around 1912. Currently, the scientific collection counts over 300.000 pieces, presented in several forms of conservation: stuffed, dried, prepared in preservative liquid and skeletons. In the basic exhibition are also presented rare animals, extinct species, or endemic. At the basement of the Faculty of Biology and Geology the bravest can visit the Vivarium, which includes about 57 species of reptiles, amphibians, birds and micro-mammals. You will meet the viper, the rainbow boa, the Gekko leopard, the Dobrogea turtle etc. Remaining among the wonders of nature, you will relax strolling through the Botanical Garden, also an institution subordinated to the “Babes-Bolyai” University. The space of the garden is divided into several sections, each with its own specific: ornamental, phytogeographic, systematic, economic and medicinal. The Botanical Garden hosts rare, endangered or vulnerable native plants, some endemic, such as:: Saponaria bellidifolia, Papaver corona sancti-stephani, Armeria maritima, Dianthus spiculifolius, Dianthus petraeus ssp. simonkaianus, Campanula carpatica, Centaurea reichenbachii, etc. Also well represented are the greenhouse plants such as the Amazonian nenuphar (imagine nufar), sugar cane, papyrus, mangrove plants, tree ferns, insectivorous plants, eucalyptus, gimnosperm Welwitschia mirabilis, palm sugar, palm oil, as well as the plants belonging to the Lithops genus, originating from South Africa. If you are interested in the science side of botany, we recommend a visit to the Herbarium and the Botanical Museum, two areas of general interest inside the Botanical Garden. Descending tword downtown, in the headquarters of the “Babes-Bolyai” University you can visit two museums that beside their tourist purpose also have a purpose of conservation and study of the natural heritage and of the diversity of minerals and rocks. The Mineralogical Museum, which operates within the Department of Mineralogy of the Faculty of Biology and Geology was originally designed as a place of study and deepening of knowledge for geology students and specialists in the field. Since 2002, the teaching collection of minerals and rocks opened its gates. The museum currently contains over 16.500 exhibits (minerals, processed gems and meteors), grouped into several thematic collections. In the court of the same institution, at the basement you can visit the Paleontology and Stratigraphy Museum, of the Department of Geology-Paleontology of the Faculty of Biology and Geology of “Babes-Bolyai” University. The museum has over 50.000 specimens of great scientific, didactics and cultural value. You can visit the taxon paleontology collection (plants, invertebrates and vertebrates fossils from the country and abroad), the vertebrates collection (ichthyosauriens from the Holzmaden Jurassic and a few samples of the famous dinosaur fauna from the Hateg and Transylvania Basin), regional collections and the most valuable collection: a collection of types comprising over 200 species of fossil plants and animals. Opposite the headquarters of the “Babes-Bolyai” University is worth seeing the University Museum, which was established in order to highlight the extremely rich history of Cluj university education over centuries. By its nature, the museum gives to each student and especially to the future student of the “Babes-Bolyai” University a synthetic perspective about what academic life meant and means in Cluj. If you visit Cluj-Napoca during holidays it is possible that the Paleontology and Stratigraphy Museum, the Mineralogical Museum or the University Museum will be closed, because the guides of these museums are part of the scientific staff of the “Babes-Bolyai” University and could be in leave. Therefore, we encourage you to avoid any inconvenience scheduling visits in advance (by email or telephone). Another museum that has a special program is the Out-Door section of the Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania. It can not be included in the circuit of the museums in the center, because is located at the exit of Cluj-Napoca to Zalau. However the public transport can facilitate your access. During winter the section is closed, bu from May 1 until November 1 you will have the opportunity to admire the oldest and the largest ethnographic museum in Romania. The exhibits are grouped by type of houses and monuments of regional architecture, craft workshops, as well as fountains, gates and interior textiles.
Tourism is also a way to relax and enjoy nature, even if you are in the middle of a big city. We offer you a delightful tour of Cluj gardens and parks. The Botanical Garden is located on Republicii Street 42, was founded in 1872 and now covers an area of 14ha, where are planted over 10.000 specific categories of plants, most of them local and rare, but also exotic plants from Africa or the Amazon. The Agrobotanical Garden is located on the campus of the University of Agricultural Sciences and veterinary Medicine. The current area of nearly 7 ha has over 1.800 vegetal species that can be admired by the visitors. The garden is truly a living museum offering shelter through its sectors to a great number of living creatures meant to illustrate the huge biological diversity of our planet. The central Park lies between the Hungarian State Theatre and the modern Cluj Arena Stadium and has existed for over 180 years. The picturesque of this park is given by the lake, located in the center, but also by the numerous statues which often appear at the intersection of the main alleys. The Fortress Park located at the top of the hill on the northern side of the river Somes on the place of an ancient Habsburg fortress offers a beautiful view over the city. The Romulus Ethnographic Park and Hoia Woods. The tour can end with a short walk in the open-air ethnographic park or in the recreational area of Hoia Woods where you can try to shoot a bow or try a route of Bike Park.
The Cluj of the past centuries, known as “treasure city” of Transylvania, was an important commercial and handcraft center, and under the city buildings were, almost without exception, large and roomy basements. In these cellars were stored goods for which, like in all times, their owners would like to pay as lower taxes as possible. Thus, in these cellars were secret rooms, as there also were narrow tunnels that connected, sometimes, the cellars between them, both being used for smuggling, as well as for residents flee in case of danger. The famous renaissance cellars were restored to life and transformed today in puba, making them accessible to the public. The life in the underground is a very active one, with more than 30 restaurants, bars and clubs with different themes that will surely awake the interest to visit them and to listen to live music. 1. Club Refresh Union Square 2 2. Janis Pub Eroilor Boulevard 5 3. Flying Circus Pub Iuliu Maniu Street2 4. Vertigo Union Square 9 5. Kharma Lucian Blaga Square 1-3 6. Zorki Off the Record Ioan Ratiu Street 10 7. Ernesto Motilor Street 8 8. Alcalia Memorandumului Street 23 9. Etno Club Bar&Grill Memorandumului Street 21 10. Retro Club Memorandumului Street 9 11. Club Avenue Memorandumului Street 3 12. Diesel Club Union Square 17 13. Remember Pub Union Square 19 14. My Way Club Union Square 21 15. The King Franklin Delano Roosevelt Street 2 16. Escala Club&Lounge Georges Clemenceau Street 2 17. Galeriile Fortuna Museum Square 6 18. Roland Garros Horea Street 2 19. Irish & Music Pub Horea Street 5 20. Crama Bolta Rece Ploiesti Street 1 21. Club Romantic Tipografiei Street 10 22. Zig – Zag Pub December 21, 1989 Boulevard 8 23. Bi Klub Bolyai János Street 12 24. Gold Club caffe&club Iuliu Maniu Street 21 25. Pizzeria 4 amici Eroilor Boulevard 23 26. Grotta Café December 21, 1989 Boulevard 70 27. Ernesto Union Square 23 28. Paint Pub Clinicilor Street 10 29. Medieval Pub Matei Corvin Street 2