Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Oradea Fortress, Oradea Romania

Oradea Fortress, Oradea Romania. "Founded in the eleventh century when a Romanesque cathedral with defensive walls was built on the site for King Ladislaus (r. 1040–1095), who was responsible for Christianizing Transylvania. A monastery and bishop’s palace were added later, and the cathedral was renovated in the Gothic style in the mid-fourteenth century. Italian architects designed the existing pentagonal fortification walls that replaced the original earthen fortifications. The cathedral withstood centuries of war as the area was ruled by successive regimes of Hungarians, Turks, Austrians, and Romanians but was demolished in 1618 when the Royal(Princely) Palace, designed by Italian architect Giaccomo Resti, replaced it. The new royal residence included a church, warehouses, and stables. Stones carved in Gothic style inside the palace reflect the influence of the original cathedral. The headquarters for the state and secret police under the socialists, today the fortress is owned by the city of Oradea and is used for ecclesiastical, administrative, and educational purposes. The University of Oradea Department of Visual Arts occupies one wing of the palace."

Oradea is my favorite city in Romania.

Photo and text credit: World Monuments Fund, New York City.


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