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12/11/2016



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Cluj "Imperial Transylvania"
A vibrant university city, cultural centre of Transylvania and, as Kolozsvár, erstwhile capital
of the province under the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire



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National Theatre, Cluj


Cluj Napoca

Kolozsvár - Imperial capital of Austro-Hungarian Transylvania, Klausenburg - one of the Saxon Siebenbürgen, or present day Cluj-Napoca, cultural centre of northern Romania. With such a pedigree it it is not surprising that this city is such a lively, melting pot, an intellectual centre with an active cafe society, renowned university, museums, theatres and eye-catching architecture.

Cluj is an ideal gateway to northern Transylvania, the Apuseni Mountains, the mountains of Bistrita-Nasaud, and the Maramures. It is also suitable for short- break holidays. There is an excellentd selection of hotels, many of them in quiet back streets just off the main central thoroughfares and squares.

Thedaily WIZZ air service from Luton have brought Cluj even closer, making it an ideal city break destination for UK travellers and businessmen alike. In addition to the excellent hotels Cluj has some excelelnt restaurants and bars and bustling nightlife. Apart from sightseeing around the city itself it is easy to arrange day trips to the Apuseni Mountains, Bontida palace, or the Turda saltmines while longer trips such as Dracula trails around the Borgo Pass, and village breaks in Maramures, and even guided circuits of the Painted Monasteries make this an ideal steeping off point for norther Romania and Transylvania in general.

The history of Cluj may be traced back to before the Romans who named it 'Napoca'. Now it is a thriving city and university town (the Babes-Bolyai University was founded in 1581) which is presently going through something of a renaissance due to its location on important trade routes which is attracting new businesses and investment. Even the bleak quarters of communist-style apartment blocks are coming to life with new restaurants, shops and showrooms. You will notice restoration projects such as the brightly coloured facades and eclectic architecture of the buildings lining Strada Horea and Piata Mihai Viteazu '- curious blends of turquoise, sea green, apricot, primrose yellow, cornflower blue, lavender and chestnut - more authentic than it might appear at first sight to anyone more used to the natural brick and stone of northern Europe!






Dining Room of the forner
Continental Hotel



CLUJ


Holidays in Transylvaniacan
support local communities and
crafts through local
tourism initiatives


HOLIDAYS



Cluj is the perfect gateway
for mucg of northern Romania

In addition to a city break,
Cluj is the ideal starting point forL

Maramures - Village Holidays
Bistrita - Dracula Trails
Sighisoara - Saxon Transylvania
Bucovina - painted Monasteries

It can also be used as an
alternative airport for the
Touch of Class and
Another Europe holidays



HIGHLIGHTS



Cluj
St.Mihai Catholic Cathedral
Matthias Corvinus statue and house
Banffy Palace Art Museum
Orthodox Cathedral
National Opera House
Hungarian Theatre
Neologue Synagogue
Eclectic & Sezession architecture
Pharmacy Museum (Hintz House)
Tailors' Bastion
Botanic Gardens
Cock Church
Calvaria Church (Manastur)
Citadel ruins (Cetutuia Hill)
Open-air Village Museum

Banffy Palace & Park, Bontida
Kalotaszeg - wooden churches
Apuseni Mountains:
Turda Gorge & Saltmines
Padis plateau - karstic landcape
Scarisoara Ice Caves
Pestera Ursilor "Bear Cave"
"Girl Fair" on Mt.Gaina



TRAVEL



WIZZ AIR operate direct services from Luton to Cluj and Targu Mures

Other scheduled services
include Tarom, Austrian,
Malev and Lufthansa

Wizz use Cluj as a local
hub with connections to
many parts of Europe

International rail services from
Budapest with connections
to Vienna and Prague
There are several daily
services to/from Bucharest
including two overnight sleeper
service trains.

Convenient inter-city services to
Oradea, Arad, Timisoara
and Sibiu

Local express services to
Suceava, Iasi,
Brasov & Bistrita, Sighet
Alba Iulia and Baia Mare.

Transfers, city tours, rail tickets
and even short breaks can
be reserved in advance.


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Beds - Beds - Beds - Beds - Beds - Beds - Beds - Beds - Beds - Beds - Beds


Our personal recommendations for the best accommodation in Cluj
Luxury 5-star hotels to family run guesthouses



















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More ambitious is the restoration project for the ruined Banffy Palace in the village of Bontida, former seat of the once powerful Banffy family. Cluj had no 'civic centre' which means that the old heart of the city was spared the destruction many large cities, such as Craiova, Suceava and Bucharest suffered under communism, and remains reasonably intact within the area of the former city walls (these may be traced in places). The main focal point is Piata Unirii (formerly Piata Libertatii), a handsome square which is dominated by the great Gothic church of St. Michael (St.Mihai) - originally constructed in the 14th century by the Saxons. In front of the church is an equestrian statue of Matthias Corvinus (Matei Corvin) - greatest King of Hungary. The house where he was born in 1440 is located just north of this square which also contains the baroque Banffy Palace (former city residence of the Banffy family, built 1774-91), now the Art Museum, and the neo-baroque Continental Hotel, well-described by the travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor who called in during his epic journey across Europe in the 1930s (closed for restoration - 2005).

On Piata Avram Iancu (Victoriei) you will find the tall orthodox cathedral (1921-33), the attractive art nouveau opera house, designed by Fellner and Hellmer, and the eclectic style 'Court of Appeal'. There is also an excellent Hungarian Theatre near the river and park. Other attractions include several museums, statues and churches, the Mughal-style Neologue Synagogue (1886) on Strada Horea, the nearby eclectic, neo-baroque and sezessionist archirecture of the 'palaces' on each corner of the Somes Bridge, together with the Urania building and the city hall, the Hintz House (a pharmacy dating from 1573 which is now a Pharmacy Museum, the Tailor's Bastion, the gothic-style Reformed Church, and the botanical gardens, the largest in south-eastern Europe, which offer a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. There is also a village museum located on the north-west side of the city.

To the west of the centre are the Cock Church (Kós Károly, 1913) and the suburb of Manastur, now a monstrous suburb of high-rise apartments, but actually the oldest part of the city. There are still ancient earthworks and the Calvaria Church which dates back to the 12th Century. Manastur is also home to the Strada Lingurilor, the 'Street of Spoons' so colourfully described by Walter Starkie in the 1930s - nowadays apartment blocks and trams have replaced the former gypsy hovel.

Cluj also offers a selection of excellent restaurants serving evetything from Transylvania cuisine to Chinese, Greek and Japanese food, or pizzas and kebabs! The city is also noted for its cafe society and offers a wide range of cafes and bars. It is also home to one of Romania's best-known beers - "Ursus" which you will find almost everywhere!

SPECIAL: Click here for our photo gallery: CLUJ




An Evening at the Theatre or a Night at the Opera?

Enjoy a night out in the beautiful Cluj National Theatre and Opera, a secessionist and neo-baroque building designed by the famous
Viennese architects Fellner and Helmer in 1907. Follow the links below for more deails:
:
Home Page:
National Opera Cluj-Napoca
Programme: National Opera Cluj-Napoca

Alternative try the equally excellent Hungarian opera and theatre which stands close to the Somes Mic river on Strada G. Baritiu.
Programmes and information can be found on their website:
Teatrul Maghiar de Stat, Cluj-Napoca / Kolozsvári Állami Magyar Színház

Our recommended agents can organise tickets and transfers in advance for shows at either venue. Note that the theatre xloses for the summer.
Cluj also has several ecellent cinemas including an impressive art deco centrral cinema.





In the immediate vicinity of Cluj you will find camping and a restaurant on the popular hill called Feleacu, whilst to the north you can explore some of the relatively undiscovered villages of Romania - those of Salaj county are known for their wooden churches whilst to the north of Gherla there are a group of villages on the Transylvanian Heath with some of the most varied folk music in Europe. Of special interest is the project to restore the Banffy Palace at Bontida (see panel below)



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Apuseni "The Green Mountains"

The Apuseni mountains, located to the west of Cluj, are bordered by the Crisul Repede river to the north and the Aries to the south. This fascinating region is ideal for walking and adventure, a mixture of karstic landscape - limestone gorges (the Turda Gorge is 3km long with 300m cliffs), cave systems including the Pestera Ursilor ("Bear Cave") and the exceptional Scarisoara Ice Caves, stalactites and stalagmites, and subterranean rivers, with igneous mountains, interwoven with the fascinating folk festivals such as the famous "Girl Fair" held on Mt. Gaina, and the traditional culture of the 'Moti '- the ancient inhabitants of this isolated upland region, and very diverse flora and fauna including bears,wolves, chamois, eagles and numerous endemic plant species.

A wide range of activity adventure breaks are available through our colleagues at GREEN MOUNTAIN HOLIDAYS in Izvoru Crisului - walking, mountain biking, caving, horse and cart trips, and kayaking with the real experts of the Apuseni.

Full details on Request


Salciua in the Aries Valley







Banffy Palace Bontida

Of special interest is the ongoing restoration of the baroque Banffy Palace
located to the north-east of the city in the village of Bontida.
It was virtually destroyed by the retreating German army in 1944 in
revenge for Miklos Banffy's trying make peace with the advancing Red Army.
The palace was listed amongst the World's 100 most endangered
monuments in 1999. However, renovation is progressing well with funds
from the Romanian and Hungarian governments and other
non-governmental organisations such as the
Transylvania Trust and
the
Institute of Historic Building Conservation (UK).
Of particular note is the
Built Heritage Conservation Training Centre
which has been established at Bontida to promote excellence in the
conservation of the historic environment and to train craftsmen
and architects in traditional building skills.
The site may be visited by the public.
There is also a project promoted by
Pro Patrimonio (modelled on the
National Trust) to save the 500 acre park here which was originally
laid down and planted in 1750-1760.

Neologue Synagogue on Strada Horea / Orthodox Cathedral & Avram Iancu statue /
St, Mihail Catholic Church
Statue of Matthias Corvinus (Matei Corvin) / Botanic Gardens /
Statue of Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave)
Strada Horea / Piata Unirii (ex.Libertatii) with the Continental Hotel /
Banffy Palace & Roman-Catholic church buildings



FURTHER READING

Rough Guide Romania
Blue Guide Romania - for more detailed cultural information
"Raggle-Taggle" Walter Starkie - a classic travelogue, Walter Starkie spent some time in Cluj in the early 1930s, mainly studying Gypsy life and folklore.
"They Were Counted" Miklós Bánffy - the first in the classic 'Banffy Trilogy', works of fiction based around life in pre 1914 Transylvania
"Winds of Sorrow" Alan Ogden (John Sandoe Books, Chelsea or Amazon) - excellent cultural account of the region with breakdown of locations in the Banffy Trilogy
You will also find other city guides in local bookstores such as the University Bookshop opposite Hotel Continental. "What, Where, When ... Cluj" is a free publication often left in hotel foyers or rooms which lists services, entertainment, restaurants and events. mainly aimed at business travellers but very useful.









Tel. +44 (0)1900 838570; Email. travel@lakelandbeyond.com

www.beyondtheforest.com and www.lakelandbeyond.com are information websites provided and maintained in the United Kingdom by Romantique Couture


Copyright © 2016 BeyondtheForest - the Romania Travel Specialists
Cluj Napoca Kolozvar Klausenburg - Quality Accommodation, Hotels and Pensions, Flights, Tours, Transfers and Holidays with Transylvania Uncovered - Adventures in the Apuseni Mountains - Hiking, Caving, Riding - Turda, Padis, Scarisoara, Mt.Gaina / Cluj Napoca Kolozvar Klausenburg - Quality Accommodation, Hotels and Pensions, Flights, Tours, Transfers and Holidays with Transylvania Uncovered - Adventures in the Apuseni Mountains - Hiking, Caving, Riding - Turda, Padis, Scarisoara, Mt.Gaina / Cluj Napoca Kolozvar Klausenburg - Quality Accommodation, Hotels and Pensions, Flights, Tours, Transfers and Holidays with Transylvania Uncovered - Adventures in the Apuseni Mountains - Hiking, Caving, Riding - Turda, Padis, Scarisoara, Mt.Gaina / Cluj Napoca Kolozvar Klausenburg - Quality Accommodation, Hotels and Pensions, Flights, Tours, Transfers and Holidays with Transylvania Uncovered - Adventures in the Apuseni Mountains - Hiking, Caving, Riding - Turda, Padis, Scarisoara, Mt.Gaina / Cluj Napoca Kolozvar Klausenburg - Quality Accommodation, Hotels and Pensions, Flights, Tours, Transfers and Holidays with Transylvania Uncovered - Adventures in the Apuseni Mountains - Hiking, Caving, Riding - Turda, Padis, Scarisoara, Mt.Gaina / Cluj Napoca Kolozvar Klausenburg - Quality Accommodation, Hotels and Pensions, Flights, Tours, Transfers and Holidays with Transylvania Uncovered - Adventures in the Apuseni Mountains - Hiking, Caving, Riding - Turda, Padis, Scarisoara, Mt.Gaina / Cluj Napoca Kolozvar Klausenburg - Quality Accommodation, Hotels and Pensions, Flights, Tours, Transfers and Holidays with Transylvania Uncovered - Adventures in the Apuseni Mountains - Hiking, Caving, Riding - Turda, Padis, Scarisoara, Mt.Gaina /