Cluj-Napoca is the second biggest city in Romania, after Bucharest, commonly known as the unofficial capital of Transylvania. It is situated in the heart of the region, other renowned medieval cities orbit around it, such as Sibiu, Brasov and Sighisoara. While these towns are recognized for their medieval atmosphere, Cluj distinguishes itself by an energetic, youthful and urban-oriented culture.
Cluj dates back to 106AD, established as a Roman settlement under the name of Napoca, which later vanished only to be thereafter reawakened within the Hungarian conquest, under the name of Clusium. Matthias Corvinus helped with the acknowledgement of “Clusium” within economic, politic, urbanistic and cultural means, therefore the place was designated the title of “Treasure City” of the Transylvanian land. From this point onwards, Cluj has become a multicultural city.
The culture scene of Cluj-Napoca
The culture scene of Cluj-Napoca is displayed in plenty of fields and landmarks, which all burst out of the famous Union Square, spread around the tremendous St. Michael’s Church and Matthias Rex’s statue. Not far from these attractions, there is the Museum Square, which elaborates Matthias Corvinus’ persona through the Matia Memorial House. A deeper wandering in this “hidden treasure” of a Square will reveal the Franciscan Church, the oldest one in town and the National History Museum. Cluj has a series of other squares, such as Mihai Viteazu Square and Avram Iancu Square, which extend the central area.
The Banffy Palace, east from St. Michael’s Church, houses the Art Museum. To the west, on Memorandumului Street, there’s the Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania. These are the biggest museums of Cluj, but not the only ones.
There are two hills around the central area. To the Northern hill, the Cetatuia Park arises from the Central Park. These two parks are divided by the Somes River. On the Southern hill, there’s the radiant Botanical Garden of the Babes-Bolyai University.
Cluj-Napoca owes its youthful spirit to Babes-Bolyai University. It is the largest and most prestigious university in Romania, it nests over 40,000 students annually, specializing them in 114 domains. Therefore, the city became the Youth Capital of Europe in 2015, a year that reinforced the cultural scene with “infinite” events, campaigns, projects and festivals.
Some of the most known are Untold Festival, the Transylvania International Film Festival (TIFF), Cluj Days and the Electric Castle Festival in Bontida, a village not far away, where the Banffy Family have extended. Cluj Napoca nightlife offer lots of atractions.There are various accommodation options, from the standard pensions to very modern Cluj Napoca hotels, all of them offered for accessible and attractive prices.
Also, Cluj Napoca airport is one of the most important airports in Romania, which grants easier and faster traveling to or from this destination with .
These being said, Cluj-Napoca is worth visiting not only for its deeply Transylvanian spirit and traditions, but also for its ascending European identity.