Eroilor Avenue is a wonderful street in the downtown area of Cluj-Napoca. On both sides of it are the Union and Avram Iancu Squares. Part of the street is pedestrian-only. This is a great place to go for a walk in the evening because of the abundant shopping, nightlife, and restaurants. Many of the houses on this street feature unique designs and bright colors. On this street, you can also see the Capitoline Wolf Statue and the Transfiguration Cathedral.
This Reformation Church was built by Matthias Corvinus and dates from the 16th century. The church was originally used by the Minorites, but was later used by the Jesuits. The Unitarians destroyed part of the church and it ended up being deserted for about 60 years. The Reformationists eventually adopted the church and renovated it. The structure is so large, you will be awed by its size. Inside you can see 17th century wooden benches and the coat of arms for many wealthy Transylvanian families. Compared to other churches in Cluj-Napoca, the walls look kind of barren and undecorated, but it's still a really beautiful, historical place to visit.
The Lucian Blaga National Theater is a colorful building that dates from 1906. In the past, this theater held Hungarian performances, but now just Romanian theater and opera. Romanian theater faced many challenges during WWII and the Communist era, but after 1989, it improved dramatically. Both Romanian and international works are performed here.
The Capitoline Wolf Statue is an interesting monument on Eroilor Avenue. The statue was a gift from Italy in the 1920s and celebrates the Latin roots of both countries. It can be found in a few other Romanian cities and depicts a wolf feeding Romulus and Remus as well as the Emperor Trajan. During WWII, the statue was temporarily hid, and was later put in a different location in the city. It was renovated in 1994 and finally put on Eroilor Avenue.
Dormition of the Theotokos is Cluj-Napoca's main Romanian Orthodox cathedral and is located at Avram Iancu Square. Compared to the city's other churches it is very new, since it was finished in 1933. The King of Romania at that time, Carol II, came to the church's opening in 1933. Inside you can see colorful paintings, intricate chandeliers, and small, dark chapels with flickering candles. It's a very beautiful church that must be visited if you are in Cluj.
This is the only functioning synagogue in Cluj-Napoca and was finished in 1887. The building suffered a lot of damage in the 1920s, but was renovated not long after. In WWII, the building survived some pretty bad things (including more damage), and less than a decade later it was renovated one more time.
The Cathedral of the Transfiguration was a Minorite church that was finished in 1779. Because of a faulty basement and fires, a lot of the church has been renovated or re-built over the years and doesn't appear to be really old. Wealthy townspeople and even Maria Theresa herself contributed financially to these renovations. In the 1920s, it became a Greek-Catholic Church, but later the Communists changed it to Romanian Orthodox. In 1998, it went back to being Greek Catholic.
The Franciscan Church of Cluj-Napoca was finished in 1290 and was used by Benedictine monks 100 years later. Although this church was finished in 1290, it is not the original. The original was built much earlier, but was demolished by the Tatars. In the Middle Ages, this church housed Queen Isabella of Hungary for a year.
The Matthias Corvinus House, which dates from the 1400s, is an important place in Hungarian and Transylvanian history. This house has been used as a hospital, hotel, jail, and museum, but most importantly it was the birthplace of Matthias Corvinus. Matthias Corvinus, or "Matyas Kiraly", is arguably Hungary's most famous and most-loved king. He was king during Hungary's "Golden Age" and the country's international relations improved significantly during his reign. Matyas Kiraly is frequently found in folk stories, since most Hungarians view him as a hero. It's amazing to see such a huge piece of history in person. This is a must-visit spot in Cluj-Napoca.
Union Square is Cluj's city center and biggest square. This square is dominated by St. Michael's Church as well as a statue of King Matyas (Matthias Corvinus). Other notable places at this square include the National Museum of Art, 2 palaces, and a town hall. At one place in Union Square, the cobblestone stops and you can look through glass at Roman ruins. Union Square is also next to Eroilor Boulevard, which features great restaurants and shopping. This place is the heart of the city, so you don't want to miss it!
St. Michael's Church is one of the most magnificent buildings of Cluj-Napoca and one of the largest churches in Romania. The church was finished in the mid-fifteenth century, but the tower dates from the 1800s. Originally, it was used as a Roman Catholic church, but during the Middle Ages it was also used as a Protestant and Unitarian church. Nowadays, it's still a Catholic church. Highlights of St. Michael's Church include colorful stained glass windows, old frescoes, and an altar, which dates from 1390. Over the course of history, 4 Transylvanian princes were chosen in this church. Other significant events that happened here include Queen Isabella (of Hungary) relinquishing and taking back the crown and Aron Marton's, a Transylvanian bishop, condemnation of Nazi Germany. Visiting this church is a great way to see a piece of Transylvanian history.
Baba Novac was a high commander in the army of Mihai Viteazul. He was executed by Hungarian nobles on this spot 1601.
The statue stands just south of the Tailor's Bastion.
The first defence system was built in the 13th and 14th centuries but had to be strenghtened and rebuilt since the town grew larger. The Tailor's Bastion (Bastion Croitorilor) is the only remaining of the 18 towers and bastions built. This particular one was built starting in 1475.
Matias Corvin was was born on February 23, 1443 and died on April 6, 1490. He was king of Hungary from January 1458 till his death. After his death people said " The king died. The justice died." because he was known to be very juste.
The statue of Matias Corvin was unveiled in 1902.
The first building works on St Michail's Church lasted from 1350 to 1437, the altar built about 1390. This church was built in four stages to replace the former St Jacob's chapel. The Neo-Gothic tower was built in 1837-62 (the third tower after the first was destroyed by fire in 1698 and the second by an earthquake) and being 80m tall, it is the tallest church tower in Romania.
The frescoes from the 15th century were uncovered during restoration works performed 1957 to 1960.
The church is open Mon - Sunday 10.00 - 19.00.