The Palace of Culture
The Palace of Culture is one of the highlights of the city. It looks astonishing from outside and surprises on the inside too.
Located on the corner of Piata Trandafirilor and George Enescu street you cannot miss it. The shiny roof with different coloured tiles as well as the other decorations on the facade make it special. Built between 1911 and 1913 it was influenced by the Hungarian and the Viennese Secession.
When you enter the building you are greeted by a beautiful ceiling. A lady approached us straight away ushering us to the hidden ticket booth. Entrance fee to various exhibits was RON 10 and the photo permit RON 5 which was very reasonable.
We visited the famous mirror hall, the art gallery and some other exhibits. Since some kids were having a rehearsal we just followed the music and the singing and had a glance a the big concert hall which looked like an opera.
In the mirror hall you may buy postcards and some souvenirs. The souvenir vending point in the entrance hall was closed when we visited. Part of the building was also under renovation.
For more pictures, please check out the travelogue.
Orthodox wooden church
On Mitropolit street you will find the cemeteries and this lovely wooden church dating back to 1794. It is dedicated to St. Michael, the archangel.
When we arrived one late afternoon the church was closed. In front of the church a man was painting a bench and ask in Romanian if we wanted to visit it. We made each other understood by hand gestures :-). Anyway he opened the church for us which included turning off the alarm.
So if you get the chance to have a look inside please do. He even activly told us to take a picture inside which we did without using a flash of course. When you visit the church please note the angels on the dark blue ceiling.
We gave him a small amount of money which he took happily once he understood that it was a donation for the church. After I saw that there was a donation box.
On the first picture you see a monument to Avram Iancu on Piata Trandafirilor. Avram Iancu was a leading figure from Transylvania in the revolution against the Hungarians. Those fights eventually led to the joining of Transylvania to Romania.
Targu Mures like other cities have a big Hungarian minority. In Targu Mures you will notice that a lot of things are written in Hungarian and street names have both languages.
There is also a street calles Avram Iancu and I suggest you walk along it from along the fortress all the way to the cemetery where the stone and the wooden churches are located. Along the way you will notice the monument on picture no. 2 (I couldn't see the name on it) and you will pass the memorial house of Avram Iancu which can be visited (picture no. 3-5). The museum is at no. 23.
The opening times are:
Franciscan tower and theatre square
Just of the main square Piata Trandafirilor you will notice a tower standing all by itself. This is the tower of the former Franciscan monastery standing at the edge of Piata Teatrului another large square but a pedestrianised one.
There was not only a tower but a monastery and a church, both monastery and church were demolished in 1972. From 1735 until 1972 the Franciscans educated young people in this spot. The Franciscan order of Friars minor already lived in the fortress from the 13th to the 16th century. In 1972 they moved to the outskirts of the town.
It's prohibited to cycle or roller skate on the theatre square. The theatre (picture no. 5) itself cannot exactly be called an architectural highlight. There are also a café, a postoffice and a hotdog kiosk to the found on the square.
An important bus stop is right there by the theatre/main square where you can catch the minibus to the airport.
The city hall dates back to 1936-1940 and was built in neo-brancovenesc style.
I must admit that I had to check Wikipedia to find out what Brancovenesc style is. Well, in the Romanian province of Wallachia there used to be a prince by the name of Constantin Brâncoveanu in the 17th/18th century who started this style of architecture.
The city hall underwent restoration in 1990-92.
Roman Catholic church
This impressive church you will find on the main city square, the Piata Trandafirilor, in close neighborhood to the orthodox cathedral.
The church dates back to 1728-1764 when it was built by the Jesuits in Baroque style. From 1933-35 one part was rebuilt in neo-nenaissance style.
Since we were there one late afternoon we couldn't visit the inside as there was a service going on.
The Orthodox Cathedral called Ascension of the Lord is dominating the Piata Trandafirilor. The cathedral is relatively new as it was only built from 1925 till 1934. The church is huge and is constantly vistited so that we only view it from the entrance as we wanted to see as much of the city as possible in the late evening sun.
The Perfecture is an imposing building dating back to 1905-1907. It was designed as city hall by Jakab Dezsö and Komor Marceli in the style of the first period of secession. The tower is 60 meters high. Today it houses the perfecture and the Mures County council.
In the garden in front of the building you will find a "she wolf" monument like in a lot of Romanian cities.
The Fortress can be found very close to the main square in the city center, slightly uphill. As you approach you will see the walls and bastions.
The first fortress was built in the 15th century and was owned by the voivode of Transylvania. The current fortress dates back to 1602/1952. When we visited a big area seemed to be under reconstruction but we were able to enter the church in one part.
- Historical Travel
Reformed Church (Fortress)
Inside the fortress walls you will find the reformed church which is very much in use. Apparently it is the oldest building in Targu Mures built between the 8th century and 1490. It was last renovated in 1986. Everything is in Hungarian.
When we visited it was open because a church service just finished and we quickly entered to have a look before it was locked again.
- Historical Travel
Orthodox stone church
As you approach the cemetery coming form Avram Iancu street turning into Mitropoli street you will see the orthodox Resurrection church dating back to 1793/4 like the nearby wooden church. This is a greek orthodox church. The first Romanian school in town was also in that complex.
The church was closed but you could have a look inside from the metal door grill. After I had taken a picture of the interior I was told not to do so. I wasn't using a flash and in fact when you looked in with the sun behind you, you could hardly see anything but the camera saw much more.
The Small Cathedral dates back to 1934-36 and caters to the Greek-Catholic congregation. We peeked in but were motioned to get in by a lady. We only had a quick look as there was actually a service going on.
The statue in front is dedicated to the founder the then Mayor Dr. Emil A. Dandea.
The Palace of Culture & "Hall of Mirrors"
The Palace of Culture is one of the most representative examples of a Transylvanian building. Construction began in 1911 and was completed in 1913, in the style and manner of the Lechnerien school.
The Palace is impressive not only for its majolica roof, the mosaics and relieves on the exterior facade, but also it is home to the "Hall of Mirrors," stained-glass windows, which are located on the second floor and gaze over the Prefecture. In addition to hosting the "Hall of Mirrors," today the Palace of Culture houses the Tourist Information Bureau on the ground floor, as well as the Mures Philharmonic, which performs every Thursday in its concert hall, except during summer.
Citadel & Hungarian Reformed Church
In 1602 a fortification was built north of the present city center, which houses the distinguished Hungarian Reformed church, was built in pentagonal layout comprises seven bastions, of which five continue to bear the guild's name that by tradition, supported and defended them.
As with all citadels of the time, it was constructed to house the town's inhabitants during times of war. Today, the citadel and church remain, however, townspeople congregate to celebrate more joyous occasions such as the annual beer and wine festivals held in June and October respectively.
Primiaria (City hall) & Prefecture
On the southern end of Piata Tradafirailor in successive order is the "Primaria", town hall; the Prefecture and the majestic Palace of Culture with its Secessionist-style, colored roof.
The Prefecture built at the turn of the century was designed to give a modern, urban feel to the city at the beginning of the twentieth century. Constructed during 1905 to 1907 it has served as the town's hall for over 55 years before housing the Prefecture. The most distinctive aspect of the Prefecture is its sixty-meter tower, initially designed as a fire-tower. In front of the Prefecture sits a statue of "Romulus & Remus", presented to the city in 1924 by the Italian state as a reminder of its Latin origin.
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