Cluj-Napoca – The East

 This article is part of a series dedicated to Cluj-Napoca, the city in Romania where I first came in 2000 and where I lived the best years of my life. This series will act as a memory vault. All images are photographed in March 2017.

The East side of the Old Town is more or less synonym with the Opera – the orange building to the right of the image above – which is also home for the National Theatre. Behind the Opera is a beautiful park and next to it – the pink building to the left – is the Courthouse. In front of the Opera, just across the street, are the Orthodox Cathedral and the Avram Iancu Park.

Now facing the northern side, that is the statue of Avram Iancu, a historical personality in Romania. In the background is the Orthodox Cathedral, quite tall and impressive, not so beautiful in the inside if you ask me, but worth visiting. Behind the trees are two red towers that belong to the headquarters of the Orthodox Metropolis of the North-Western part of Transylvania.

Here is a detail of the Orthodox Metropolis. Here is also the Orthodox Seminar.

The Orthodox Cathedral while looking upwards from the Eastern side.

This is the Prefecture or the Cluj County Seat. Note that the county is called Cluj and the city is Cluj-Napoca, but everyone is using Cluj for comfort reasons.

The Romanian railway company headquarters or Regionala CFR, an important landmark in Cluj, as in front of it there is one of the most important bus and trolley stations in the city.

Everything you saw until now is part of the Outer City. In ancient times the Romanians were considered a “tolerated nation”, not having many rights, while the Hungarian population ruled Transylvania ruthlessly. Nothing has changed over the years, as the Hungarians still want to erect walls nowadays (see the migrant story). The Romanian population was mainly kept outside the walls of the city, while the Hungarians and the Austrians were inside. This situation continues to this very day, when you can hear Hungarian language mostly in the Old Town while the Romanians are scattered in the outer districts of the city. This has fueled over the centuries a huge hate and there is a lot of blood between the two nations. Since the Hungarians are mostly catholic and protestant and the Romanians are orthodox, there is also a religious division that is deeply felt. This explains why the Orthodox Cathedral was built outside the wall; no land was granted to a tolerated nation inside, so the Romanians were left in the outskirts. The geography and the history of the city says it all for the keen eye. Here is a part of the old wall near its South-Eastern corner – the Taylor’s Bastion – seen from the inner town.

This is Saint George’s statue at the entrance in the Calvin Reformed Church just a couple of meters from the wall, in the inner town. This church is part of a district that I never fully understood, as everything is in Hungarian language and it is more or less of an enclave. The church is quite tall and secluded.

The Baba Novac statue just outside the Taylor’s Tower that marks the South-Eastern corner of the ancient city.

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