Oradea is the capital city of Bihor County and has 196.367 inhabitants.

Oradea

Oradea, The Fortress of Oradea

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GPS Coordinates:
47,05149 N, 21,94287 E

During the IX century of its existence the constructions what raised on this surface of 150.000 m2 had an eventful history. Until 1241 it had been a fortress with earthy ditch and a wooden bridge. Between 1247-1569 raised a circular fortress of stone.

The fortress of Oradea how it is today - pentagonal, with battlements at its corners and water ditch - was built between 1570-1618 by Italian architects remained the best kept Italian renaissance fortress of central Europe. Between 1097-1557 served as residence of the Roman Catholic bishop of Oradea period when the fortress became an important religious and cultural center.

In the fortress functioned a library, an astronomical observatory, a printing house and a school.In the catholic church and in its cemetery found their eternal peace not less then seven crowned person: Ladisla I (died on the 25th of July 1095 in Zvolen, taken to Oradea between 1130-1134), Andrei II (had been buried in 1235 in Oradea, later taken to the abbey of Agria), Alexander II, Ladisla IV the Cunsenian (killed in 1290 at Cheresig), queen Beatrix (wife of Carol Robert de Anjou, in 1319), queen Mary (wife of Sigismund de Luxembourg, in 1396) and king Sigismund de Luxembourg (in 1437).

The fact that these kings were buried in Oradea seems to confirm the legend that the city was truly founded by St. Ladisla (Ladisla I). Since 1557 the role of the fortress had become strictly military being attacked by the Tartars (1241), Turks (1474, 1598, 1658, 1660), Transylvanian revolutionaries (1290, 1514, 1664, 1703-1710), armies of the Transylvanian Principality (1557, 1603) and by the Austrians (1692). The fortress had been besieged without any success for 5 weeks by the Turks. The Oradeans had on their side the reign of the Romanian Country Mihai Viteazul as well as the weather.

The rains were flooded into the Turkish camps and the illnesses decimated them. Today we are witnesses of the restorations of the fortress. The first results are already visible, the most spectacular being the frescoes in the waiting room and reception hall.

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