Cluj Napoca City Tour

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Tour highlights:

  • Unirii Square
  • St. Michael Church
  • Banffy Palace
  • The Calvinist Reformed Church
  • St. Peter and Paul Church
  • Tailor’s Bastion
  • Fortress Hill
  • Franciscan Monastery and Church
  • Cluj Museum of Art
  • History Museum

General description for Cluj-Napoca city tour:

  • Tour type: individual or group
  • Duration: 3-4 hours
  • Start point: Cluj-Napoca
  • End point: Cluj-Napoca
  • Languages: English, German, Romanian, Serbian
  • Participants: from 1 person to 40

 

1. Unirii Square

Featuring baroque, gothic, Renaissance and neoclassical buildings, the square allows for quick access to St. Michael’s Church and the Banffy Palace. Flanking the church on the south side is a 1902 equestrian statue of the 15-th century ruler, Matei Corvin. In the southwest corner of the square stands Hotel Continental, built in 1895 in an eclectic style combining Renaissance, classical and baroque elements. During World War II, the hotel served as the German military headquarters in Transylvania. Across the square, you can visit the Hintz House, which served as Cluj’s first and longest-running pharmacy (1573-1949) and is now home to the Pharmacy Museum.

2. St. Michael Church

This church is one of the most beautiful Gothic monuments in Transylvania. St. Michael’s Church was erected between 1350 and 1487 on the site of the former St. Jacob’s Chapel. The altar, built around 1390, is the oldest part of the church.

3. Banffy Pallace

An imposing former residence of the Austro-Hungarian governors, Banffy Palace was designed by the German architect, Johann Eberhard Blaumann, for then-governor of the city, Banffy Gyorgy. Built between 1774 and 1775, it is considered the most representative example of baroque style in Transylvania. In 1951, the palace became the home of the Cluj National Art Museum.

4. The Calvinist Reformed Church

The building of this impressive church began in 1486 and was completed around 1516, with a pulpit added in 1646. The church, one of the largest in southeastern Europe, is a perfect illustration of the late Gothic architectural style.

5. St. Peter and Paul Church

The imposing portal at the entrance was built by a priest, Biro Jozsef, after the Black Death struck the town (1738-1742). A statue of Saint Archangel Michael is centered above the main entrance, flanked on the left by John the Baptist, Saint Sebastian and Saint Charles Borromei, and on the right by Saint John the Evangelist, Saint Rocus and Saint John Nepomuc. The portal was moved here in 1899 from its former location at St. Michael’s Church and was recently restored.

6. Tailor’s Bastion

Dating from 1550, Tailors’ Bastion is the only such structure still standing from the medieval fortified city.

7. Fortress Hill

For the best views of the city and the surrounding landscape, climb a few meters up Fortress Hill. The name refers to an Austrian fortress built here in the 18-th century to ensure control, rather than defense, of the city. The fortress also served occasionally as a prison, and it was here that Stephan Ludwig Roth, the 1848 hero of the Transylvanian Saxons, was held, accused of high treason and executed at the northern gate on May 11, 1849.

8. The Franciscan Monastery and Church

One of the city’s oldest structures, the Franciscan Monastery was built in the 15-th century on the site of an older church dating from 1273 and handed to the Dominican order by ruler Iancu de Hunedoara in 1455. Located at the south of the monastery complex, the church was offered as a gift to the Franciscans who restored it in baroque style around the year 1728.

9. Museum of Art

The 22 halls of the Banffy Palace display sculptures, graphics, weapons, furniture, carpets, and paintings by famous Romanian artists such as Nicolae Grigorescu (1838-1907), Theodor Aman (1831-1891) and Theodor Pallady (1871-1956). Both Grigorescu and Aman were influenced by the Barbizon group and the Impressionists, while Pallady spent many years in Paris and drew inspiration from Matisse.

10. History Museum

Founded in 1859, this museum illustrates the history of Transylvania from Paleolithic times to the present. The size of the collection has grown from about 24,000 items in the 1870s to more than 400,000 today, including many rare or extremely valuable objects. Strange skulls, mammoth tusks, arrow- and spearheads illustrate the progress from the Neolithic and Bronze Ages to the rise of the Dacian civilization, which reached its peak between the second century B.C. and the first century A.D. The sections for medieval, modern and contemporary history and the Numismatic Cabinet contain collections of decorative art, ancient books, old printings, memoirs, history and coins.

Prices and Dates

Price: 35 Eur/person

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