Oradea is the capital of Bihor County, in Romania. It is one of the most important economic, social, and cultural centers in western Romania due to its strong industrial power. Aside from its economic power, the city of Oradea hosts a rich Art Nouveau architectural heritage and is a member of the Réseau Art Nouveau Network (RANN) and the Art Nouveau European Route. It is even nicknamed ”Little Paris.”
Throughout its history, Oradea was the center of attention. In 1474, the city was captured by the Turks and became an ethnic and cultural mosaic afterward. The Ottoman rule over the Oradea ended in the 17th century and the Habsburg Imperial forces captured the city. Under the Habsburg rule, Oradea flourished. Many of the Baroque architectural landmarks were built in this era. The World Wars and the Romanian Revolution also affected the city’s contemporary profile and ratified its multicultural environment.
Here are some of the most impressive Art Nouveau buildings in Oradea:
Black Eagle Palace (Palatul Vulturul Negru)
The Black Eagle Palace is the most iconic building in Oradea and is the most representative Vienna Secession-style monument in all of Transylvania. The Palace was completed in 1907. It is a multifunctional complex that hosts a hotel, several shops, cafés, apartments, offices, and a theatre studio.
The architects of the iconic landmark were Komor Marcel and Jakab Dezso, leading representatives of the Art Nouveau in Romania.
The glazed castle was inspired by the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan.
Moskovits Miksa Palace
The building gets its name from the engineer who commissioned it, Moskovits Miksa. It was built in 1905, by the architect Kálmán Rimanóczy Jr., an architect who was fond of the Munich secession. It is famous for its intricate facade.
The two-story building is embellished with rich motifs including the Tree of Life and Hermes’ scepter. It is on Republicii Street, one of the busiest pedestrian roads, that parades famous Secessionist buildings like Stern Palace and Apollo Palace.
Deutsch K. Ignác Glassware and Porcelain Store (Casa Deutsch)
The building belonged to the Deutsch family who moved to Romania from the Czech Republic. They were one of the wealthiest families in Oradea as they were the second most important merchants of glass for the Empire. This building was used as a glass store for the glass company of the family.
It was built by architect Sztarill Ferenc, one of the most famous architects of the city at that time. The two-story building’s entire front is covered in floral designs.
Stern Palace (Palatul Stern)
Stern Palace was built in 1909 by Komor Marcell and Jakab Dezso. The specifics of the neo-Hungarian style can be found in the decoration of the facade of the building like the decorative belt embellished with floral motifs.
It is on Republicii Street.
Apollo Palace is on Republicii Street, along with other famous buildings like Stern Palace and Moskovits Miksa Palace. It is a representative of Oradea’s eclectic architecture. It was built by Rimanóczy Kálmán Jr.