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From Cluj 2 days tour: Art Nouveau in Oradea & ecotourism in Pădurea Craiului Mountains Area.
Beauty and elegance, romance and individualism, natural made wonders, up and underground, man-made or nature given, raw beauty or rather beauty built in time, Art Nouveau vs Neolithic homes, standing the test of time and the humans’ taste in art, natural and men-made architecture, not in competition with but awe-inspiring each other. This tour will take you back and forth, Ice Age to XIX century, viewing delicate architecture and cave decorations, enjoying stories and history tales from the people who lived it themselves. Time-leap is real and that time is now.
In the morning
Stop at: Huedin’s Reformed Church
A small town founded in Middle Ages, with strong historical Hungarian heritage, once visited by emperor Franz Joseph as a thank you to the Hungarian Army for maneuvers in Transylvania. Once, the town’s landlords were the Banffy family, hence the town’s name in Hungarian: Banffyhunyad. Today, the XIII century old Reformed Church located in the city center and the palatial gypsy villas as you enter west from Cluj-Napoca stand to impress you.
Stop at: Unguru Mare cave
A masterpiece of nature at the base of a limestone wall, welcoming you via an entrance of 32 m high, 22 m wide. A former home to Neolithic ancestors who left behind inside the cave traces of their life. A great, big human shelter since the early days, with a spectacular source of natural light, worthy of the dimensions of a cathedral.
Stop at: Oradea city center
Founded around a monastery, medieval town of Nagyvarad as it is still called in Hungarian today, flourished during Matei Corvin reign. Add a layer of Vauban fortifications and fill it with neoclassical, baroque and Secession buildings and you have one of the most representative cities of 1900 architecture in Romania. The heritage of Art Nouveau, expressed in decorative arts, design and architecture, with the main ornamental characteristic the asymmetric undulating line is the reason Oradea become part of the European network of Art Nouveau cities like Barcelona and Budapest.
We will spend the night in a hotel in Oradea.
Stop at: Meziad cave
One of the most beautiful accessible caves, with and entry of 16 m high and 10 m wide, explored for the first time in 1859. Since 1960, its 5 km touristic route accessible labyrinthic corridors full of stalagmite and stalactites are visited annually by 25000 tourists.
Stop at: Remetea village, the Reformed Church
Build between XIV-XV century in Gothic style, the Reformed Church in Remetea is a national value architectural monument due to its mural, byzantine style, 700 years old paintings, some restored and brought back to light.
Stop at: Roșia village, the wooden-water mill
The XIX century corn flour mill from Roşia village is the only one of its kind still in use in the area. The mill and the current owner family history, Mr. Gheorghe Burtic or Dica Darului as the 91 years old is known, are entwined: his father bought the 200 years old mill and by the time Gheorghe turned 10, he was running the place; just like today.
Stop at: Vadu Crișului village, the Salt Customs Tower
The two-level XIII century tower was built on a rock on the right bank of Crisul Repede river at the gorge’s exit for supervising the salt commerce on the river. The three windows overlooking the entire gorge, the storage place cave and the hooks where the floats were anchored, are still there.