Oradea played an important role throughout the country's history, as a major cultural, economical and military location. The city was first mentioned in 1113, under the Latin name Varadinum. In 1474 it was devastated by the Turks and started to grow as an urban area only in the beginning of the 16th century. It is one of the prosperous cities in România, being close to the Hungarian border, and thus making it a gateway towards Western Europe.
The beautiful historical buildings in Oradea date back from the time when the city was part of Austria-Hungary, but the buildings in the outer quarters remind people of the Communist era. In that period, many of the historical buildings were deteriorating, but it wasn't until 2002 that they were restored to their previous state.
One of the main touristic objectives one can visit here is the Fortress of Oradea, with a pentagonal fort, built in the 12th century to protect the city, but later destroyed and rebuilt in the 16th century, this time in an Italian style, making it even more interesting. There are also some interesting churches, such as the Church with the Moon, the Baroque Cathedral - the biggest Baroque cathedral in Romania. There is also a synagogue, a symbol of the importance that the Jewish community has had over the years in Oradea.
A city that must be included on your list of "must see" places in Romania, a beautiful city, with important architectural projects and museums.
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