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Inaugurated on Oradea’s Anniversary, on October 12, the Temple of Freemasonry entered the national tourist circuit. An emblematic and unique building in the country, the temple houses an important part of local and national history.
About the history of the building, we find that it was designed in 1901 by the architects Bálint Zoltán and Jámbor Lajos, members of the Masonic Lodge in Budapest and was inaugurated the following year, in 1902. The two architects also built in the same year, 1902, the Füchsl Palace, considered to be the first Art Nouveau building in Oradea.
Originally named after the spiritual patron of Oradea, King St. Ladislaus, the temple is based on a hermetic architectural conception, suggesting the secret, initiatory character of the Masonic order. For this reason, the façade has no windows, but only a neo-Greek style portico, which marks the entrance to the building. The portico consists of two columns (alluding to the two columns of Solomon's temple) and two side pilasters. Towards the center, the building has two columns finished in sober Doric capitals, in the spirit of the ancient Greek temples, and in the upper part of the portico it contains neoclassical elements, which combine with the specific ornamentations of Freemasonry.
Regarding its functionality, the building housed, for more than two decades, the "Saint Ladislaus Masonic Lodge", and in the interwar period, the building would become a nursery for orphaned children. The nursery was inaugurated in 1924 by Queen Mary. Later, the building becomes a kindergarten, a commercial enterprise, and before being renovated, it functioned as the headquarters of the Customs Directorate.
Today, the temple brings a touch of exquisiteness to the Armatei Române (Romanian Army) Street through its mystery-shrouded architecture. Visitors and enthusiasts are expected to discover the beautiful renovated rooms that have the specific functions of a Masonic lodge. The building is composed of: the Hall of the Lost Steps from which one enters the Temple, the Reflection Hall - first place in the initiation process, the Office of the Master of the Lodge, respectively in the exhibition hall. The interior arrangements were made with specialists from the Grand National Lodge of Romania and highlight the most important moments in the history of Freemasonry at national and international level.
As unique exhibits that can be admired, we mention: the first graphic representations of the Masonic ceremonies from 1745; a diploma from 1813, with the holographic signatures of the Masons in the lodge, which was offered by the Imperial Library to the great Masonic captain of the French National Guard; a box of facings, in which the apron, the gloves and the necklace were kept; a photograph from 1717 that captures the first Masonic meeting, in the inn called "The Goose and the Gander". It also presents the first manual of Freemasonry, from the United States, from 1888 and an exceptional piece, a Freemasonic gold and silver medal with enamel inserts.
Also, at the inauguration of the temple, it was revealed that in the spring of next year, an international conference on Freemasonry will be organized, on which occasion the number of exhibits will increase.
The Temple of Freemasonry is located on Armatei Române Street no. 4, opposite Nicolae Bălcescu Park, the Țării Crișurilor Museum, and a 5-minute walk from the Oradea Zoo. A circuit of various tourist attractions full of history.
T I C K E T S
Adults: 10 lei
Pupils, students, pensioners: 5 lei
V I S I T I N G H O U R S
Tuesday – Sunday, 10.00 a.m – 6.00 p.m.
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