Oradea Fortress  



Live an immersive experience in one of the most important medieval monuments in #Transylvania!

With a history of almost 1,000 years, Oradea Fortress is a tourist attraction you don’t want to miss, because it offers a unique medieval experience. Its historical past, the architecture, all the legends related to certain events that marked its existence, will determine you to spend many hours discovering its story.


A brief history of Oradea Fortress


From its early beginnings, Oradea Fortress was the nucleus of the political, military, administrative, legal, and religious life, following the sanctification in 1192, of the founder of Oradea Diocese as St. Ladislaus the Thaumaturgist.


The active involvement of bishops in the city development and the effervescent cultural life, transformed Oradea Fortress, in the 15th century, into one of the most important European centres of Humanism and Renaissance. Thus, within it, there was a large library with books brought from Italy, a Literarum asylum, meeting venue for the great humanist scholars of the time, a Capitular Catholic school, where the great humanist scholar Nicolaus Olahus learned, as well as an astronomical observatory, which fixed the zero meridians of maps in Oradea, for several centuries.


This meridian passed through the city, is located here by the Austrian physicist Georg von Peuerbach, at the urging of a great humanist, the bishop of Oradea Ioan Viteaz de Sredna.


Conquered only 3 times


Throughout its history, Oradea Fortress served as the residence for the Roman Catholic Bishopric of Oradea (1092 - 1557), as well as a military fortress (1557 - 1857), being, in turn, under different administrations: Hungarian/Transylvanian (1092 - 1660), Ottoman (1660-1692), Habsburg (1692 - 1918). Over the centuries, the fortress was besieged by Tartars (1241), Turks (1474, 1598, 1658, 1660), Transylvanian rebels (1290, 1514, 1664, 1703 - 1710), the armies of the Principality of Transylvania (1557, 1603), Austrians (1692). Despite many attempts, the Fortress was conquered only three times.


Many crowned heads were buried in the fortress: Ladislaus I of Hungary, Andrew II of Hungary (1235, later taken to Agria ), Stephen II of Hungary, Ladislaus IV of Cuman (1290), Queen Beatrix, wife of Carol Robert de Anjou (1319), queen Maria de Anjou, wife of Sigismund of Luxembourg (1396), king emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg (1437, the only Roman-German emperor buried outside Germany).


Great captains of Oradea played an important role throughout history, Stephen Báthory also becoming King of Poland in 1575, and Christopher Báthory, Stephen Bocskai and George II Rákóczi becoming princes of Transylvania.



Commercial node


Apart from the defence role, the fortress walls witnessed many fairs, such as the St. Mary's Fair, where goods from the East and the West were exchanged and where, according to a Turkish chronicler, Evlia Celebi "40,000 people" were present.




From an architectural point of view, Oradea Fortress has known three major stages of development. A Romantic stage, a Gothic stage and, eventually, the Renaissance-Baroque stage, which makes its mark on the monument visible today. Following the restoration and expansion during the 16th and 17th centuries, the Fortress acquires the typical physiognomy of an Italian bastion-type fortification, with feather-type bastions, being, in fact, the only one of its kind in the whole Eastern Europe.


Today, Oradea Fortress hosts some of the most important events in Oradea, the most representative being the Medieval Festival – when the fortress is brought back to life in a spectacular way. Once you arrive here, make sure you don't miss visiting the galleries of  MoO – Oradea City Museum. 

Visit Oradea

Discover a friendly, welcoming, and vibrant city! Oradea will surprise you with a stunning architectural mix. 89 #ArtNouveau buildings are harmoniously displayed across the city, among secession, baroque and medieval Stelar-bastioned style monuments. But Oradea is way beyond #ArtNouveau. It is a blooming city, a place of wellness and wellbeing, a paradise of thermal waters together with Felix and 1 Mai Baths. All these combined make Oradea a #SlowLivingCity where you dearly live and surely want to come back!

What to Do

How many walks does it take to fall in love with a city? When you're in Oradea, only one. Each route you start has something special to catch the eye. Whether you want to rediscover old history, enjoy a moment of reconnection in the middle of nature or a special evening in the city, Oradea and Bihor County will always have something to seduce you, regardless of the season.

Travel Wise

Oradea is an old hub of many European trade routes and has always been easily accessible. Find out all the information about how to get to #Oradea, where to stay, what to visit, and what kind of activities you can book online for you and your friends and family! #FamilyTrip #Accessibility