Oradea, Best Art Nouveau Destination in 2022

After joining the Réseau Art Nouveau Network in 2012, Oradea, Romania, received the title of Best Art Nouveau Destination within just ten years. How did it achieve this? And more importantly, why is everyone falling in love with this small city on the river?

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Black Eagle Palace
Oradea, Romania, has become a must-see destination for lovers of Art Nouveau design and architecture around the world. Photo: Sulugiuc / stock.adobe.com

Art Nouveau was a style representative of the Belle Époque, invoking the beauty of nature, plants, and flowers in art and architecture. Characterized by dynamism and creativity, the style is sure to catch the eye of many for its intricate and complex details. If you’re looking for the perfect place to admire this style, look no further.

Oradea, Romania, has been declared the best Art Nouveau destination for 2022. It’s not just us saying so – the “European Best Destinations” website thinks so, too. Not only that, but they ranked Oradea as the “6th Best European Destination of 2022,” surpassing cities such as London, Rome, and Vienna.

There’s are many reasons why people have chosen Oradea as the best Art Nouveau destination. These are our top three spots in Oradea that will immediately transport you back to the Belle Époque.

Oradea’s Black Eagle Palace

Located right at the heart of the city, the Black Eagle Palace is, by far, the most representative monument of Transylvanian secession. Today, there are multiple bars and cafes on the ground level, and the upper apartments function as apartments and offices. The most emblematic aspect of the building is the 1909 Oradea-made “Black Eagle” stained glass, located at the main entrance into the passageway.

Oradea city center
The Black Eagle Palace is, by far, the most representative monument of Transylvanian secession. Photo: Calin Stan / stock.adobe.com

The Darvaș-La Roche House

Black Eagle should be the very first stop on your list. But it should, under no means, be the last! Buckle up because just five minutes away from this cultural masterpiece, you can visit Darvaș-La Roche House, the first Art Nouveau museum in Romania. Enter the 100-year-old house-turned-museum and experience the lifestyle of the La Belle Époque bourgeoisie. The first ground allures you into discovering various exhibitions, from classic miniature cars and perfume collections to centuries-old belle époque household items.

The top floor is where the time-travel experience takes place. Get a grip on the daily life of the Romanian bourgeoisie with the help of over eight rooms filled with history, tradition, and beauty. Moreover, during the hot summer days, you are invited to drink your cup of iced coffee or freshly squeezed juice on the museum’s terrace, looking out onto the beautiful Crișul Repede River.

Moskovits Miksa Palace

Not far from hereis the Moskovits Miksa Palace. The name might not ring a bell, but one glace at the palace certainly will. The highly Instagram-able palace is easily recognizable due to its unique color: turquoise blue. And this particular color was no accident. It was symbolically chosen to honor the building owner who owned a rubbing alcohol factory. The intricate façade showcases the beauty of Art Nouveau in its entire splendor. The interior, as well, is decorated in a similar style.

The whole building follows this trend, except for a passage on the top floor. It was left untouched in a 2018 renovation after pictures of elves and fairies were found on the walls. It was most likely part of a child’s room, and the passage was left as it is to symbolize a portal from the present into the past.

With even more stunning landmarks from the Belle Époque to see, Oradea is city full of beauty, history, and culture. Definitely what we could consider a worthwhile addition to any trip to the area.

Naomi Gherman

Master student in Cultural Diplomacy and International Relations at Babeș-Bolyai University, eager to share more about our world's most fascinating stories and people. Romania-based reader, writer and content creator with a strong interest in journalism, foreign languages and politics.

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