The Best Things To Do In Cluj-Napoca

This university city is dynamic and exciting and as the capital of Transylvania, it is the second most populated city in Romania. A Saxon history underpins this city and here you can find stunning Gothic architecture and an array of buildings that you can marvel at. An impressive history and once home to Hungarian dukes, this was the birthplace of 15th century Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus.

St Michael’s Church

One of the most impressive sights in the city, this 15th-century Gothic church contains three equal naves and is 70 metres long and 80 metres high and with a huge history, it is one of the most prominent in the country. This is the building where the 15th century King of Hungary and Croatia Mathias Corvius was crowned shortly after it was completed in 1464. Moving forward by nearly 500 years, this is the church where Bishop Aron Marton spoke about the Holocaust at a time where the Jews were still being held in the Kolozsvar Ghetto. Many renovations took place in the 20th century but it still contains frescoes that go back to the 1400s.

Botanical Garden

Head a short walk from the Old Town and you will the Botanical Garden that covers 14 hectares and dates back to the 1920s. Here you can find more than 11,000 species planted in greenhouses as well as an array of individual gardens that have been set out in relation to geography or applications such as medicine and historic trades. There is a section that is dedicated to ornamentation and design and here you can find the Mediterranean garden the Japanese Garden. The best time to visit is during the summer months but you can head here at any time of the year because the Botanical Museum and Herbarium has a lot to offer.

National Museum of Transylvanian History

Transylvania has a long and arduous history but to understand it all, this is the place to visit. The red painted building will give you access to exhibits that take you on a journey through prehistories such as the Palaeolithic and Neolithic periods through to the Bronze and Iron age where you can view bones, tools, jewellery and ceramics. There are Roan Dacian coins on view as well as Medieval documents and furniture from Western Europe. One of the most impressive exhibit is the Egyptian sarcophagus that dates back to the 3rd century BC along with stove tiles that date back to the 1300s right through to the 1800s.

Pharmacy History Collection

The oldest pharmacy in the area can be found in Casa Hintz and it dates back to 1573. The museum opened in 1954 and over that time, it has grown its collection to around 1,800 pieces giving you an insight into pharmacies and medicine through the history of Transylvania from the 1500s to the 1900s. There are pots, copper stills, glass retorts and scales to look at as well as many original fitting such as a Baroque mural in the main shop that dates back to 1766. There are some strange substances for you to view, all of which would have been classed as medicine back in the day, this includes lobster eyes, Venetian Theriac and Mummia which is powdered human mummies.

Lake Tarnița

Take a trip away from the city, particularly in the summer months and head to this beautiful reservoir which was created in 1974. The reservoir is vast and moves between forests and hills. Find out about the history of the lake from locals and you can take part in activities such as boating, jet-skiing and fishing or you can simply sit down with a picnic and embrace the warm air on a summers day.

Turda Gorge

Remaining with the great outdoors, this limestone canyon is another trip beyond the city but it is well worth a visit. A favourite spot for climbers, the Turda Gorge is nearly 3 kilometres in length and reaches a height of 300 metres. There are many caves here some of which are only a few metres deep but the largest ones go into the rock for around 120 metres. The caves were home to the Neolithic period and so, they do play a part in the history of this country but take a walk along the river or if you are feeling energetic, you can head up the gradient and take a look at the expansive views below.

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