Place:Großwardein, Bihor, Romania

Alt namesOradea
Grosswardeinsource: Rand McNally Atlas (1994) I-65
Großwardeinsource: Wikipedia
Großwardein, Siebenbürgen, Austria
Nagyvaradsource: Rand McNally Atlas (1994) I-118
Nagyváradsource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) VIII, 975
Nagyváradsource: Wikipedia
Nagyvárad, Bihar, Hungary
Oradea-Maresource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) II, 689
Váradsource: Wikipedia
Coordinates47.05°N 21.917°E
Located inBihor, Romania     (1920 - )
Also located inBihar, Hungary     (1867 - 1920)
Siebenbürgen, Austria     (1750 - 1867)
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Oradea (; , , Hungarian pronunciation: , colloquially also , former) is the capital city of Bihor County and Crișana region and one of the most important economic, social and cultural centers in the western part of Romania. The city is located in the north-west of the country, nestled between hills on the Crișana plain, on the banks of the Crișul Repede River, that divides the city into almost equal halves.

Located about from Borș, one of the most important crossing points on Romania's border with Hungary, Oradea ranks tenth in size among Romanian cities. It covers an area of , in an area of contact between the extensions of the Apuseni Mountains and the Crișana-Banat extended plain.

Oradea enjoys a high standard of living relative to other Romanian cities and ranks among the most livable cities in the country. The city is also a strong industrial center in the region, hosting some of Romania's largest companies. Besides its status as an economic hub, Oradea boasts a rich Art Nouveau architectural heritage and is a member of the Réseau Art Nouveau Network.


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

While modern Oradea is first mentioned in 1113, under the Latin name "Varadinum" in a diploma belonging to Benedictine Zobor Abbey – Bishop Sixtus Varadiensis and Saul de Bychar are mentioned in the document – recent archaeological findings, in and around the city, provide evidence of a more or less continuous habitation since the Neolithic. The Dacians and Celts also inhabited the region. After the conquest of Dacia the Romans established a presence in the area, most notably in the Salca district of the city and modern day Băile Felix. The feudal state was a principality ruled by Prince Menumorut at the end of the 9th and beginning of the 10th centuries, until the Hungarian land-taking. Its citadel was centred at Biharea.

In the 11th century when St. King Ladislaus I of Hungary founded a bishopric settlement near the city of Oradea, the present Roman Catholic Diocese of Oradea. The city flourished both economically and culturally during the 13th century as part of the Kingdom of Hungary. It was at this time that the Citadel of Oradea, first mentioned in 1241 during the Mongol invasion, was first built. It would be destroyed and rebuilt several times over the course of following centuries. The 14th and 15th centuries would prove to be of the most prosperous periods in the city's history up to that point. Many works of art would be added to the city, including: statues of St. Stephen, Emeric and Ladislaus (before 1372) and the equestrian sculpture of St. King Ladislaus I (1390) were erected in Oradea. St. Ladislaus' fabled statue was the first proto-renaissance public square equestrian in Europe. Bishop Andreas Báthori (1329–1345) rebuilt the Cathedral in Gothic style. From that epoch dates also the Hermes, now preserved at Győr, which contains the skull of St. Ladislaus, and which is a masterpiece of the Hungarian goldsmith's art.

It was at this time that astronomer Georg von Peuerbach wrote his Tabula Varadiensis, published posthumously in 1464, at (?) the Observatory of Varadinum, establishing the city's observatory as the Earth's point of reference and prime meridian.

In 1474, the city was captured by the Turks after a protracted siege. Their mostly tolerant policies towards others peoples ensured that the city would become an ethnic mosaic of Romanians, Hungarians, Austrians, Slovaks, Hebrews, Ruthenians and Turks, causing Oradea to grow as an urban area starting with the 16th century.

After the Ottoman invasion of Hungary, in the 16th century, the city became a constant point of contention between the Principality of Transylvania, the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy. The Peace of Várad was concluded between Emperor Ferdinand I and John Zápolya here on 4 February 1538, in which they mutually recognized each other as legitimate monarchs.

Following Michael the Brave's conquest of the Principality of Transylvania, the Ottomans sent a punitive expedition that laid siege to the city in 1598, however the siege failed. After Michael's assassination in 1601 and the Peace of Vienna of 1603, the city was permanently incorporated in the Principality of Transylvania by imperial decree.

As a result of Gyorgy Rakoczi II's, at the time Prince of Transylvania failed attempt to gain the throne of Poland the Ottomans sent yet another punitive expedition against him and his Wallachian and Moldavian allies. The expedition failed, but it gave the Romanian chronicler Miron Costin the occasion to write the first full chronicle about the city, Oradiia. In 1660 the Ottomans, with a force of 45000 men, besieged the city for the last time. The 850 defenders managed to hold out for 46 days, but eventually the city fell on the 27th of August due to internal treachery. The Ottomans would establish the city as the capital of the newly formed Eyalet of Varat. The eyalet included the sanjaks of Varat (Oradea), Salanta, Debreçin, Halmaș, Sengevi and Yapıșmaz. The siege itself is described in detail by Szalárdy János in his contemporary chronicle. Ottoman dominance of the city ended in 1692, when, the Habsburg imperial forces conquered the city after a 14-month siege.

Under the Habsburgs, the city entered its golden age. The Viennese engineer Franz Anton Hillebrandt given the task of planning the city in the Baroque style and, starting with the year 1752, many of the city's current landmarks were constructed such as the Roman Catholic Cathedral, the Moon Church, the State Theatre and the Baroque Palace.

The city played a major role in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, being the home of the largest Hungarian arms factory.

At the end of World War I Oradea became a part of the Kingdom of Romania under the Treaty of Trianon. The Second Vienna Award brokered by Hitler and Mussolini in 1940 allowed Hungary to recover Northern Transylvania, including Oradea, where mass of celebrators welcomed the Hungarian administration. On 12 October 1944, Oradea was captured by Soviet troops of the 2nd Ukrainian Front in the course of the Battle of Debrecen. After World War II, Hungary had to relinquish claims to it under the Treaty of Paris concluded on 10 February 1947.

In 1925, the status of municipality was given to Oradea dissolving its former civic autonomy. Under the same ordinance, its name was changed from Oradea Mare ("Great" Oradea) to simply Oradea.

Ethnic tensions sometimes ran high in the area in the past but the different ethnic groups now generally live together in harmony, thriving on each other's contributions to modern culture.

After December 1989, Oradea aims to achieve greater prosperity along with other towns in Central Europe. Both culturally and economically, Oradea's prospects are inevitably tied to the general aspiration of Romanian society to freedom, democracy and a free market economy, with varied initiatives in all fields of endeavor. Due to its specific character, Oradea is one of the most important economic and cultural centers of Western Romania and of the country in general, and one of the great academic centers, with a unique bilingual dynamic.

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