The Black Eagle building in Oradea, Source: Planck on Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Oradea welcomes joint initiative to promote Art Nouveau in the Danube Region

Oradea welcomes joint initiative to promote Art Nouveau in the Danube Region

ARTNOUVEAU 2 will take advantage of architectural heritage to promote more sustainable cooperation and urban development

On 8 September, the partners in the ARTNOUVEAU 2 initiative met in Darvas La Roche House in Oradea, Romania for a project presentation. Deputy Director of the Chief Architect’s office of the city Adriana Lipoveanu showcased Oradea’s project to enhance urban mobility and promote urban planning cooperation through the architectural heritage of the city.

ARTNOUVEAU 2 is a project started by the city of Oradea with the aim of protecting and promoting the Art Nouveau architectural heritage of the Danube Region. The project is funded primarily by the European Union and it involves institutions from six countries: Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Austria, Croatia and Serbia.

Darvas La RocheDravas La Roche House in Oradea, Source: ArnoldPlaton on Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Getting people excited about Art Nouveau

The project has a budget of 1.8 million euros with 85% coming from the EU and the rest from the participants. These funds are then split between the participating institutions, so that each of them can do an independent project, with the aim of strengthening the connections between them, as seats of Art Nouveau architecture.

Palatul Moskovits in Oradea, Source: Silviunastase on Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

These include Oradea City Hall, Foundation for the Protection of Historical Monuments in Bihor County, the National Heritage Institute - Bucharest (Romania), Museum of Applied Arts - Budapest, Museum of Applied Arts - Vienna, Museum of Arts and Crafts – Zagreb (Croatia), the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava (Slovakia), Kodolanyi Janos University - Hungary and the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments Serbia.

Deputy Director Adriana Lipoveanu presented Oradea’s project focusing on mobility in the inner city and a transformation of public spaces centred around sustainable transportation. It also included a summer exchange programme for urban planners in Oradea, bringing together experts from all six countries and a promotional campaign about the city’s Art Nouveau heritage.

Rich architectural history

Currently, Oradea's architecture is a mix of Communist-era apartment buildings and ornate historic buildings in the inner city, a reminder of the time when it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In addition to Baroque and Neo-Classical buildings, the city has a remarkably rich collection of Art Nouveau architecture.


It is quite easy to spot an Art Nouveau building because of its curved, flowing asymmetric characteristics. Distinctively shaped façade and interior elements, accompanied by mosaics and stained glass, parabolas and hyperbolas allow for a certain dynamism to be inscribed on these buildings.

According to local authorities, Oradea is probably the Romanian city with the highest number of buildings representing 1900s European architecture, comparable to more famous cities from Central Europe.



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