There is no doubt that many of us enjoy the rush of big cities, where one can attend a multitude of events. But sometimes the hectic can overwhelm us, and we may seek a few hours of peace and relaxation. The best choice would be an enjoyable journey in the middle of nature or a nature corner in the city, like the Botanical Garden in Cluj-Napoca, in north-western Transylvania. But what if one doesn’t have the time for such an escape? Fortunately, there is one place where you can be incognito in the heart of Cluj-Napoca - Museum’s Square, a quiet place in the heart of the city.
In order to enter the square from the city center, one will definitely notice one particular building - the house of Matei Corvin. Being the only palace in Cluj-Napoca that shows the transition from the Gothic to the Renaissance Style, this monument is also one of the oldest architectural constructions in the city. It is where Matei Corvin, one of the most important Hungarian kings, was born, but also where the defense wall was once enclosing the old fortress of Cluj-Napoca.
Behind the house of Matei Corvin, the intimacy of Museum’s Square awaits all visitors. The center of the square is equipped with urban furniture, and in the middle of the square, the Obelisk of Francis I and Caroline Augusta is placed, a monument that tells us the story of a Viennese sculptor in Cluj-Napoca.
The obelisk is surely admirable, but my favorite building surrounding this square is the Franciscan Church. As you may know, the Franciscans were a mendicant religious order founded by Francis of Assisi. The church is part of a monastery placed here and a spectacular example of a Baroque façade. It hosts a reproduction of the Saint Mary altar, painted after Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.
The openness of Museum’s Square is in contrast with all of the narrow streets that surround it. One of these streets has real historical value - Constantin Daicoviciu Street, the home of the Transylvanian National Museum of History. Whereas Daicoviuciu was one of the most important historians of Romania, the museum itself hosts more than 450.000 cultural goods and is famous for its historical and archeological heritage. So, there is no wonder where the square got its name from.
If you just want to relax and are not eager to visit one of the attractions mentioned above, there are quite a few coffee shops at Museum’s Square. When the city gets too hot in the summer, this square is protected by the massive architectural constructions that surround it, so one can enjoy a coffee and retreat here for some quality time.
I have no doubt you will fall in love with Museum’s Square in Cluj-Napoca and its remarkable architecture. To be incognito in the center of a big city in northwestern Transylvania is surely an experience you will want to do over and over again.
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