Oradea (pronounciation in Romanian: , Hungarian: Nagyvárad, colloquially also Várad, German: Grosswardein, former Turkish: Varat, Yiddish: , Italian: Gran Varadino) is the capital city of Bihor County, in Crişana, Romania. The city proper has a population of 206,614 as of the 2002 census; this does not include areas from the metropolitan area, outside the municipality; they bring the total urban area population to approximately 240,000. Oradea is one of the most prosperous cities of Romania.
Oradea dates back to a small 10th century castle, while its bishopric was founded during the 11th century by King Ladislaus I of Hungary. The first documented mention of its name was in 1113 under the Latin name Varadinum. The Citadel of Oradea, the ruins of which remain today, was first mentioned in 1241 during the Mongol invasion. However, it was not until the 16th century that Oradea started growing as an urban area. In the 18th century, the Viennese engineer Franz Anton Hillebrandt planned the city in Baroque style and, starting from 1752, many landmarks were constructed such as the Roman Catholic Cathedral and the Bishop's Palace, presently the Muzeul Ţării Crişurilor ("The Museum of the Crişland").
After the Ottoman invasion of Hungary in the 16th century, the city was administered at various times by the Principality of Transylvania, the Ottoman Empire, and the Habsburg Monarchy. At the end of World War I, Oradea and Transylvania were united with Romania. During World War II, Northern Transylvania and Oradea were ceded by Romania to Hungary as a result of the Vienna Award; this dictate was reversed at the war's end and the lands were returned to Romania.
After the World War I, governments of Romania engaged in a policy of relocating Romanians to Transyilvania, especially to Southern Transyilvania, the Szekelyland and near the Hungarian-Romanian border. Out of the 82,687 (Oradea's total population in 1930), 13,775 were born abroad and 5,000 were born in Bukovina, Moldavia, Dobrogea, Oltenia. Only 35% of the total population was native resident in 1930.
Ethnic tensions often ran high in the area. Romanian nationalists believe Oradea and the surrounding Bihor region have always been Romanian and were finally restored to Romanian control at the end of World War I. Hungarian nationalists refer to the city's pre-war Magyar majority and previous inclusion in the Kingdom of Hungary. Nowadays, however, Oradea is an example of tolerance and multiculturality, in an authentic European fashion. The different ethnic groups live in harmony, growing on each other's contribution to the modern culture. There are many mixed (Romanian-Hungarian) families in Oradea, with children assimilating both of their parents' languages and cultures as they learn to speak.
The City of Oradea, Romania, had a population of about 240'000 inhabitants in the year 2002.
Oradea - Historical. Oradea - Contemporary population. Ethnic breakdown from the 2002 census:
Distrikte / Quartiere
Before 1848, Oradea was made up of 4 separate towns: Várad-Újváros (Villa
Nova, former Vicus Zombathely), Várad-Olaszi (Villa Latinorum
(Vicus Venetia), Várad-Váralja (Civitas Waradiensis). The names Vicus
Villa Latinorum, Vicus
Padua and others
refer to the French, Walloons, and Italian inhabitants who settled in the 13th century.
The quarter named Vie is also known as Podgoria. "Vie" and "podgorie" means the same thing in Romanian, i.e. vine estate.
Oradea has long been one of the more prosperous cities in Romania, due mainly to its location on the Hungarian border, making it a gateway towards Western Europe. The GDP per capita of Oradea is approximately 150% of the Romanian average. After 1989, due to its important base of consumers, Oradea enjoyed an economic renewal, not so much in industry but rather in the services sector.
Despite this, a survey by Capital Magazine named Oradea as the least dynamic city in Romania with a population over 150,000, falling behind Cluj-Napoca, Arad and Timişoara. In particular, the city was criticised for high taxes, poor infrastructure and a lack of a clear development strategy.
Oradea has an unemployment rate of 6.0%, slightly lower than the Romanian average but much higher than Bihor County's average of around 2%. Oradea currently produces around 63% of the industrial production of Bihor County while accounting for around 34.5% of the population of the county. Its main industries are furniture, textiles and clothing, footwear and food.
In September 2002, Metro
opened the first "cash & carry" store in Oradea.
Informations from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oradea