sâmbătă, 6 octombrie 2012

Enter Romania, visiting Arad

If you come by car to Romania from West there are big chances that the first city you meet is whether Arad or Oradea. Meeting anyone of them means an excellent publicity for Romania, they are nice, clean, peaceful, and very similar in many directions, but with a little advantage for Arad.
I you enter Romania coming from the West, and the first important city you meet is Arad, you may have an excellent first impression about this country

Arad lies in a plain and proudly counts 150000 inhabitants (20 % Hungarians) is a major target for foreign investments and enjoys a certain prosperity (the Romanian president Traian Basescu is the Godfather of the Mayor of Arad, only one of the possible explanations). Amazing in Arad is the Center, on Bulevardul Revolutiei, when you can see many old buildings, Secession style, like the City Hall, Catholic Cathedral and even the Railway station. Also a monumental Orthodox Church still in building state.
The magnificent Evangelic church from Arad, buid in Secession style, on the place of the former  fortress of Arad. Nowadays, Arad is among the few cities from Transilvania which haven't a fortress anymore.

Amazing in Arad is the evolution of the population: in 1712 when Hungarians beat the Turks, conquering the city, 60 % of the population was Romanian. In 1918 Arad and the rest of Transilvania unified with Romania, and the last known census from the Habsburgic times, namely from 1912, counts more than 70 % Hungarians. Strange, isn't it?

On the nice peaceful Bulevardul Revolutiei I have been honored to be the guest of Hotel Continental Forum Arad, the city's biggest and best, with a group of happy tourists from Norway from PR Norge, on behalf of Karpaten Tourism. Next day I was supposed to leave very early, at 6: 30, but through the devoted work of Mr Dumitru from the kitchen I did not leave the hotel hungry!

Very particular for Arad, comparing with other cities from Transilvania, it has no fortress. It was a fortress for sure, build after the Mongol invasion from the 13th century, but meanwhile totally destroyed. On the place of the fortress you will find the magnificent Evangelic Church. But there are strong compensations, and only 30 km away in Minis there is a vineyard specialized in Reds, specially Merlot!

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