Oradea Medieval Festival

Well, I visited the Medieval Festival of Oradea these days. Today was the last day, so I used the opportunity to visit Oradea Fortress where most of the medieval fest took place. Below are only a few images, as I preferred to enjoy the atmosphere more.

The fortress of Oradea was first mentioned in 1241; Oradea itself was first attested in year 1113 (making it the second oldest attested city in Romania which was not built by Greeks or Romans, after Arad). As a city, Oradea or Varadinum (its Latin name) was important both for Romanians and Hungarians; several Hungarian kings were buried here and the city is visited by a large Hungarian touristic population. It lies nowadays close to the border with Hungary (about 10km) and is the capital of the historic Crișana region.

The festival attracted an important number of visitors but also international groups. It was no surprise that most groups were Hungarian, but I also saw flags from Central European Slavic countries and I heard German, English and, I suppose, some kind of Scandinavian language.

The costumes were interesting. I also saw blacksmith devices for constructing metal tools and witnessed some leatherworking. People were riding horses, singing live medieval music, and the entire atmosphere was quite eerie. To the left you can see the wall of the fortress and in the center is a stage where music was performed.

Here is a part of the outer wall of the fortress. It is huge and rather well preserved, in the form of a star with 5 corners if seen from the air or satellite. The architectural complex has inside it a church, a huge history museum, several expositions, people actually living and working inside its walls. A natural reservation and a dendrologic park are surrounding the fortress from 3 sides.

This last photo is from the city center – the Black Eagle Palace is in the background – announcing the event a couple of days ago. For those who don’t know, to the left is the Romanian flag, red, yellow and blue.