The Oradea Town Hall Tower is the most visited tourist attraction of the city, as the cityscape from the tower is attractive for tourists, 34,610 in 2022 as against 3,936 in the previous year, executive director of the Foundation for the Protection of Bihor Historical Monuments Angela Lupsea told the presentation of the 2022 activity report on Tuesday.
Known online as the Oradea Heritage, the foundation is involved both in the administration of the city's tourist attractions, visited by over 40,000 tourists in 2022, and in the field of rehabilitation of heritage buildings in downtown Oradea, told Agerpres.
"I have been coordinating the foundation for 15 years, and initially I started by consulting with the owners; at this moment, the foundation is much more involved in the multi-year programme for the rehabilitation of downtown buildings and in showcasing the five tourist attractions that the city has. What we achieved in 2022 was organic growth, which can be seen very clearly in the centralised results, because we do not have paid advertisement on social media channels (...). Each tourist attraction has its own media channel, we also have a tik tok channel, which we use in an attempt to attract young people and help them to get to know their city," said Lupsea.
The strategic objectives of the foundation are protecting historical monuments through conservation and enhancement; initiating special programmes and activities for the tourist attractions; using promotional materials at gift shops at each tourist attraction venue; consulting on the prevention of the degradation of monuments and the continuation of the rehabilitation of downtown buildings.
The five tourist attractions of the city under the management of the foundation are the Darvas La Roche House, the Oradea City Hall Tower, the Freemasonry Temple, the Sion Neolog Synagogue and the Aachvas Rein Synagogue - the museum of the history of the Oradea Jews. The foundation also has in mind a sixth tourist attraction, namely the former Libertatea cinema hall in Black Eagle Palace, a generous space undergoing rehabilitation.
The Darvas La Roche House is the most beloved historical monument and also a tourist attraction, the second place in the preferences of tourists, in terms of number of visitors, after the Town Hall Tower, which offers a wide panorama of the city. In 2022, Casa Darvas drew in over 21,087 visitors, as against 16,196 in 2021. The house as well as its yard and garden hosted 48 various events, experiences related to the reinterpretation of the spaces in this Art Nouveau villa - Bourgeois Tea, Thursday at Darvas', Art Nouveau Brunch - and temporary exhibitions of hats, kimonos, toys, dolls, games, Queen Marie, and indulgence and pleasure.
In the Oradea City Hall Tower, the most visited attraction that sold 34,610 tickets, activities and exhibitions are regularly held.
One year after its opening on October 12, 2021 on Oradea City Day, the Freemasonry Temple was celebrated with a laser show, one of the special events planned by the administrator. According to Lupsea, this attraction, visited by 7,900 people, still needs promotion, and the foundation intends to develop new concepts.
The Sion Neolog Synagogue hosts a series of events, concerts, exhibitions, the Transylvania International Film Festival (TIFF), as well as a carnival of books and games, performances for and by children under a Playful Synagogue project. In 2022 it had 13,799 visitors.
The Aachvas Synagogue proves that the people of Oradea live in a multi-ethnic and multicultural city, where respect for fellow citizens prevails, according to Lupsea.
In 2022, the foundation conducted other important or special projects, such as the Art Nouveau Days, the Centennial of the Coronation, the international Art Nouveau2 project, as well as creative workshops for the community - good manners, Belgian chocolate, chest making - and the Oradea for everyone project under which visiting tourist attractions was made more accessible for people with vision and hearing impairments, and people from nursing homes.
For 2023, the ambitious goals of the foundation focus on five words: culture, custody, curation, colour and courage. Each has special projects to be revealed at the right time, said Lupsea.