The Watch

Oradea Fortress

Oradea, Romania

2006 World Monuments Watch

Located near the Hungarian border, the Oradea Fortress was built atop earlier earthen fortifications and an eleventh-century cathedral commissioned by King Ladislaus, credited with Christianizing Transylvania. In 1618, the Princely Palace was erected within the fortress that included a church, warehouses, and stables. Under Romanian rule, the fortress housed the state and secret police and national archives until the dissolution of the socialist state. Today, the fortress suffers from water infiltration, vegetation overgrowth, and lack of maintenance, which have caused portions of the complex to collapse. Some emergency repairs have been made, but far more is needed for the fortress to be preserved.

Since the Watch

In 2009 funding was awarded by the European Union for a restoration project. In April 2010, new research on the site led to the discovery that the fortress had been used as a transit camp for prisoners of war on the way to the Soviet Union in 1945-47, adding to its historic significance. Last update: December 2010

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