Sunday, March 08, 2015

Main Shopping Street of Oradea (Romania): Calea Republicii and Two Cups of Espresso

Calea Republicii is the main shopping street of Oradea. It is a pedestrianized street that reminds me of Rua de Santa Catarina in Porto, Portugal. I don’t know, I just had a Porto déjà vu moment whilst strolling on this street.

This is the pedestrianised shopping street, Calea Republicii.

Because Romania is a developing country and is still muddling its way through its communism past, many beautiful architecture in Secession Viennese style are left rundown or are pending for restoration. The local government badly need funding or investors to come and help develop the city. The ramshackle buildings and shabby sights are everywhere and many of the much needed to-be-restored buildings are on this pedestrianised shopping street. Oradea was under the Austro-Hungarian Empire for a time which is why the city has many architectural style influence from Secession Viennese.

It’s really such a pity to see fine-looking buildings left to ruins. But I am sure better days are coming and these lovely historical buildings will soon be served with a proper facelift, bringing them back to their former glory and beauty.

There are many outdoor café terraces here on this street as well. I managed to sit in one and ordered a double espresso. When my order arrived the waitress placed TWO cups of espresso on my table. Perplexed, I asked why she gave me two, but the clueless girl who spoke limited English was struggling to answer me back. Then I realised where the blunder was. I ordered a DOUBLE ESPRESSO and she gave me TWO CUPS OF ESPRESSO instead of having it in one cup. Oh dear. Hehe.

I told the girl to just leave the two cups of coffee on the table and I gladly paid for them. The upside to this blooper is I am two cups richer for this little break =)

The starting point of the shopping street is Piata Regele Ferdinand I or Ferdinand Square. Here is the map:

You can move the map by holding it with your mouse, as well as zoom it in and out by clicking on the + and - signs on the lower right hand. It is quite a long street.

I find these chairs really cute, especially when you have two older men sitting on it.

I can tell you though that this street is still a work in progress. The streets were nicely done and there's art, benches and outdoor cafe terraces here and there, but many buildings are still yet to be renovated.

Many cafe terraces in the middle of the street. Locals love sitting here with a cup of coffee to catch up and just relax. It's a local hang out place.

Beautiful Secession Viennese architecture. This building is not yet fully renovated to its former glory.

This is one of the side streets intersecting the pedestrianised Calea Republicii street. You can definitely spot some beautiful buildings on the row.

A very beautiful corner building on the pedestrianised street which needed some love and attention. Romania has joined the EU and will soon benefit from it.

This is another gorgeous building that is currently being restored. This is at the end of the pedestrianised street on Strada Republicii.

At the end of the pedestrianised street, Calea Republicii is the Strada Republicii you will find a tram stop. Oradea, like Debrecen in Hungary has still a lot to work and improve on. Images of  the hard life during communism era and rundown buildings are very much evident in the city centre.

I went back to the pedestrianised street and had coffee at one of the cafe terraces. I ordered DOUBLE ESPRESSO and instead I got TWO CUPS of ESPRESSO! Hehe.

Just blending in with the locals. Having coffee and people watching.

These little girls were just too cute. Making a selfie for three, and perhaps posting it later on Facebook? Who knows =)

There's lots of work to be done on this beautiful hang out and shopping street of Oradea.

They call the bakery and pastry shops here Patiseria which is quite near to the French, Patisserie.

Yep, it is a long happy and lively street. When you come to Oradea, you have to drop by here and have a cup of coffe at one of the cafe terraces.

The bakery and pastry shops have small windows on the street side where you can order to-go. Quite cool huh.

This is the Catholic Saint Anne Church and the Ursuline Convent (attached to the church building) built in 1771-1773

Jewish (Hungarian and Romanian) poets: Juhasz Gyula, Dutka Akos, Ady Endre and Emod Tamas have all helped shaped literature in Oradea. These days we all can start a website or a blog and speak our mind, I wonder what these poets think about this luxury.

Travel Period: May 2014
Destination: Oradea (Bihor County), Romania

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