Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Living in Cluj

I took so many photos in Cluj-Napoca itself that I figured I'd better share them a bit at a time! So to start with, here's a glimpse of housing in the city.

When the government was encouraging people to move from the countryside to the cities, they built many blocks of flats to accommodate them all. A large proportion of the residents of Cluj live in these blocks - bricklayers, architects, plumbers, doctors, all in adjacent apartments. This allows for a high population density - the city is about the geographical size of York but has a population of a city like Liverpool, which is far more sprawling! So, we saw these blocks of flats everywhere, in the suburbs and right in the city centre:

There are also some of the older, traditional houses dotted around; small and single-storey, set in a plot of land (gardens are rare, but we did see some chickens being kept in one city-centre yard!)

There are also some very wealthy residents of the city. What they tend to do is buy one of the above traditional houses and demolish it, then build a house of their own design on the plot. Which leads to an eclectic mix of styles - sometimes within the same house!!

It also gives interesting views along roads which have a selection of all these housing options:

We saw many new-builds in progress in the city, too, but sadly a lot of these had been abandoned part-way through as projects ran out of money when the credit crunch hit.

The friend we were visiting is renting a house on the same road as the Roman/Georgian effort. He intended to build, and owns a plot of land, but various delays and problems (fortunately not financial) have put that project on hold indefinitely. Meanwhile, he lives here:

It's HUGE!! The basement level has a garage, pantry and utility room, the ground floor a large kitchen/breakfast room, dining area and living room with terrace at the back, then there are two large bedrooms and a bathroom on each of the first and second floor. Our friend, being a retired academic, owns a large number of books so has turned two of the bedrooms into libraries, one into a guest room, and one of course is his own bedroom. He gave us the whole of the top floor for our visit! The house is about a 15 minute walk into the city centre (through a beautiful park) - photos of that city centre will follow :-)


K said...

what a funny collection of houses, love the style of the green one, except for the colour, lol.

Have left you message on my blog below where you psted today :)

debs14 said...

My husband is a building surveyor, I must show him this post, he will find it fascinating.
What an interesting place!

Maria Ontiveros said...

Your friend's house is beautiful! So modern and fun.

Rachel Brett said...

I like the style of the green house too, how funny to see the different ranges of house together!

Lizzie said...

What an eclectic mix... love the Romano/Neo-Georgian effort - so funny! The 1930's-goes-post-modernist-green that your friend lives in is also fun. It looks very nice actually (unlike the roman/georgian edifice!!).
It's a really interesting place. I'm trying to persuade DH we should visit Transylvania (he just made rude jokes about visiting my family there!)

Rhona said...

What a selection of houses they have, fascinating that you get all sorts in one street! Your friend's house looks interesting though I'm not so sure about the colour ;o)

helena said...

love the mix of houses. you are a fantastic modern sociologist with the way you notice and report on life. I love the green of the house - but I lived in a bright pink building for 10 years!

Amy said...

Ecclectic living at its best! I am envious of the green house though :-)

Anonymous said...

I love seeing the photos of places I've never been (and am unlikely to see in person.) The best place of all is that fabulous green home of your friend.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Your friend's house is really neat looking!