(P) The Raţiu Guesthouse – a Surprising Venue in the Heart of Transylvania
Transylvania is the top region to visit this summer, according to Lonely Planet – a well-deserved mention for a place that will always exceed your expectations. In case you are visiting Cluj-Napoca, where you will be for sure enjoying its vibrant events, contemporary art galleries, or chic restaurants, among others, you should also know that a 30 minute drive will take you to a new surprising destination. Prepare to discover the residence of one of the most beloved noble families in the region!
Turda is a small Transylvanian town, with roots dating back to Roman times, renowned nowadays also thanks to the Salt Mine, one of the oldest in the world, and recently transformed into a huge underground theme park which has made it the most important tourist attraction in the region.
The Turda Gorge is only 6 kilometers away from the town and definitely worth seeing, as a top attraction for rock climbers as well as leisurely walkers. This is a natural wonder, a 2.900 m long canyon and home to numerous protected birds and plants. Extra tip - if you like cycling, you can explore the numerous paths below the Gorge or join a full-day bike tour through the surrounding countryside.
Back in Turda, you will find a surprisingly quiet and different venue right in the town center – Casa Raţiu. More than a house, rather a compound of XIX and XX century buildings, including a café and guest house, Casa Raţiu is set around a leafy central courtyard that is the home of the Rațiu family in Romania. It accommodates the Rațiu Democracy Center, a non-profit organization inspired by the needs of a transitional democracy and the personal example of Ion Rațiu, remembered as “the best president Romania never had”.
As you make your way down the courtyard, make sure you admire Dan Perjovschi’s Democracy Wall, a stunning piece of work with a quirky sense of humor, created by the artist for the Rațiu compound in 2o15. The Ion Rațiu Guest House is also a part of the compound, a family residence that became a sustainability project that generates revenue and supports the activities of the Rațiu Democracy Center.
The history of the place begins with a love story: Augustin Rațiu, the father of Ion Rațiu and former mayor of Turda, wanted to offer his father Nicolae – the priest of Petreștii de Jos – a home in Turda. It was here that Nicolae had fallen in love with Ludovica, Augustin’s mother. This is also the place where Ion Rațiu later spent his childhood.
The present Guest House was built in the 1990s. Today it is a chic and cozy bed & breakfast, the ideal venue for romantic weekends, leisure trips with friends and family members, city breaks or business reunions. It is a marvelous accommodation option, with a unique charm that will tempt you to return every time you pass this way.
You will be able to choose between 10 rooms – single, twin and double – each of them with a unique design touch that hides small stories you will be delighted to hear. The house itself has a story to tell through family pictures, objects, and documents.
As a guest, you will have access to the shared facilities – the welcoming dining room and the fully equipped kitchen – and enjoy a sense of warmth and comfort. Rich and delicious breakfasts are served in the house, as well as Transylvanian inspired dishes that always have a modern and unexpected twist, just to keep surprising you.
The Guest House welcomes corporate guests and can host business reunions, team building activities, conferences, and other company events. There are also two conference rooms available in the compound, which together can accommodate up to 140 participants. The conference rooms have all the needed facilities and catering services can also be provided.
You will also notice in the compound the La Papion Cultural Café (“At the Sign of the Bowtie”) designed with a British touch, and inspired by Ion Rațiu’s charming and elegant style. La Papion Alley is open during summer when visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in the courtyard while listening to a jazz recital.
Cultural events and themed dinners are often hosted by La Papion, so you might be right on time for a photo exhibition or an Italian food evening. The compound is constantly animated, so you will most likely encounter international volunteers, visitors or attendants at various workshops hosted here – including yoga retreats and violin master classes. As we said before, the place is always surprising!
Want to see it yourself? Book your stay now!
©Photos: Mircea Rosca / www.ActionFoto.ro
Piața 1 Decembrie 1918, Turda, Romania
+40 728 989 091
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