The huge Orthodox Cathedral in Cluj-Napoca, also known as the Metropolitan Cathedral, was built between 1923 and 1933, in order to celebrate the Union of Transylvania with Romania from 1918. Dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos, the church became a cathedral in 1973 and, starting 2006, it is the metropolitan cathedral of Cluj, Alba, Crisana and Maramures.
The interior is dominated by an impressive chandelier, a gift from King Carol I, and by the wall frescoes, restored in 2001, when Murano mosaic decorations were added. Together with then Prince Carol I and prime-minister Ion I. C. Bratianu, King Carol I was present at the foundation stone laying ceremony, on October 7th 1923. Ten years later, on November 5th 1933, the church was inaugurated in front of King Carol II, Prince Mihai and numerous members of the government.
The prevailing architectural style is the Brâncovenesc one, characteristic to Wallachia, while the stone facade is Neo-Byzantine. The church has 4 steeples surrounding the central one, 18 columns and 4 enormous bells brought from Hungary, as well as a cupola designed after the model of the cupola of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Inside, the cathedral houses a vast collection of manuscripts, old books and art objects describing the history of the church, of the city and of the country.
Cluj Napoca Orthodox Cathedral is situated at the opposite end of Avram Iancu Square from the National Theatre and Opera.