In this article you will find about 10 personalities who have marked the city of Cluj-Napoca more or less known over the years from the Middle Ages to the contemporary era. Having said that, we would like to share with you the achievements of the 10 people who have made a very important contribution to our city.
MATEI CORVIN 1443-1490
Matei Corvin, the son of Iancu de Hunedoara and Elizabeth Szilagy, gets to be elected as king of Hungary, thus being the first king without royal blood.
His real name is Matia because he was baptized after Matia the apostle, from the Catholic calendar and not after Matthew the evangelist, but the name Matthias was not imposing at that time in Romania, many confusing his real name with Matthew.
Matthias is considered today, one of the greatest kings of Hungary because of which, today, Romanians and Hungarians are living together in the same regions.
GÁSPÁR HELTAI 1490-1574
Initially born Kaspar Helth, he lived in Cluj for about 30 years, where he also died.
At the age of 24, he purchased the building originally built by the Eppel family in the 15th century, where he arranged the first printing house in Cluj which also became the most important in Transylvania.
The building is today called the Hungarian Transylvanian University.
Gáspár Heltai made one of the most important contributions to the cultural development of the city by establishing the public restroom, the mill – paper factory and the city’s first brewery.
In addition to the roles of author, publisher and printer he was also a priest, writer and businessman.
IOAN CĂIANU 1629-1687
His Hungarian name was Kájoni János, and in Latin he was called Ioannes Caioni, Ioan Căianu was a Franciscan Transylvanian monk and the first author of cult music in Transylvania.
Ioan receives from his teacher, Mátyás Seregély, a collection of songs, as a prize for good learning, but Ioan develops this collection in the next 19 years, calling it Codex Caioni.
Codex Caioni comprises 346 songs, from that era, some Transylvanian dances and some songs composed by Căianu, but most of the songs belong to Western composers of instrumental, madrigal, motet and arias songs.
MAXIMILIAN HELL 1720-1792
He was a teacher and an appreciated scientist sought in the world of 18th century science.
He founded the Astronomical Observatory in Cluj and later became director of the Astronomical Observatory in Vienna.
Between 1761 and 1769, Maximilian establishes the distance between Earth and the Sun being 152 million kilometers based on measurements from the study of the Venus Transit.
In Cluj, Hell published Compendia varia praxesque omnium operationum arithmeticorum and Elementa Mathematicae.
After an 8-month trip to Norway, Hell announces that it will publish three books, but none will be printed. This decision was rejected by the Pope in 1773.
GAETANO BIASINI 1790-1847
He was a swordsman and professor of Milanese fencing, established in Cluj from 1832.
In 1818 he opened his own private sword school, and after 6 years another one that this time, it was a public one.
In 1837 he bought an inn that he had turned into a hotel. The Biasini Hotel that exists today.
In this hotel, Nicolae Bălcescu and Petőfi Sándor tried to unite the two revolutions from 1848.
Biasini also had several businesses in Cluj, including the first funeral home, the first job placement office and a fast-international transportation company.
BOLYAI JÁNOS 1802-1860
He was a Hungarian mathematician born in Cluj, who created and wrote works in Non-Euclidean geometry at the same time with Lobacevski and Gauss but independent of them.
Although Gauss was concerned with these theories, he never wrote anything like this because he never came to János Bolyai’s perceptions.
János demonstrated that Euclid’s geometry is not the only one possible, thus developing the absolute science of space.
Although the University of Cluj was built on the initiative of Stefan Báthory, today it is called Babeș-Bolyai because of the bacteriologist Victor Babeș and the mathematician János Bolyai.
GEORGE BARIȚ 1812-1893
Also known as Gheorghe Barițiu, he was an historian and publicist from Transylvania, who founded the Romanian press in Transylvania.
Although he was born in Jucu de Jos, he attended primary school in Trascău, known today as Rîmetea.
He did the gymnasium school in Blaj (Alba county), and the high school in Cluj finishing the educational training back in Blaj at the Faculty of Theology.
George Bariț left his mark on all the scientific manifestations from Transylvania, being matched by Nicolaie Iorga only in the 20th century.
He is the author of the first modern history of Transylvania, entitled “Selected parts of the history of Transylvania”
ANTONINA DE GERANDO 1845-1914
She was a French educator, writer and translator.
In 1880, the City Hall of Cluj proposed her the director position of girls’ school.
In this school there were only girls with ages between 12 and 18 and it had only 4 classes but since 1893 the school gets 6 classes and over 300 students.
Since 1889 Antonina has been a member of the Department of Philosophy, History and Hungarian Language of the Transylvanian Museum Association, and was elected as president of the Animals Protection Association in Cluj.