Municipal pool, Cluj-Napocia, Transylvania, Romania, April 2018

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People's Republic of South Yorkshire.
1. The History
In the heart of Cluj, in the shadow of the band new Cluj Arena and at the end of the Central Park, stands the ruin of what used to be one of the main summer attractions in the city. The first pool to be built in Cluj, it originated as public bath in 1843 and informally named "the soldier's pool", was the perfect place to spend a hot Transylvanian summer's day. In1852, the pool got upgraded and it was functioning throughout the year. In 1869 is was named "Diana baths" after the chief physician of the city, Gustav Szombathelyi. Sadly that same year it was hit by a fire but re-opened after repair in 1875.

During the communist times, the public bath became the Municipal Pool of Cluj. After the 1950s, the pool was equipped with “German” changing rooms, a chic bar and ping-pong tables. Although the water was changed once a week, heating was unavailable. The pool would heat-up from the sun during the week to reach the perfect temperature for the weekend.

After the fall of the communism, predictably, the municipal pool was forgotten and closed in 1989. Decades have since passed and the abandoned pool has slowly been reclaimed by nature and the city's graffiti artists. Up until 1990 the swimming pool and the land belonged to the OJT patrimony, and after 1990 ownership passed to the company Transilvania Tourism.

Subsequently, the company was fully privatized, and in 2004, the site was acquired by private tourism company, Unita Turism Holdings. After several years of trying to sell the land off, in May 2011 they failed to get approval from the local council for their intended project; the modernization of the swimming pool, the construction of a sports complex consisting of an eight-storey building with watering facilities, restaurants and a bridge over the Mori Canal. Currently the land is reportedly for sale at a cost of €650/sqm, or given its 12,378 sqm total area, just over €8m for the lot!

2. The Explore
Another place I’d found prior to heading out to Transylvania. When I rocked up there was a police car sat right outside the pool entrance. Fortunately walking down the road a bit there was a gate into the former pool site and it was open. Hence in the end it worked out a relaxed mooch in the end.

3. The Pictures

Not looking too promising this way in:

41989288662_8cb3e7c040_b.jpgimg6990 by HughieDW, on Flickr

41313446944_23f24f7548_b.jpgimg6970 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Closed for business:

41313481044_bee62d6437_b.jpgimg6988 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Open for business:

40225730870_9ef6660e51_b.jpgimg6971 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Do the…

42033622811_96e70825ac_b.jpgimg6969 by HughieDW, on Flickr

28160585078_a044f85c4d_b.jpgimg6987 by HughieDW, on Flickr

42033635641_1e6c6b0a27_b.jpgimg6986 by HughieDW, on Flickr

In we go…

40225734910_af9f190fec_b.jpgimg6974 by HughieDW, on Flickr

42033625091_f6a54d79f7_b.jpgimg6978 by HughieDW, on Flickr

27163461067_11c1c7c56a_b.jpgimg6982 by HughieDW, on Flickr

27163459387_d64615e956_b.jpgimg6981 by HughieDW, on Flickr

28160569858_2193f27ed6_b.jpgimg6980 by HughieDW, on Flickr

28160565858_0edafe33d9_b.jpgimg6979 by HughieDW, on Flickr

41313457954_bd8b2c71d8_b.jpgimg6977 by HughieDW, on Flickr


27163462287_f893c67bd4_b.jpgimg6983 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Assorted graff:

27163463667_69a2bd1db3_b.jpgimg6984 by HughieDW, on Flickr

42033624041_79d50b1640_b.jpgimg6976 by HughieDW, on Flickr

41313441744_3a4ff0de49_b.jpgimg6968 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And finally the old “Sport Hotel”:

42033649741_b18e102472_b.jpgimg6994 by HughieDW, on Flickr

41989293882_5a1d64cc76_b.jpgimg6991 by HughieDW, on Flickr

41989297602_de7e5730c1_b.jpgimg6992 by HughieDW, on Flickr

41989301812_a2e5940a3e_b.jpgimg6993 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Hugh Jorgan

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A fair bit of vandalism and graffiti over the years. The hotel looks the typical communist type with standard rooms, I saw one of that ilk in East Berlin. There's even a toilet pit.


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Nice stuff like yoir colourful don't half get about