The Local Council launched a competition for the design of the local administration headquarters, with the deadline for submitting the documentation by 31th of March 1896. Nine proposals were submitted, of which four were purchased: Rimanóczy Kálmán Jr., Hübner Jenó, Jaumann Benedek and Láng Adolf. The City Hall decided that Rimanóczy Kálmán Jr. should draw up a new project based on the four proposals, free of charge. The execution of the work was also awarded
to Rimanóczy. The demolition of the former residence began on 21st of October 1901, and the palace was finished in 1903.
The constructor was Sztarill Ferenc, who formerly proposed that the city hall be placed where the Eagle Inn was. The inauguration took place in January 1904, when Rimler Károly, the longest-serving Mayor in the city’s history, was the head of the city (June 1901 to June 1919).
The architectural composition is articulated around three inner courtyards, on an area of 5508 square meters.
The main façade and the one facing the river were the most spectacular ones, built in eclectic style. The semicircular shaped monumental windows, looking like symbolic triumphal arches mark the large Meeting Hall – the Hall of Honour. The four allegorical figures and the statuary group crown majestically the entire architectural composition.
The main staircase is the most spectacular architectural element of the city hall’s interiors. The imposing staircase was decorated with frescoes. The only Art Nouveau style
decoration are the waving flowers and leaves in the friezes that decorate the secondary staircase.
The tower of the City Hall
The tower of the City Hall, shorter than the one today, was also ready by the time of the inauguration of the palace. The tower was 50 meters tall and had a clock and a watch room for the city’s fireman.
The Tower is now a touristic attraction. The visitors can admire the most beautiful view of the historical center of Oradea.
The mechanism of the clock, which was called the “mother clock”, is at the first floor of the tower. The clock was installed at the highest level and is set now to sing Iancu’s March upon the hour. It was built at the beginning of the 20th century, in 1904, by a watchmaker Mezey Dezső.
The second floor is at 33.85 meters high and the third one at 40.25 meters. Several huge functional hammers were mounted on the parapet of the balcony that strike three times every quarter of an hour.
At the fourth floor there is a telescope that can be used by visitors to observe every small detail of the objectives in the central area of the city. The access to this level is limited to five people due to narrow space.