The history of CHIOS is closely related to that of the Great Park in the heart of Cluj, or “Simion Bărnuţiu” Central Park, as it was named after 1989. It is one of the first urban parks in Central Europe and is over 180 years old.
The park is one of the main green spaces in the central area of ClujNapoca, representing an ideal place for relaxation and refuge from the agglomeration and bustle of the city, being bounded by the Cluj Arena to the west, the Hungarian State Theater to the east, the Someșul Mic river to the north, respectively Iuliu Hossu Street (formerly Pavlov) to the south.
The history of the park begins in 1827, when the Women’s Benevolent Association (Jóltevő Asszonyi Egyesület) leased the then undeveloped land with the aim of establishing a recreation site. On May 1, 1838, the City Commission for the Park took over the activity from the Women’s Benevolent Association. The park was opened to the public at the
beginning of the 1830s, originally named Népkert (People’s Garden), and 40 years later the lake in the middle of it was laid out, currently in front of the Chios building offering guests of our restaurant and terraces a magical view. However, the buildings in the park were built at the end of the century, in 1897, according to the project of the architect Pakey Lajos from
Cluj, to whom the emblematic building of Cluj, the Continental Hotel or New York – as it was called before, is also due.
Returning to the park, Pakey designed the Skating Pavilion, now the Chios Social Lounge, the Kiosk (or Casino) and the Artesian Fountain behind the Kiosk (toward the Skating Pavilion). The whole complex is built in an eclectic style, the fashionable style towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, when a large part of Cluj’s architecture, which we still have today, was created. It is listed on the list of historical monuments in Cluj County, developed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Romania in 2010.
The Skating Club, founded in 1872, regularly organizes competitions in Cluj. If initially a kiosk was installed on the island in the center of the lake where skaters could change their shoes, in 1896 the skating pavilion was built. The architect from Cluj, Lajos Pakey, was the one who made the plan for this construction. Until the 60s, there was a wardrobe in the Chios premises, on the ground floor; tables were also set up where coffee, tea or mulled wine could be consumed.
The new CHIOS
The CHIOS building and the terraces, including their gardens, were renovated between October 2015 and June 2016. The design of the CHIOS building, in the heart of Cluj, is neoclassically interpreted. Inspired by ancient Roman and Greek styles, it is based on order and harmony. The facade elements (glasses, windows) are repetitive, and the very valuable architecture is one of the strengths of the whole ensemble.
The main desire was to create a pleasant atmosphere without having a target audience. Thus, anyone who steps on the threshold of the restaurant should feel at ease, perceive it as familiar. The idea was that of warm-cold contrast (wood-marble) and natural handmade elements. The restaurants in Barcelona being the basis of the inspiration for the way the entire CHIOS domain looks now. Being positioned in the middle of nature, inside the restaurant you can find an element that connects with the park in every corner (plants, wooden furniture, Onix sinks). The restaurant’s ventilation system is of the latest generation and offers the guest the possibility to adjust it to his liking. There are six individual lighting systems that can change the shades of the ceiling depending on the area. On the finishing side, wall cladding was done by gluing and stone pillars from Croatia were used. The bathrooms are differentiated by the unique design for each one.
For these, Marmurezia was used as material, and the sinks were turned from a block of Onyx. The arches were cut from Kanfanar Blu stone block. The same material was chosen for the steps or fireplace (mirrored stone was used here). From the entrance, you can see the Mosaic and the Ceramic Parquet combined with pieces of marble on the floor. Natural wood with oak panels was chosen for the ceiling.
An interior and exterior design that harmonizes perfectly with the park, with Nature in general to give rise, in every visit you will make to us, to a unique experience of relaxation and rediscovery, right in the heart of the city!