Reduta Palace, witness to many historical events, is an imposing two floors building in classicist style. On its place, in the 18th century, was the “Calul bălan” inn, which was later transformed into a military school.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the municipality built the current building, destined to be the center of the city’s public life. Here were held balls, concerts, meetings of local authorities, the building having a room with balconies with a capacity of up to 1000 people. In fact, hence the name of the building – redoute – meaning public place for music parties.
On the roof of the building you can see a small clock tower. It was built in the middle of the 18th century. The original destination of the clock was the church of St. Michael, but due to its damage during an earthquake it was moved in the tower of the Reduta palace.
The redoute hosted many important events such as meetings of the Transylvanian Diet, concerts by Frantz Liszt, George Enescu or Johannes Brams. The Memorandum Trial also took place here. In 1892, the leaders of the Romanians in Transylvania drafted a petition known as the Transylvanian Memorandum. This petition – sent to the Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Josef – demanded, for the Romanians in Transylvania, ethnic rights equal to those of the Hungarian population, as well as the cessation of persecutions and attempts at hungarianization. After receiving the memorandum petition, Emperor Franz Josef sent it to Budapest, and its perpetrators were tried for treason. The trial took place in Cluj, in 1894, in the building of this palace.
It currently houses the collections of the Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania, established in 1922.