Posted on 02.12.2014, 14.08.2016
Located in the Pannonian Plain, near the divergence of the Timiş and Bega rivers, Timişoara, the unofficial capital city of the historical region of Banat, is the third most populous city in Romania (319,279 inhabitants). Banat was annexed by the Kingdom of Hungary in 1030, and the city was first mentioned, as Castrum Temesiense, in either 1212 or 1266. Its importance grew due to its strategic location, so that it reached at the forefront of Western Christendom's battle against the Muslim Ottoman Turks.
The French and Hungarian crusaders met here before engaging in the Battle of Nicopolis in 1396, and later John Hunyadi used it as a military stronghold. Repeatedly sieged by the Ottomans, was conquered in 1552, and remained under Ottoman rule for nearly 160 years, but enjoyed a special status, similar to Budapest and Belgrade. In 1716 the city came under Austrian rule (since 1781 as a free royal city). Since 1860, Banat was administrated by Hungary (within the Austro-Hungarian Empire), and it remained so until the early 20th century.
|2681 TIMIŞOARA: 1. Orthodox Metropolitan|
Cathedral (Victoria Square) 2. Roman-Catholic
Dome (Union Square) 5. Romanian Orthodox
Church in Iosefin 6. Statue of Saint Nepomuk
in Liberty Square
Reached an economic and industrial center, it was the first European city and the second in the world which used electric street lamps (1884), and also the second European city with horse-drawn trams (1869). After the WWI, Banat was divided between the Kingdom of Romania and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, Timişoara coming under Romanian administration. On December 16, 1989 in this city has started the revolution that would lead to the removal of the communist regime in Romania.
|1350 TIMIŞOARA: Union Square at 1900 (Roman-Catholic Dome, |
Swabian Bank, Prenner House, Baroque Palace).
In terms of architecture, the city inherits a vast heritage of historical monuments, result of a long tradition of modern urban planning, that started in the 18th century, with the arrival of the Austrians. The center, located in the old Citadel, was remodeled, with squares and straight streets. The buildings were well aligned and the buildings situated at street corners had to have extra architectural elements. Predominantly was influential Viennese Baroque style, which brought to Timişoara the nickname Little Vienna.
|1351 TIMIŞOARA: Piarist High School, west facade|
In 1904, the city has established the post of chief architect and attributed it to Laszlo Szekely, who made a decisive contribution to the reshaping of the central area and the introduction of the styles Art Nouveau, Secession and Eclectic in urban landscape of the city. The last architectural current that influenced the city was the Romanian one, introduced with the passage of Timişoara under Romanian administration. A particular charm is given by the parks and green spaces that stretch along the Bega canal and in all parts of the city.
|2682 TIMIŞOARA: Opera House in Victory Square before 1989|
(back then State Theater in Opera Square)
The oldest square is the Union Square (formerly Hauptplatz / Main Square), decorated in Baroque style. The Serbian Orthodox Episcopal Palace was built between 1745 and 1747 in Baroque style, but it has the current form since 1905-1906, when was modified by Laszlo Szekely. The facade, defined by Serbian decorative elements, dates from 1911. The Serbian Orthodox Cathedral was erected between 1744 and 1748, but the towers were added in 1791. The current Orthodox Community House was built in 1828. These three buildings forms the so-called Rascian Square on the western part of the square.
The House with Lions (on the north side), originally in Baroque style, had on the corner, from the beginning, the oriel window with round contour. It was rebuilt after 1900 in secession style, at that time being added the lions, which give it the name. On the west side is the Roman-Catholic Dome (dedicated to St. George), built between 1736 and 1774 by architect Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach, prominent representative of Viennese Baroque. It has the shape of a cross, with a single central nave, and the columns arranged on both sides of the nave supports the semi-cylindrical roof.
Next is a building built in 1812 (rebuilt in 1904), which housed the Economic Bank of the Southern Hungary in the early 20th century, and the Swabian Bank since 1920. Follow another building erected also in 1812, now known after the name of the owner in 1828, Prenner Wolfgang (Prenner House). On the south side is Baroque Palace, with a rectangular shape, which has developed incorporating some older buildings. Now it hosts the Art Museum of Timisoara. Plague Column, also known as Holy Trinity Monument, was erected in the middle of the square in accordance with the architectural style of the surrounding buildings. The monument complies the typology of the plague columns spread in South German space, Bohemia and Hungary.
The Victory Square, formerly Opera Square, is the place where Timişoara was proclaimed, on December 20, 1989, the first free city (of communism) in Romania. To the market opposite poles are, at the north Opera House and at south the Metropolitan Cathedral. From the Opera to the Cathedral, the promenade from the right side is called Corso, and the one from the left side Surogat (Surrogate). The Timişoara Orthodox Cathedral, dedicated to the Three Holy Hierarchs, was raised between 1936 and 1941 by architect Ioan Traianescu in Neo-Moldavian style, based on Romanian Orthodox, late Renaissance, Ottoman, and Byzantine architecture elements. It has 11 towers, of which the central and the highest has a height of 90.5 m.
Corso promenade begins with Lloyd Palace, built between 1910 and 1912 by architect Leopold Baumhorn in Eclectic style, with Secession influences. Here functioned the Agricultural Stock Exchange, and currently houses the Rectorate of Polytechnic University, and at downstairs the restaurant Lloyd. Follow the Neuhausz Palace, built between 1911 and 1912 by architect László Székely, in a mix of styles, Eclectic, Secession and Hungarian Art Nouveau. Below are Merbl Palace, built in 1911 in Secession style, and Dauerbach Palace, known as Palace (because of the restaurant with the same name hosted on the ground floor), built in 1913 in Art Nouveau style for Georg Dauerbach, also by architect László Székely.
The Huniade Castle was considered the oldest building in Timişoara until the archaeological excavations started in 2013. Built between 1443 and 1447 by John Hunyadi over the old royal castle dating from the 14th century (built during the reign of Charles of Anjou, who lived here for almost 8 years), it currently houses the History Section and the Natural Sciencies Section of the Banat Museum. He served as the nobiliary residence for all the kings who came at Timişoara until 1552. During the Ottoman occupation (1552-1716), it served as the residence of the beylerbeys of the Eyalet of Temeşvar. In 1849 the Hungarian revolutionaries, while besieging Timişoara, destroyed the castle to the ground. Reconstruction and renovation works were completed in 1856, the building being much changed, especially with regard to the facade.
Situated on King Ferdinand Avenue, between Queen Mary Square and Piatra Craiului Street, the Piarist High School is an architectural ensemble originally intended to the high school founded by Piarists. The ensemble, in Art Nouveau style, including the high school, a seat house, a chapel and a boarding, was designed by László Székely and opened in 1909. After WWII it served as the headquarters of some faculties of the Polytechnic School of Timişoara. Currently, here operates the Roman-Catholic High School Gerhardinum.
Built between 1871 and 1875, the Opera House was devastated by fire in 1880. The reconstruction, completed in 1882, kept the original Renaissance style of the facade. After the second fire (1920), only the lateral wings remained intact. The rebuilding was made according to the designs of architect Duiliu Marcu. The original style was preserved for the side façades only. The main façade and the performance hall took on a neobyzantine style. On December 1989 the building was a key point of the Romanian Revolution.
About the stamps
On the postcards 1348-1351
The stamp, depicting Common Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis L.), is part of the first series Flora of Romania - Fauna flowers (I), about which I wrote here.
On the postcard 2681
About the stamp, issued in 2015 to celebrate the Easter, I wrote here.
On the postcard 2682
The stamp is part of the series Folk Art, about which I wrote here.
Timişoara - Wikipedia
Piaţa Unirii din Timişoara - Wikipedia
Piaţa Victoriei din Timişoara - Wikipedia
Huniade Castle - Wikipedia
Sender 1348-1351: Mircea Ostoia
Sent from Timişoara (Timiş / Romania), on 21.03.2013
Sender 2681: Ana
Sent from Timişoara (Timiş / Romania), on 23.04.2015
Sender 2682: Adrian Ilie
Sent from Timişoara (Timiş / Romania), on 03.04.1989
Photo: Ică Giurgiu