April 29, 2016

2498, 2499 ROMANIA (Arad) - Arad

2498 Arad: 1. The Romanian Orthodox Cathedral;
2. The Administrative Palace; 3. The Palace of Culture

Historically situated in the region of Crişana, and having recently extended on the left bank of the Mureş river, in Banat region, Arad is in nowadays the most important trans-European road and rail transportation junction point in western Romania. With a rich industrial and commercial tradition, it is one of the most prosperous cities in the country. The vineyards of Arad stretch on the hills bordering the western part of the Zarand Mountains. The native variety Cadarcă was the wine of the imperial court of Vienna during the reign of Emperor Franz Josef.

2499 Arad: 1. The "Ioan Slavici" Theatre; 2. The Administrative Palace;
3. The Palace of Culture; 5. Neumann Palace; 6. The National Bank;
7. Mureş River

It was first mentioned in the 11th century. The Ottoman Empire conquered the region from Hungary in 1551 and kept it until 1699, when was taken by the Habsburg Monarchy. According to 1720 data, the population of the city was composed of 177 Romanian families, 162 Serbian, and 35 Hungarian. The Arad Fortress, boasting a Vauban-style fortress with a six-pointed star shape, was built under the orders of the Empress Maria Theresa between 1763 and 1783.

The city enjoyed great economic development in the 19th century, in 1834 being declared a "free royal town" by Emperor Francis I of Austria. During the latter part of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 it played a very important role. Thirteen rebel generals (known as the 13 Martyrs of Arad)  were executed there, and since then Arad is considered the "Hungarian Golgotha". In 1920, under the Treaty of Trianon, Arad was ceded to Romania.

Arad is a city of impressive buildings and architecture, with many of the main sights located along the principal thoroughfare, the broad, tree-lined, Bulevardul Revoluţiei. These include the impressive white City Hall Palace (1875), the Palace of Culture (1911-1916), the neo-gothic and secessionist-style Red Church (1906), the large, domed Roman Catholic Church (1902-1904) and the neo-classical State Theatre (1874).

There are also some delightful examples of art nouveau, in particular along Strada Cloşca and around Piaţa Avram Iancu, such as Bohuş Palace. An extensive open air market is in the older part of the town, overshadowed by the tall towers of the baroque Orthodox Cathedral (1865) and nearby the old water tower (1896) being restored as a museum. At the corner with Strada Mihai Eminescu is the Secessionist Grozăvescu Pharmacy which has preserved its original interior.

East of Piata Avram Iancu stands the Old Theatre (1817) where national poet Mihai Eminescu once worked. It became the Urania Cinema in 1903 but is now being restored as a theatre. Further south near Piatra Veche, lies the old Jewish quarter and a couple of synagogues. Beyond spans the Serbian quarter and the attractive Serbian Orthodox Church St. Petru & Pavel (1692-1702) which was rebuilt in a baroque style in 1790.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of the third set of a very extensive series, entitled Romanian Pottery, about which I wrote here.

Arad, Romania - Wikipedia
Arad - Romania Tourism
Pleading for Arad - The City Hall official website
Arad City Guide - Arad City Guide

Sender: Gabriel Szünder
Sent from Arad (Arad / Romania), on 30.07.1980
Photo: D. F. Dumitru

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