Rain or shine, in Timișoara you have over 900 reasons to go out for a walk.
This is the number of heritage buildings in the city, Timișoara having the largest area of historical monuments in Romania. Each with its own story. Each with its own place. Waiting to be discovered.
Victoriei SquareThe newest square in the Cetate district is today the centre of the city. The story began with the de-fortification of Timisoara (early years of the 20th century), when a boulevard was designed and built, which existed until the late 1980s. Beautiful 1900s-style palaces are built at a dizzying pace between 1910 and 1914. One of Europe’s first tram lines was here until 1987. The two long sides of the square were the walking places of the locals: the left side (as you look towards the Cathedral) was called “Surogat” and the right side was called “Corso” and represented the place for the “good folk” to stroll.
Palace of CultureProbably the most emblematic building of Timisoara. It was built between 1872 and 1875, in Neo-Renaissance style, after the design of the Viennese architects Helmer and Fellner. The building was the victim of fires in the 1890s and 1920s. During the second restoration, the auditorium was decorated in neo-Romanesque style. In the 1930s, the Bucharest architect Duiliu Marcu restored the main façade in the form of a triumphal arch. In 2003, the main façade was restored to its present form. After the 1989 Revolution, the building’s balcony has a strong historical significance, being the place from which Timisoara declared itself the first city in Romania free from communism. The building now houses four cultural institutions: the National Theatre, the Romanian Opera, the German Theatre, and the Hungarian Theatre.
Over time, the market’s appearance has changed. During the Ottoman period it was the site of the public baths, the bazaar, and the great barn. The remains of the baths were excavated in 2014, and the outline of the walls and the pillars supporting the floor are marked on the pavement of the square and can be easily identified on a walk. The layout of the square we see today dates from the 1700s, during the Habsburg period, when it was called Paradeplatz (Parade Square) and was the administrative centre of the town. It’s no coincidence that the Old Town Hall is located on the north side of the square. The square has recently been renovated and has been transformed from a heavily vegetated square to an event square. It now hosts open-air shows and concerts, the Christmas Fair, as well as terraces and resting places.
Synagogue in the Fortress
In the mid-19th century, after more than a century of restrictions and discrimination, the Jewish community receives approval to build a new synagogue. The project is entrusted to architect Carl Schumann, a disciple of Ludwig Förster, the architect of the Budapest synagogue. The synagogue is inaugurated on the Rosh Hashanah (New Year’s Day) in 1865. Seven years later, the synagogue is re-inaugurated during the visit of Emperor Franz Joseph, one of the main donors. The synagogue, which had fallen into an advanced state of disrepair in the early 2000s, was renovated and reopened to the public in 2022. It is now a meeting place for the Jewish community and host for cultural events.