Timișoara, a gem in Eastern Europe, ready to be discovered
Timișoara lies in Eastern Europe, in Romania to be more precise. It is the place where I spent a third of my life and always love to come back. The city is vibrant as it is one of the bigger university cities in Romania and a hub for the automotive industry in Europe.
A couple of days ago, I visited Timișoara again and took some pictures to be able to take you on a virtual tour of the cities old town.
We will start our tour with the Unirii Square which can be translated to unification square. It is my favorite place from the whole city. The photos are done in a grey winter day but you should imagine it in the spring, where the square is filled with terraces as almost every building host a cafe or a bar inside and in the warmer days in front of it.
The buildings are gorgeous. By the way, this city and this square have been the first in Continental Europe to use public electric lighting in 1884 and one of the first worldwide to introduce trams as means of public transport.
I like this square as it is also a sign of peace. It is the if not the single one of the fewest where 3 different confessions share a square for their churches, the Roman Catholic church, the Romanian Orthodox and the Serbian Orthodox, all three being different but all being Christian and cohabitated for centuries together.
Somewhere in one of the stones, as an easter egg, there is a hidden map of the old fortress. It is not easily found even with local guidance.
From the Unirii Square we go towards the Victoriei Square (victory square), the biggest one in Timișoara.
On the way there I see that some buildings are being renovated...
...some have been renovated...
...and some wait to be renovated.
We pass another square, this time the Libertății Square (liberty square).
Here we find a 3D map of the old town on how it looks now.
This fountain, which is also a piece of art contains all the names of the ones killed in the revolution who overthrown the communism regime in 1989. Also, the Romanian revolution started here in Timișoara.
The first building in the Victoriei Square is the Operhouse which also holds the theater.
It is also a unique theater in the world as it holds three different state theaters in three different languages, Romanian, German and Hungarian. I loved being a student to go to all three theaters, as I speak both Romanian and German fluently and a bit of Hungarian.
Speaking of the student years. This is the main building of the university where I studied for 7 years. Sometimes if you stay to long it get's spooky or at least this is a student legend
It is also located in the main square.
The symbol of Timișoara is the Romanian Orthodox Cathedral which is located also in Victoriei Square. It is a relatively new building, finished during World War II.
The Christmas market is still open till the 7th of January, because there is a small Serbian minority in the city and the Serb celebrate Christmas Eve on the 6th of January.
Beside the usual stuff you can find on an Christmas Market in Europe like sausages, steak and mulled wine, there was also some traditional pottery present.
I made also some new friends.
After we left the main square and walked on the small streets close by.
We found the old synagogue which during my student times hosted a lot of parties and electronic festivals. Obvious it was at that time not a synagogue anymore.
In the evening we went out with a friend and on the way to the restaurant, we stopped at this marvelous church.
It is called the Millenium Church and was the first time for me as I entered it.
Some fun facts about the city:
- in 2021 the city will be the European Capital of Culture
- the first Tarzan, Johnny Weissmüller was born hier in Timișoara. He did also win 6 Olympic gold medals for USA and was the Michael Phelps of his days
- also the first Dracula, Bela Lugosi, was born 50 km away form Timișoara
- in 2013, for 6 months it was the city with the fastest internet in the world (might be that I moved out at the beginning of 2013)
- Francesco Illy, the inventor of the first automatic machine was also born here, so if you drink an Illy caffe, you know now where it cames from
- like said before, it was the second city in the world after New York that was lit by electric street lamps
- Johann Hollaender, was the longest general manager of the Vienna State Opera, as you can guess he was also born here
What to do?
- you can write the local guides at timisoaratourguides.com for a cool tour around the city
- visit the city in the spring, the parks are full with roses as it was also the city which supplied the Habsburg empire with this flowers
- as it is a student town, there are a lot of clubs and bars open, all year round and every day till the morning hours you can party; the price advantage for drinks is huge being in Eastern Europe
- eating out is also for Europe cheap, for example a pair of ribs is under 9 Eur
- stay at http://hostel-cornel.ro, it is located in the city center with amenities of a hotel and the prices of a hostel
Hope this post opened your curiosity and you want to visit this wonderful city.
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