The city of Timisoara is called "Little Vienna" for its buildings, palaces and cultural life. It was taken over by the Turkish army in the year 1552, and stayed under their protection until the year 1718, when it passed to Austria for 2 centuries. Following that it turned into a vital market town with Turkish influences, Austrian, German and Serbian who left their mark and their influence, as seen in the neighborhoods of the city. Timisoara is a cosmopolitan town, the 1st European city to introduce a horse-drawn trams in the year 1869 and electric lighting in the streets in the year 1889. It has lots of public parks, green spaces, and is easy to navigate on foot as part of its downtown area which is pedestrianized. It has many churches (Catholic and Orthodox), Jewish synagogues, and elegant Baroque structures in the historical and art nouveau in the residential zones.
The Metropolitan Cathedral can be found at the southern end of Victoria Square and is one of this city's defining sights. The Cathedral also happens to be one of the tallest buildings in Timisoara, and it's visible from anywhere in the city. The Cathedral was built between 1936 and 1946 under the watchful eye of the design architect John Traianescu. In this cathedral the architect was able to combine different architectural styles inspired by the Hagia Sophia (St. Sophia) and monasteries created by Stephen III of Moldavia. It is an orthodox temple whose pattern to the "Three Hierarchs" (Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus and John Chrysostom) and St. Joseph the New (first bishop of the city in the seventeenth century). It has a large proportion (63 m wide by 32 m long), with emphasis on the outside its eleven towers covered with multicolored glazed ceramic roof. It houses a rich collection of religious art (pieces of jewelry, painting, sculpture ...) as well as a library that has over 3000 volumes of books in it. Under the temple there is a burial crypt. The hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Trajan's Square is the industrial and business epicenter of this district of the city, which can be found just outside the walls of the city's historic center, only a few steps from the Timisoreana Beer factory [poi = 121525] [/ poi]. It's a pretty big square, rectangular in shape, and weekly markets and fairs used to take place there until the nineteenth century. Hundreds of vendors came from all over Transylvania merchants to sell their products: Corn flour, beer, snuff, sugar, manufactured goods ... It was built in 1740 and originally named "Hauptplatz". This square is also the first Romanian Orthodox church in the city and the palace Mercure (Palatul Mercur), XVIII century.
The Millennium Cathedral is the largest Catholic church that can be found in the city of Timisoara. Its name comes from the fact that it was built to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the arrival of the Hungarian people to Romania. It was built between 1896 and 1901 that architect Lajos Ybl designed this cathedral in neo-Gothic style. It's a daunting building constructed out of brick, the most notable being its two tall towers 65.7 meters high and a large bell weighing 2,420 kg, and a large central dome 45 meters. The interior has three naves with side chapels, the most important piece is the large pipe organ, made by craftsman Leopoldo Wegenstein and donated by Bishop Alexander Dessewffy, is carved in oak and decorated with gold leaf.
Timisoara was a fortified city, for which the fortress was built in the twelfth century. Builders subsequently added two more rings of walls in the 14th and 18th centuries. The fortress was a Vauvan type fortification that has 9 towers or bastions and 3 gates. It was built of limestone, clay and wood. The Presidium of Maria Teresa is the only original fragment that remains of the old fortress today, and it was built in 1730. The rest was destroyed in a controlled demolition in the late nineteenth century and its materials were then used to build other buildings and paved streets. The Bastion is named in honor of Queen Maria Theresa. Today it remains the home of several shops, restaurants, bars, a nightclub and a library.
The Home of the Prince Eugene of Savoy can be found on the street that shares the same name, near the tourist information office. It is a palace-style building that was built in 1817 in the place where there had previously been a wall of doors that allowed access to the fortified city. Eugene of Savoy is an important character in Romania's history. It was he who led the Austrian imperial army liberated the city of Timisoara of Turkish occupation in the year 1716.
Liberty Square is one of the oldest in Timisoara. A population settled around it and began to expand the city. It's a large plaza serving as a link between two other plazas in the historic centre (Victoria and [poi = 121536] Unirii [/ poi]). It has medieval markets. It's surrounded by important buildings, one of which is the oldest in the city, the [poi = 121534] Casino Military Museum [/ poi], as well as the old town hall and the Foreign Ministry. The [b] Sf Ioan Nepomuk Monument [/ b] (the Catholic Patron in Banat) is in the middle. It's sort of an obelisk with several sculptures that is topped by the image of the Virgin with a crown of stars around her head. It was built with sandstone in 1756 by the Viennese sculptor Wasserburger Blim in honour of those who died during the 1738 plague epidemic.
This church is located in the historic city centre, in [poi = 121536] Unirii Square [/ poi]. It's one of the most important religious buildings in Timisoara. Its construction began in 1738 by Jesuit monks and it was designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach in the typical Baroque imperial style, like most Austrian buildings in that era. The highlight of the main facade are the bottom pillars of Ionic and Corinthian styles. On both sides of the facade, there are two towers topped with curved pediments. There are eight side altars of baroque and rococo decor by the German painter Johann Adam Schopf in the interior, which emphasizes the Baroque organ, built by the Wegenstein company of Timisoara. Given its excellent acoustics, it frequently houses organ recitals. The church has a crypt where several Catholic bishops, governors, military commanders and senior officers are buried.
This is one of the most important buildings of military character of the city, is located in the Liberty Square on the corner with Mărăşeşti Street. It was built in 1747, in the late Baroque style with rococo influences, on the site of the old mosque Silahdarului. It has three storeys and is now the home to the National Military Museum , it has 6 rooms in which more than 2,000 objects such as maps, old documents, models of some historical monuments, photographs, weapons and military equipment related to the historical traditions of the Romanian army throughout the ages, are displayed. It is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9.00 to 17.00h.
During the 18th century, this plaza was the city's commercial centre and home to many military parades and religious ceremonies (today it's still used as a stage for cultural events). It's a beautiful and lively square in the city's historic centre, and is surrounded by cafes full of people, where you can find some of the city's most famous monuments. Its name comes from the two different and important religious buildings, one next to the another: The Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity (Orthodox) and the Biserica Episcopală Domul Catholic (Catholic). Other important buildings in this square include the Palace of the former Prefecture (Palatul Vechii prefecturi), the Episcopal Palace, and the Viennese Baroque Palace (Palatul Baroc) that houses a section of art from the Museum of Banat. In the middle of the square, there's the Baroque Statue of the Trinity, created by the Viennese sculptor Georg Raphael Donner. It has a triangular pedestal with a bronze sculpture base depicting the plague, famine and war, and various statues of saints. In the centre, there's an obelisk topped by the image of the Trinity. There's also an 18th century fountain, which used to supply drinking water to the town's people from a 400 foot subterranean well.
The Lulius Mall is the largest shopping center in western Romania. It opened in 2005 and is modern and huge, with a total area of about 178,000 m2 across four floors. It has 240 stores, including: clothing (including well known brands), footwear, electronics, music, bookstores, tobacco shops, decorating stores, florists, banks, opticians, law firms, laundries, animal stores, pharmacies, appliance stores, amsupermarket (chain "Auchan", etc). It also offers a variety of entertainment, with 7 cinemas, a free wifi area, 20 restaurants and cafes, a swimming pool, fitness center, climbing wall, skate park, mini club and a small auditorium for special events. Inside the mall there are several outdoor plazas and gardens and a large underground car park. It is open every day from 10 to 22h.