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Clockwise: Orthodox Cathedral, Romanian National Opera, Stadionul Dan Păltinișanu, The Dome and the Union Square
Clockwise: The Dome and the Union Square
Coat of arms of Timișoara
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Little Vienna, City of Roses
(Romanian: Mica Vienă, Orașul Rozelor)[1]
Timișoara is located in Romania
Location of Timișoara within Romania
Country  Romania
County Timiș
Status County capital
First official record 1212 (as Temesiense)
 • Mayor Nicolae Robu (PNL)
 • Deputy Mayor Dan Diaconu (PNL)
 • Deputy Mayor Traian Stoia (PSD)
 • City 130.5 km2 (50.4 sq mi)
 • Metro 1,070 km2 (410 sq mi)
Elevation 90 m (300 ft)
Population (2011 census)[2]
 • City 319,279 Increase
 • Rank 3rd (97th in EU)
 • Density 2,446.58/km2 (6,336.6/sq mi)
 • Metro 384,609
Demonym timișoreantimișoreancă (ro)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 300001-300990
Tel. code 0256 / 0356
Car Plates TM
Website .ro.primariatmwww
xTimișoara metropolitan area is a proposed project.

Timișoara (Romanian pronunciation:  ( ); German: Temeswar, also formerly Temeschburg or Temeschwar, Hungarian: Temesvár, Hungarian pronunciation:  ( ), Yiddish: טעמשוואר, Serbian: Темишвар/Temišvar, Banat Bulgarian: Timišvár, Turkish: Temeşvar) is the capital city of Timiș County, in western Romania. One of the largest Romanian cities (the third most populous city in the country, as of 2011), with a population of 319,279 inhabitants,[2] Timișoara is considered the informal capital city of the historical region of Banat. It is the main social, economic and cultural centre in the western part of Romania. The city is a candidate to become, in 2021, the European Capital of Culture.[3]


Middle Ages

Timișoara was first mentioned as a place in either 1212 or 1266 as Castrum Temesiense.[4] The territory later to be known as Banat was conquered and annexed by the Kingdom of Hungary in 1030. Timișoara grew considerably during the reign of Charles I, who, upon his visit here in 1307, ordered the construction of a royal palace. Timișoara's importance also grew due to its strategic location, which facilitated control over the Banat plain. By the middle of the 14th century, Timișoara was at the forefront of Western Christendom's battle against the Muslim Ottoman Turks. French and Hungarian crusaders met at the city before engaging in the Battle of Nicopolis in 1396. Beginning in 1443, John Hunyadi used Timișoara as a military stronghold against the Turks, having built a powerful fortress. The city was repeatedly sieged by the Ottomans in 1462, 1476, 1491, and 1522.

16th–19th centuries

In 1552, a 16,000 Ottoman army led by Kara Ahmed Pasha conquered the city and transformed it into a capital city in the region. The local military commander, Ștefan Losonczy, along with other Christians were massacred on July 27, 1552 while escaping the city through the Azapilor Gate.[5]

Timișoara in 1656, a map by Nicolas Sanson

Timișoara remained under Ottoman rule for nearly 160 years, controlled directly by the Sultan and enjoying a special status, similar to other cities in the region such as Budapest and Belgrade. During this period, Timișoara was home to a large Islamic community and produced famous historical figures such as Osman Aga of Temesvar, until Prince Eugene of Savoy conquered it in 1716. Subsequently, the city came under Austrian rule, and it remained so until the early 20th century, except for the Ottoman occupation between 1788–1789 during the Ottoman-Habsburg war.[6] During this time, Timișoara evolved from a strategic fortress to an economic and industrial center: numerous factories were built, electric illumination and public transport were introduced, and railroad connections were established. The city was defortified starting with 1892 up until 1910,[7] and several major road arteries were built to connect the suburbs with the city center, paving the way for further expansion of the city limits.

It was the first mainland European city and second in the world after New York to be lit by electric street lamps in 1884.[8][9] It was also the second European and the first city in what is now Romania with horse-drawn trams in 1869.[10] It is said that Gustave Eiffel, the creator of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, drew the projects of one of Timișoara's footbridges over the Bega, the "Metal Bridge", however, it was actually planned by Toth Robert, the head of the Bridge Department, at the Reșița rail factory.[11]

20th century

Historical image of a streetcar on Octavia Street in 1910

On October 31, 1918, local military and political elites establish the "Banat National Council", together with representatives of the region's main ethnic groups: Romanians, Germans, Serbs and Hungarians. On November 1 they proclaimed in Timișoara the short-lived Banat Republic. In the aftermath of World War I, the Banat region was divided between the Kingdom of Romania and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and Timișoara came under Romanian administration after Serbian occupation between 1918–1919. In 1920, King Ferdinand I awarded Timișoara the status of a University Center, and the interwar years saw continuous economic and cultural development. A number of anti-fascist and anti-revisionist demonstrations also took place during this time.

During World War II, Timișoara suffered damage from both Allied and Axis bombing raids, especially during the second half of 1944. On August 23, 1944, Romania, which until then was a member of the Axis, declared war on Nazi Germany and joined the Allies. Surprised, the local Wehrmacht garrison surrendered without a fight, and German and Hungarian troops attempted to take the city by force throughout September, without success.

After the war, the People's Republic of Romania was proclaimed, and Timișoara underwent Sovietization and later, systematization. The city's population tripled between 1948 and 1992. In December 1989, Timișoara witnessed a series of mass street protests in what was to become the Romanian Revolution of 1989.


Bega canal at night

Timișoara lies at an altitude of 90 m on the southeast edge of the Banat plain, part of the Pannonian Plain near the divergence of the Timiș and Bega rivers. The waters of the two rivers form a swampy and frequently flooded land. Timișoara developed on one of few places where the swamps could be crossed. These have constituted a natural protection around the fortress for a very long time, however, they also favoured a wet and insalubrious climate, as well as the proliferation of the plague and cholera, which have kept the number of inhabitants at a relatively low number and significantly prevented the development of the city. With time, however, the rivers of the area were drained, dammed and diverted. Due to these hydrographical projects undertaken in the 18th century, the city no longer lies on the Timiș River, but on the Bega canal. This improvement of the land was made irreversible by building the Bega canal (started in 1728) and by the complete draining of the surrounding marshes. However, the land across the city lies above a water table at a depth of only 0.5 to 5 metres, a factor which does not allow the construction of tall buildings. The rich black soil and relatively high water table make this a fertile agricultural region.

This is a relatively active seismic area, and earthquakes up to 6 on the Richter scale have been recorded.


Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).[12]

The climate which defines Timișoara city is the temperate-oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb) and can be regarded as humid continental (Dfb) when using an isotherm of 0 °C (32 °F). The city characterizes the Southern-Eastern part of The Pannonian Basin.

Climate data for Timișoara, Romania
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17.4
Average high °C (°F) 2
Daily mean °C (°F) −1
Average low °C (°F) −5
Record low °C (°F) −35.3
Precipitation mm (inches) 47
Avg. precipitation days 12 10 8 10 13 16 12 11 10 9 11 11 145
Avg. rainy days 2 3 7 10 13 16 12 11 10 9 7 4 104
Avg. snowy days 10 8.5 3 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 3 7.3 32
% humidity 91 87 81 80 77 79 74 75 76 85 92 89 82
Mean monthly sunshine hours 62 85 142 180 210 240 280 279 210 155 60 49 1,952
Source #1: Weatherbase [13]
Source #2:
  • Highest Recorded Temperature: 41.1 °C (106 °F) – 24 July 2007
  • Lowest Recorded Temperature: −35.3 °C (−32 °F) – 24 January 1963
  • Snow stays on the grounds 30 days a year on average
  • Warmest Month: July
  • Coolest Month: January
  • Highest Precipitation: June: 91.0 mm(3.589 in)
  • Lowest Precipitation: February: 44.5 mm(1.737 in)

Climatic general features consist of various and irregular weather conditions. The dominating temperate air masses during spring and summer are of oceanic origin and come with great precipitations. Frequently, even during winter period, the Atlantic humid air masses bring rainy and snowy weather, rarely cold weather.

From September until February, frequent continental polar air masses coming from the East invade the area. In spite of all that, the Banat climate is also influenced by the presence of cyclones and warm air masses which come from the Adriatic Sea and the Mediterranean. Their characteristic feature is that of complete snow thaw during the winter period and stifling heat during the summer period.

Freak measurable snowfalls have occurred as early as late October and as late as early April, but snow in those months is rare, and significant falls do not usually occur until late November. The median date for the first freeze is October 22, while that of the last freeze is April 15.


Central Timișoara (November 2012)

As of 2011 census data, Timișoara has a population of 319,279,[2] while the proposed Timișoara metropolitan area would have a population of 384,609.

Of this population, 86.79% were ethnic Romanians, while 5.12% were Hungarians, 1.37% Germans, 1.3% Serbs, 0.69% ethnic Romani, 0.18% Ukrainians, 0.17% Slovaks, 0.11% Jews and 0.76% others.[14] 14.2% of the population are under 15 years of age, 4.0% are over 75.

The Ukrainian community is currently growing, partly due to the presence of Ukrainian language educational facilities. In recent years, local investment by Italian companies has spurred the creation of an Italian community,[15] even leading to calls for an Italian Cultural Center.[16]

Since 1990, Timișoara saw a slight population decline owing to migration and a drop in birthrates. Notably, the Hungarian and German communities experienced significant decline, with the latter being reduced by half between 1992 and 2002.[17]


Timișoara has been an important economic centre since the 18th century when the Habsburg administration was installed. Due to Austrian colonisation, ethnic and religious diversity and innovative laws, the economy began to develop. The technicians and craftsmen that settled in the city established guilds and helped develop the city's economy. Notably, in 1717, Timișoara became host to the first beer factory in Romania.[18]

During the Industrial Revolution, numerous modern innovations were introduced. It was the first city in the monarchy with street lighting, and the first city in mainland Europe illuminated by electric light. The Bega river was also channelled during this time. It was the first navigable canal on current Romanian territory. This way, Timișoara had contact with Europe, and even with the rest of the world through the Black Sea, leading to the local development of commercialism.[19][20][21] In the 19th century, the railway system of the Hungarian Kingdom reached Timișoara.

City Business Centre
Regional Business Centre

Timișoara was the first city in the country with international routes economic boom as the amount of foreign investment, especially in high-tech sectors, has risen.[22] In terms of living standards, Timișoara ranks fourth nationwide.[23] In an article in late 2005, French magazine L'Expansion called Timișoara Romania's economic showcase,[24] and referred to the increased number of foreign investments as a "second revolution".

Apart from domestic local investment, there has been significant foreign investment from the European Union, particularly from Germany and Italy. Continental AG has produced tires since opening a plant in 2000.[25] The Linde Group produces technical gases, and a part of the wiring moulds for BMW and Audi vehicles are produced by the company Dräxlmaier Group locally. Wiring for Volkswagen and other vehicles are produced at the German company Kromberg & Schubert. Also, Swiss company FM Logistic, already present in Timiș County for Nestlé, P&G and in Bucharest for Cora, L'Oréal, Sanofi Aventis and Yves Rocher, and for companies like PROFI Rom Foods, BIC, Kraft Foods or SCA Packaging—offering them domestic transport services and international transport services for Bricostore, Arctic, Danone, Unilever or Contitech, the growth of FM Logistic in Romania and in Dudești through its 1st own warehouse in Romania (Dudeștii Noi gives FM the opportunity). Nestlé produces waffles here. Among the chain restaurants present are Mcdonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, Subway and Starbucks.

The USA company Flextronics maintains a workplace in the west of the city for the production of mobile telephony and government inspection department devices. In 2009, the company laid off 640 workers.[26] The American company Procter & Gamble manufactures washing and cleaning agents in Timișoara. Smithfield Foods—the world's largest pork processor and hog producer—has two subsidiaries in Timișoara and Timiș County: Smithfield Ferme and Smithfield Prod.

Like most of Romania, Timișoara experienced economic slowdown in 2009, due to the global economic downturn.[27]

According to a Net Index report from the end of the first half of 2013, Timișoara is the city with the highest download speed in the world—89.91 Mbit/s.[28]


Tramway and trolleybus routes

Timișoara has a complex system of regional transportation, providing road, air and rail connections to major cities in Romania and Europe. It also features a public transportation system consisting of bus, trolleybus and tram lines.

Timișoara is on two European routes (E70 and E671) in the European road network. At a national level, Timișoara is located on four different national roads: DN6, DN69, DN59 and DN59A. The Romanian Motorway A1, currently under construction, will link the city with Bucharest and the eastern part of the country. The Timișoara Coach Station (Autogara) is used by several private transport companies to provide coach connections from Timișoara to a large number of locations from all over the country.[29]

The city is served by Romania's third busiest airport, Traian Vuia International Airport, located 10 km (6.2 mi) northeast away from the city centre. It is the hub of the Romania's second-largest airline, Carpatair. There are regular flights from/to numerous major European and domestic destinations.

Timișoara's public transport network consists of 10 tram lines, 8 trolleybus lines and 20 bus lines, of which 5 are metropolitan lines and 6 are express lines. It is operated by Regia Autonomă de Transport Timișoara (RATT), an autonomous corporation of the City Hall. Timișoara is a major railway centre and is connected to all other major Romanian cities, as well as local destinations, through the national CFR network.

In 2013, Nicolae Robu announced that plans for building a metro system for the city are taken into consideration.[30]

Starting in 2015, RATT will offer vaporetto public transport on the Bega canal. [31]


The tallest building, when completed, will be the Tender Financial Centre, 180 metres high. Currently, the tallest building is the Timișoara Orthodox Cathedral, at 96 metres and the tallest office building is the Fructus Tower, at 65 metres. Other tall buildings, over 50 metres, include: Asirom Financial Centre, Bosch Center and the Continental Hotel. Another proposed building, the Timișoara High Tower, when completed, will have a height of 138 meters.


Timișoara City Hall
Administrative Palace, Timiș Prefecture headquarters

The first free elections in post-communist Timișoara took place in 1992. The winner was Christian Democrats. He had four mandates, after winning elections in 2000, 2004 and 2008. Meanwhile, Ciuhandu took over the Christian Democratic Party and ran for president of Romania in 2004. Timișoara's mayor, elected in 2012, is Nicolae Robu. Deputy mayors are Dan Diaconu and Traian Stoia.

Additionally, as Timișoara is the capital of Timiș County, the city hosts the palace of the prefecture, the headquarters of the county council (consiliu județean) and the prefect, who is appointed by Romania's central government. The prefect is not allowed to be a member of a political party, and his role is to represent the national government at the local level, acting as a liaison and facilitating the implementation of National Development Plans and governing programmes at the local level. Like all other local councils in Romania, the Timișoara local council, the county council and the city's mayor are elected every four years by the population. Decisions are approved and discussed by the local council (consiliu local) made up of 27 elected councillors.[32]

    Party Seats Current Council
  Social Liberal Union (USL) 15                              
  Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) 5                              
  Union for Timiș (PNȚCD+FDGR) 4                              
  People's Party – Dan Diaconescu(PP-DD) 3                              

Currently, the city is the largest in the West development region, which is equivalent to NUTS-II regions in the European Union and is used by the European Union and the Romanian Government for statistical analysis and regional development. The West development region is not, however, an administrative entity.[32]


Timișoara city traditionally divided into ten parts, but now they have no administrative function.

District Area (ha) Romanian name German name Hungarian name Institution
I 480 Cetate Innere Stadt Belváros 1718
II 1017 Fabric Fabrikstadt Gyárváros 1718
III 668 Elisabetin Elisabethstadt Erzsébetváros 1890
IV 442 Iosefin Josefstadt Józsefváros 1744
V 205 Mehala Mehala Mehala 1910
VI 231 Fratelia Fratelia Újkissoda 1948
VII 156 Freidorf Freidorf Szabadfalu 1950
VIII 67 Plopi Kardos-Kolonie Kardostelep 1951
IX 72 Ghiroda Nouă Neu-Giroda Erzsébetpuszta 1951
X 102 Ciarda Roșie Rote Tscharda Vörös Csárda 1953

In the 21st century, Timisoara city is divided into quarters (cartiere):

Listed alphabetically
  • Aradului vest
  • Badea Cârțan
  • Banat I
  • Blașcovici
  • Braytim
  • Bucovina
  • Calea Aradului
  • Calea Girocului
  • Calea Lipovei
  • Calea Șagului
  • Cetate
  • Chișoda
  • Ciarda Roșie
  • Circumvalațiunii I, II, III, IV
  • Complex studențesc
  • Complex
  • Crișan
  • Dacia
  • Dâmbovița
  • Elisabetin
  • Fabric
  • Fratelia
  • Freidorf
  • Ghiroda Nouă
  • Ion Ionescu de la Brad
  • Iosefin
  • Kuncz
  • Lunei
  • Matei Basarab
  • Mehala I, II
  • Mircea cel Bătrân
  • Modern
  • Noua Timișoară
  • Olimpia
  • Pădurea Verde
  • Plăvăț
  • Plopi
  • Ronaț
  • Soarelui
  • Stadion
  • Steaua
  • Tipografilor
  • Torontalului
  • Traian
  • Zona Odobescu

Culture and contemporary life

Unirii Square

The city center largely consists of buildings from the Austrian Empire era. The old city consists of several historic areas. These are: Cetate (Belváros in Hungarian, Innere Stadt in German), Iosefin (Józsefváros, Josephstadt), Elisabetin (Erzsébetváros, Elisabethstadt), Fabric (Gyárváros, Fabrikstadt). Numerous bars, clubs and restaurants have opened in the old Baroque square (Unirii Square).

Landmarks include:

Performing arts

  • Banatul Philharmonic of Timișoara (Filarmonica Banatul Timișoara)
  • Romanian Opera House (Opera Română Timișoara)[33]
  • National Theatre (Teatrul Național)
  • German State Theatre (Teatrul German de Stat)
  • Hungarian State Theatre (Teatrul Maghiar de Stat)
  • Puppet Theatre (Teatrul pentru copii și tineret "Merlin")

Festivals and Conferences

  • Plai Festival – Plai is a festival that celebrates multiculturality with world music, jazz, workshops and joy, arts and exuberance.[34]
  • Street Delivery Festival – Organized in Bucharest, Timișoara and Iași, the festival reaches areas such as architecture, music, theater, dance and film
  • Timișoara Jazz Festival - a jazz festival that takes place outdoors, in Victory Square, in July and brings to the scene international jazz artists.
  • StudentFest – a festival of culture and arts created by the students which has been held ever since 1992.[35]
  • International Festival of Literature from Timișoara - the festival, held in October since 2012, brings together Romanian and foreign authors, for two days of lectures and open dialogue with the public
  • Timishort - Timishort is a short movie festival held since 2009
  • ISWinT – The International Students Week in Timișoara
  • TED Conference[36][37][38][39]


Timișoara has four public universities and four private universities:




Rugby union

Association football




International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Timișoara has 16 twin towns and sister cities, as listed below:



See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c "Timis County at the 2011 census" (in Romanian).  
  3. ^ Timișoara 2021 - European Capital of Culture
  4. ^
  5. ^ Gate Azapa Citeste mai mult:
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Ilieșiu 2006, op. cit. p. 330
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Climate Summary for Timișoara, Romania
  13. ^ "Weatherbase: Weather for Timișoara, Romania". Weatherbase. 2011.  Retrieved on November 22, 2011.
  14. ^ "Ethno-demographic Structure of Romania". The Ethnocultural Diversity Resource Center. Retrieved April 15, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Timișoara, mina de aur pentru investitorii italieni". Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  16. ^ QCT Connect (1992-08-19). Timișoara este floarea de la butonieră a relațiilor româno-italiene" | Primaria Timișoara | Secțiuni suplimentare | Cooperare internațională și dezvoltare economică""". Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  17. ^ "Centrul de resurse pentru diversitate etnoculturală". 2010-05-30. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Timișoara, monografie Istorică", dr.Nicolae Ilieșu
  20. ^ "Agenda". Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  21. ^ "Agenda". Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  22. ^ "La Timișoara, e vremea boom-ului economic". Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  23. ^ Scris de Lucian Paulescu. "Timișoara, desemnat al patrulea oraș din România ca standard de viață - Ziua de Vest". Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  24. ^ "Timișoara Romania's economic showcase". Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Economie: Economia timiseana a traversat un an destul de greu in 2009". Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  28. ^ "Romanian city comes out first in the world in Internet download speed ranking". Net Index. 3 July 2013. 
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Vaporetto pe Bega, din vara anului viitor. Şapte vapoare vor oferi transport public pe apă.". Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  32. ^ a b
  33. ^ "Romanian Opera House". Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  34. ^ "PLAI Festival". 
  35. ^ "Article about StudentFest in TION". 
  36. ^ "TEDxTimisoara". 
  37. ^ "TEDxTimisoara events on". 
  38. ^ "Article about TEDxTimisoara in Ziua de Vest". 
  39. ^ Nani, Corina. "Festivalul International Graffiti Timişoara 2011". Street Art Album. ArtPress Timişoara. 
  40. ^ "The West University of Timișoara". Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  41. ^ "The Politehnica University of Timișoara". Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  42. ^ "Victor Babeș University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timișoara". 2009-08-29. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  43. ^ "The Banat's University of Agricultural Sciences in Timișoara". Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  44. ^ "The Dimitrie Cantemir University of Timișoara". Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  45. ^ "The Tibiscus University of Timișoara". Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  46. ^ "Mihai Eminescu University of Timișoara". Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  47. ^ "Ioan Slavici University of Timișoara". Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  48. ^ 友好城市 (Friendly cities), 市外办 (Foreign Affairs Office), 2008-03-22. (Translation by Google Translate.)
  49. ^ 国际友好城市一览表 (International Friendship Cities List), 2011-01-20. (Translation by Google Translate.)
  50. ^ 友好交流 (Friendly exchanges), 2011-09-13. (Translation by Google Translate.)
  51. ^ "Städte­partnerschaften" (in German). Stadt Karlsruhe. 2010-12-16. Archived from the original on 2010-07-24. Retrieved 2011-01-05. 
  52. ^ "European networks and city partnerships". Nottingham City Council. 11 March. Retrieved 2013-07-20. 
  53. ^ [1]
  54. ^ [2]
  55. ^ [3]
  56. ^ [4]
  57. ^ [5]
  58. ^ [6]
  59. ^ [7]
  60. ^ [8]
  61. ^ [9]
  62. ^ [10]
  63. ^ [11]
  64. ^ [12]
  65. ^ [13]
  66. ^ [14]

External links

  • People from Timișoara
  • An introduction to Timișoara by Prof. Harry W. Morgan
  • Timișoara's home page, the oldest Romanian page on the net
  • City of Timișoara Homepage
  • Tourist Bureau of Romania
  • Updated map of Timișoara
  • Info about the TimisBega catchment and the 2005 flood on Google Earth

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