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Iosefin and Elisabetin Districts

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Until after 1716, today’s area of the present-day Elisabetin and Iosefin districts, located at the south-west, respectively south of the Cetate (Castle) district, was not inhabited. There weren’t any buildings (except the so-called “Roman wall”, whose actual construction date is unknown, but who went across the present-day Iosefin district).

The first buildings emerged in the today’s Elisabetin district. We are talking about Rosalia Chapel, built between 1739 and 1740, the house of master engineer Dissel (Distel) and the Cambiatura (a place for exchanging post-horses). From the 1746 and 1740 documents it is not clear if Dissel owned only the summer house, or the “cambiatura”, too. Numerous documents indicate clearly that there were no other buildings in that area in the years 1746 to 1750. These properties and buildings were probably called “The Old Maier” in 1744, when the building of a new residential neighborhood in the north-west was approved, called “The New Maier” (the initial core of present-day Iosefin quarter). The term “maier” comes from German and means “leased yard together with the associated buildings”.

Since in the Old Maier there were the first three plots to have been occupied with buildings, there are numerous stories which go about this neighborhood. Dissel’s house (known today as the “Turkish House”)is the only one of those three buildings to have been preserved until today. Most legends revolve around this house.

Other legends say that the district developed around a wooden Orthodox church, existing in 1727.
But since the current territory of the Elisabetin district had until 1750 only the three buildings – mentioned above – (many historical documents prove this), the wooden church could only be located in the former district of Palanca Mică, therefore north of the present-day Bega channel, and approximately south of the intersection of today’s streets 20 Decembrie 1989 and C.D. Loga, in the 1st District “Cetate” of Timişoara. Besides the fact that it was located south of the historic city, but north of present-day Bega channel, therefore at a much smaller distance from the city than the nowadays Elisabetin district, the 1727 wooden church district had nothing in common with the nowadays Elisabetin.

Only after the year 1750, and up to 1770, a residential neighborhood emerged between present-day Piaţa Bisericii (Church Square) and Cozia St., south of the 948 m wide Esplanade, on which building was forbidden, and therefore south of the three buildings mentioned above. The district was called the Old Wallachian Maier and was inhabited mostly by Romanians. Around present-day Romulus and Odobescu streets, the Old German Maier district was developed, inhabited by Germans.

Over time, the two districts merged and, in 1896, received the name Elisabetin in honor of Elizabeth, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary, best known as “Sissy, the wandering Empress”, traveling the world together with only one lady “of courtesy”, after crown price Rudolf, her son, committed suicide.

Sissy, a disturbingly beautiful brunette, was the wife of Emperor King Franz Joseph, who, dying in 1916, survived all his family’s closest members: his brother, Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, was convicted and executed by revolutionaries in 1876; his son, Rudolf, committed suicide in 1889; his wife, Elizabeth, “the wandering Empress”, was murdered in Switzerland in 1898, and the crown prince, Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914, thus becoming the pretext for the outbreak of the First World War.

For a long time, the Elisabetin district had a rural aspect. Only after 1890, it experienced a strong urban development.

The initial core of present-day Iosefin district was approved in 1744. It was charted “on board”, having three main streets: current Dragalina, Bolintineanu-Văcărescu and Pop de Băseşti-Maniu streets, south-west of the Esplanade – the 948 m wide area on which building was forbidden. It was inhabited by Germans and was called the German Suburbia or the New German Maier. In 1773, it received the name Iosefin in honor of Emperor Joseph II, son of Maria Theresa.

The Iosefin district had a rural character until Timişoara was connected to the railway system of Central Europe in 1857, when, in the north of this district, the first railway station of the city was built. After the making of several rail connections and the placement of various industrial units, Iosefin developed rapidly in the second half of the 19th century.

Traian Bridge

Timiş - Bega Hydro - Improvement Society Palace

Franz Marschall Palace 

House with the beautiful gate

House with peacocks and owls

House with peacocks

Jakob Klein Palace

St. Maria Monument

The Reformed Community Palace

Romanian Orthodox Church in Iosefin

The palaces in Piata Mocioni/Mocioni Square

The Iron Bridge

Reports House in the Iosefin District

Former Iosefin Savings Bank

Rudolf Menczer House

Thomas Ede Palace

The sisters of Notre-Dame (former monastery and school)

The Catholic Church in Iosefin

Albert Schott Palace

Albert Hain House

Alexandru Pisica Palace

Miksa Brück palace

The Iosefin Synagogue

Ancora Palace

The former Hotel Royal

The former Hotel Splendid

The Turkish House

 

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