Iosefin - Elisabetin Tour
The historic districts south of the Cetate house thousands of heritage buildings. You can wander numerous streets with historical architecture.
The historic districts of Iosefin and Elisabetin emerged south of the fortress, on the site of former gardens under a lease (“maier”). The first buildings emerge in Elisabetin, but only Iosefin succeeds in becoming since the eighteenth century a district with more than a few isolated houses. The second half of the nineteenth century, when steam power in locomotion is introduced, brings a dramatic development to the two districts, because here were the city’s railway station and port. Between 1860 and 1916, dozens of streets are built with thousands of new beautiful houses – some are true 1900s architecture jewels.
We start our walk in the Iosefin district at 1 Bridge Trajan – (1911-1916) designed by engineer Károly Lád and and architect Elemér Wachtel. Its simple forms already announced the Art Deco that will impose itself after the war. From here on, the border between the districts Iosefin and Elisabetin is 16 Decembrie 1989 Bd. On the left there is the Elisabetin and on the right Iosefin – a district drawn in 1744 and originally developed (with a rural look) around nowadays Dragalina, Bolintineanu - Văcărescu and Pop Băseşti - Maniu streets. Since 1773 it is named Iosefin in honor of Joseph II, son of Maria Theresa, who visited
Beyond the bridge we have the image of a large European city – continuous fronts of old buildings, which seem to go on forever. On the right – i.e. in Iosefin, we have 2 the
We continue to the left of the bridge on
Also spectacularly decorated are 5 the “House with peacocks and owls” or Johann Hartlauer house, situated in Plevnei Square, at nr.7) and 6 the “House with peacocks” (or Nicolin house, at no. 4). The intricate blending of floral and animal elements is surprising. Both are the works of architect Martin Gemeinhardt’s plastic language. At Hartlauer House still preserves some remnants of painting in vivid colors, with repetitive motives, that once decorated the stairwell (vases with flowers on pedestals).
On the other side of the street, at no. 5, there is 7 Jakob Klein Palace. The façade facing Caraiman St. has a two-level jutty, the reliefs between the 1st and 2nd floors (a young woman with a violin) being unique in Timişoara. Maybe you have the opportunity to see the entrance hall: the walls are overburden by reliefs of 1900s style, the upper register containing representations of women dancing.
On this site, a group of Christians protesting against the imminent evacuation of Pastor Tőkes László Tokes turned on December 15, 1989, into a mass movement that the following day was spread throughout the city. Basically here started the anticommunist revolution in
Now we can understand why the boulevard on which we are is called December 16, 1989. Continuing our walking we soon reach 10 the Romanian Orthodox Church in Iosefin (called for some time the “Old Cathedral”), built between 1931 and 1936 (architect Professor Victor Vlad). It is part of the string of churches built after 1918, which marked the rupture with Baroque architecture practiced by the Orthodox during the Habsburg monarchy, seeking inspiration in Byzantine forms (seen as “real” Orthodox). It was build having as a model (at a more reduced scale, of course) the Cathedral of St. Sophia in
We are now in the
If we drift away from A. Mocioni Square to the right on Ady Endre Street we reach 12 the
We return to
We turn left on I. Ghica St. – at the intersection with 16 Decembrie 1989 Bd. Across the street there is the former 16 Rudolf Menczer House (1894-1895), neo-Baroque eclectic historicist style, today a hospital. The famous pharmacy that you can still see on the ground floor today belonged to Skribanek Kolomán. The original furniture is partially preserved. On the same boulevard 16 Decembrie 1989 Bd. stands out 17 Thomas
The right side of the Boulevard General Dragalina is occupied by 19 the former "Sisters of Notre Dame" complex. The various buildings were built between 1881 and 1894, the main element of the complex being the school for girls. Its construction significantly marked Iosefin district’s development and its change in appearance from rural to urban life. Most of the works were funded by the Catholic Bishop Alexander Bonaz who, following serious disputes with his superiors in the
On the left there is 20 the Catholic Parochial Church of Iosefin district (1774-1775), Baroque with rococo elements. It is witness to the beginning of Iosefin, at the time when this neighborhood did not differ to much from German villages of the
We go back at the intersection of Carol I and General Dragalina boulevards, passing by 29 Iosefin market. It is the largest food market in town.
At junction we turn left on
On the side we are on now, there is 31 the former Royal Hotel (Karl Weisz Palace; 1909-1910). Over the bridge there is another hotel: 32 Splendid Hotel (1911-1912), another creation of Martin Gemeinhardt, who was also owner of the building. In the background we can distinguish the figure of the North Station. It is the main railway station in
This ends the Iosefin district tour. You can return to the city center either on foot, on the banks of Bega, or by means of transport, or you can continue to Elisabetin District. To reach the Elisabetin, the simplest way is to take the no. 8 tram from the intersection of General Dragalina Bd. with Carol I Bd. and get off at the 4th station.
You can reach
The Elisabetin district, besides what we already have seen, is a typical residential area with many houses and few shops. The omnipresent bustle of Iosefin is missing, instead you can walk for hours on quiet streets with old houses. The district’s center is
Bypassing the church on the left, on
We go back to the Center (Cetate district) on
We cross 37 Mitropolit Andrei Şaguna Bridge, after the last rename. It was built in 1913 and was called “the Episcopal Bridge”. On the four pedestals visible today busts of some Catholic bishops of the
On the other side is the Cetate District,
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