Timisoara History, Romania
One of the largest cities in Romania, Timisoara is situated in the western part of the country (close to the Serbian border – Belgrade is only 80 miles far from Timisoara) and it is the cultural centre of the historic region Banat. Banat region has been populated since immemorial times: archeological proofs found in the area indicate that the first settlements were established in Paleolithic period. Later, the area was populated by the Dacians and some scattered Celtic tribes, until 106 AD, when Dacia was conquered by the Romans.
Timisoara History – Timisoara in the Middle Ages
A medieval town with the name ‘Castrum Timisensis’, situated on the Bega River is mentioned in 1212 chronicle. During the first part of the 14th century, Timisoara becomes the residence of Charles of Anjou and the capital of the Hungarian kingdom. The next two centuries are probably the bloodiest in Timisoara’s history: Timisoara is caught in the middle of the anti-ottoman war and is temporary occupied during the peasant uprising lead by Gheorghe Doja. For 164 years, Timisoara had been under Ottoman rule: when Eugene of Savoy finally manages to defeat the ottomans in 1716, Timisoara is annexed by the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Timisoara History – Timisoara under Austro-Hungarian Occupation
Across the 18th century, Timisoara underwent a process of modernization: the plan of modern Timisoara is drawn, with large, parallel boulevards, river Bega becomes navigable and several administrative buildings, bridges and churches are built. Timisoara becomes an important commercial centre, with a multi-ethnic population (Romanians, Hungarians, German colonists). By the end of the 19th century, Timisoara is ready to compete with any Western city: it has beautiful Baroque and Neo-Classic buildings, paved streets, running water and street illumination. With the end of World War I, Timisoara becomes a part of the reunited Romanian state.
Timisoara History – Timisoara in the 20th Century
At the beginning of the 20th century, Timisoara had a thriving and diversified economy, a solid urban plan, numerous schools and a productive cultural life. After a short period of regress following World War II, Timisoara continued to develop under communist rule: the unnatural process of industrialization and urbanization didn’t affect so much the historical part of the city, but it considerably increased the city’s population. Timisoara played a dramatic role in the events following the fall of the Iron Curtain: there were the streets Timisoara where the first anti-communist riots began and were violently suppressed by the army in 1989. From Timisoara, the revolution had spread in Bucharest and all major cities in the country. The ‘89 Revolution represented dramatic but important event in Timisoara history, as Timisoara became the first communism-free city in Romania.
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