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House with the Guilds’ Tree

House with the Guilds’ Tree

Current name

House with the Guilds’ Tree, House with the Iron Tree

Address

3 Proclamaţia de la Timişoara St.

 

Dating

1752 – The house with two floors was under construction (site) and belonged to master builder, contractor to fortifications, Johann Lechner, who probably also drafted the building’s project.

1828 – it belonged to dealer “Andreas Trandaphil” (Andrei Trandafir).

Architectural style

The original façade – probably Austrian Baroque. Current façade – 1900s style, the szeceszió movement.

Other information

The Johann and Wenzel Lechner brothers worked between 1750 and 1753 also on the Catholic Cathedral.

The merchant Andrei Trandafir would have charged Master Moritz Heim to install the “iron tree” perhaps as a house sign. The tree was connected to the house with a large lock that disappeared by the 1960s. The same Moritz Heim made an “iron tree” in Arad, too (but smaller!).

Following some work carried out in the interiors of the building (on the ground floor) after the Second World War, two paintings executed directly on the wall came to light: one of them is an apprentice who beats in nails and belongs to the Banat painter Franz Ferch; it was made in the interwar period.

Such trees, wrapped in sheet metal, were frequent in German-speaking areas. To learn a craft, apprentices had to travel and perform work at different masters, today to “practice”. Once in a new city, they had to beat in a nail into that city’s tree to prove that they were there. In Arad there was such tree, too.

The origin of this custom comes from a legend: a young apprentice who was preparing to become a locksmith wanted to be able to make locks that could not be broken by any thief. He made a pact with the devil – the devil was going to teach him how to make such locks (the solution was simple: to build a lock without a key hole), and instead the young man had to offer his soul as a reward.

On the ground floor, the Hubertus restaurant of the hunters in Timişoara worked for long time.

 

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