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The Old City Hall

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The Old City Hall is situated at 1, Libertăţii Square.

 

Dating and historical functions

December 24, 1731 (the foundation stone was placed) –. It was the German Community Hall, called “the New City Hall”.

1781 – Royal Free Town of Timişoara City Hall.

1782 – rebuilt by builder Josef Aigner.

Damaged from the 1849 artillery bombardment

1853 – date on the new façade project, the one existing today.

Approx. 1935 – repairs.

1949 – the city hall moved to its current headquarters

 

Architectural style

Eclectic, with Classicist elements, typical for the mid-nineteenth century. From the plastic composition point of view, the ground floor serves as a base for the two levels pilasters on the first and second floors.

 

Other information

  1. placa araba-smallNear the main entrance to its right, an inscription from the Ottoman period is mounted, the only existing evidence of Ottoman rule in the city (except for the museum pieces displayed at the Banat Museum). Most researchers consider that the inscription refers to the existing Turkish bath on the east side of the square, on the intersection of present day streets Alecsandri and Praporgescu. The inscription is written in Arabic letters, in the Turkish-Osman language, a language containing 60 to 80% loan words from Arabic and Persian, and therefore very difficult to understand or even incomprehensible to nowadays contemporary Turks.

Having a size of 30 x 12 m, the bath was one of the largest buildings in Ottoman Timişoara (the Grand Mosque was only 30 x 17 m). Since 1555 steps have taken to build baths, which for Muslims had also ritual functions. This while, after the year 1500, the West tended to close the public baths because of the spread of exotic venereal diseases following travels to new continents.

In 1753, a ballroom functioned in the city hall. It was located on the 1st floor, practically in the City Hall’s council room. At that time, there were hundreds of taverns in Timişoara (especially because of the many soldiers), but the snobbish bourgeoisie had, in the middle of the eighteenth century, few decent places for parties which were held on Saturday evenings.

Between 1848 and 1849, the Austrian commander of the fortress, the Croatian Baron Field Marshal Lieutenant Rukavina von Vidovgrad, mounted two loaded canons in front of the city hall to deter civilians to take “reckless gestures” (i.e., revolutionary). The guns were never fired. In December 1989, war ammunition was shot in Libertăţii Square. The anger of the people of Timişoara became too great to be able to be stopped with guns!

On the building’s frontispiece, the image of a portion of the Turkish Timişoara wall can be seen – a palisade wall, interrupted by the “gate of Prince Eugen” can be seen.

 

 

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