Timisoara, 18-24 June

ECIS 2022 - New Horizons in Digitally United Societies



Credit photo: Ion Gondobescu

Timișoara, the third largest city in Romania, has the charm of a small town and the opportunities of a big city. About 320,000 people make their homes in this city.

Geographically situated at the meeting point of many cultures, from west to east and from south to north, Timisoara is just 3 hours away from Budapest (Hungary), 3 hours away from Belgrade (Serbia) and 5 hours away from Vienna (Austria). Also dubbed ’Little Vienna’, Timișoara boasts an outstanding architecture, dominated by Baroque and Secessions styles. Mixing modern buildings with medieval architecture, Timișoara is a city of culture, youth and some firsts in the Romanian history – it was the first city in Romania to have electric public street lighting, and was also the first city where the anti-communist Romanian Revolution started in 1989.

History of the city

The first official mentions of Timisoara data back to the early 13th century, but the city is probably older than that. Back then the city was part of the Hungarian Kingdom. It was conquered by the Ottoman army in 1552 and has stayed under Ottoman rule until 1716 when it was freed by the Habsburg forces. It wasn’t until after the First World War that Timisoara and the Banat region became a part of greater Romania. While the year 1918 is generally known as the year that the big Romanian state was created, technically, it wasn’t until 1919 that the Banat region became part of the country.

During the 19th century, Timișoara underwent an important industrial development. It was the first European city to introduce electrical street lighting in 1884. Later on, in 1899, electric trams also started to be seen in the streets. In 1989, Timișoara was the city that triggered the movement against the communist regime, a revolution that soon spread over the entire country and led to important political changes. At present, the economy of Timișoara is based on the principles of market economy.

Timişoara is well known as a city of premiers, by excellence a city of technical innovations.

  • The first city in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy to have street lights and later the first city in continental Europe with electric street lights, 
  • the first newspaper in what is now Romania and the first newspaper in German in East-Central and South-Eastern Europe, 
  • the first public lending library and telegraphic and phone service in what is now Romania,
  • the first cinema screening, the first public swimming pool and the first football stadium in Romania,
  • the only European city with three state theatres in three different languages.

In 1989 the sparkle of the civic revolution toppled the communist regime in the country.

European Capital of Culture in 2021
Photo source: www.timisoara2021.ro

European Capital of Culture in 2023

Light played a key role in the history of Timișoara. In 1884 it became the first city in continental Europe with street lighting. So there is no surprise that light will also play a key role in TM2023 programme, when our city will be the European Capital of Culture. Shine your light – Light up your city! is the slogan that reflects the journey from an individual to a European citizen who is guided by cultural interventions.

Shine your light – Light up your city!

Local attractions

Today Timișoara is mostly known for being a cosmopolitan city, a university centre and the chosen 2023 European Capital of Culture. When in Timișoara, be sure to check out some of its most famous tourist attractions.
The National Opera House
Credit photo: Adrian Toth

The National Opera House

The majestic building of the National Opera and the National Theatre of Timișoara is the symbol of the Romanian Revolution. From its famous balcony was read The Proclamation of Timișoara that stated the first city free of communism on 20th of December 1989. The sparkle of the civic revolution started here toppled the communist regime in the country.

The building was built between 1872 – 1875. It was seriously damaged by two fires and was rebuild, except for the lateral sides. The building seats on 1.600 huge oak pillars. The first performance at the Timișoara Opera was on 27 April 1875, the inaugural concert being Aida by Giuseppe Verdi.

More details about the cultural life of Timisoara can be found here:

The Union Square
Credit photo: Adrian Toth

The Union Square

The oldest square in the city, built in a baroque style, is one of the most beautiful places in Timișoara. The square is surrounded by colourful and unique architecture and is filled with historical monuments and artefacts. One important building that must be visited here is The Baroque Palace that hosts the Art Museum of Timișoara. It dates back to the 18th century. Over the years, this building was the official residence of the Count of Timis, the headquarters of Banat and Voivodina’s governor, the Prefecture headquarters and now hosts the Art Museum. Art lovers can discover here important works of Romanian national painters.

From the more popular museums to the “quirky” ones here are the museums that are worth your visit: timisoaratourism.com/things-to-do/best-museums-in-timisoara/

The Metropolitan Cathedral
Credit photo: Adrian Toth

The Metropolitan Cathedral

The emblematic Cathedral, a symbol of the city, was built between 1936 – 1946. Its style blends harmoniously elements of Byzantine and old Romanian Moldavian architecture. It has 7 bells that weigh together 8 tons; each corresponds to a music tone and has an inscription from the Holy texts.

All the important monument of Timisoara can be found here:

The Roses Park
Credit photo: Adrian Toth

The Roses Park

Timișoara’s reputation as the city of flowers and parks comes from the large number of parks in the city, mostly along Bega River, but particularly for the prestige that the city won since the nineteenth century, as many flower growers, famous throughout Europe, used to live here. The famous Roses Park was created with the contribution of famous gardeners of that time. In 1891, during the Universal Exposition attended by King Franz Josef the presentation of the park was made by Wilhelm Mühle; more than 300 species of roses were presented then.

The Statue of Romulus and Remus
Credit photo: Adrian Toth

The Statue of Romulus and Remus

In the middle of the esplanade of Victory Square  rises the statue of Romulus and Remus, also known as the She-Wolf. The statue represents a perfect copy of the Lupa Capitolina of Rome and it was given to Timișoara in 1926 by the Municipality of Rome as a symbol of the Latin roots of the Romanian people.

The Bega River
Credit photo: Adrian Toth

The Bega River

Bega River makes Timișoara more beautiful. The Bega Canal runs from east to west, through the entire length of the city, cutting through the center and connecting 4 parks.  One of the most exciting programs planned for the special year 2021 will be the Mega Bega, when the visitors will be invited to the longest stage in the world, where diverse art forms and performances will be presented. 

If you are curious to know how you can explore the city via the Bega and what the history behind this idea is, then you can find some interesting detail here:

More information

An useful map with all the tourist attractions can be found here:

We also recommend you an useful mobile application that can guide you during your stay in Timisoara.

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