One of the most beloved buildings in Timisoara, the Palace of the Discount Bank in Union Square, was built according to the plans of the architects Marczell Komor and Dezső Jakab in the style of the Hungarian Secession, in 1909.
Among the emblematic buildings of the city we have to mention the Palace of the De Scont Bank or the Palace of Miksa (Max) Steiner, a building located in the southwest corner of Union Square. One of the most beloved buildings in Timisoara, the Palace of the De Scont Bank was built according to the plans of architects Marczell Komor and Dezső Jakab in the style of the Hungarian Secession.
The palace is named after its sponsor, the spodium maker Max Steiner. The building was completed in the summer of 1909, being designed as a report building. The owner of the palace, Miksa Steiner, also owned another spectacular building in the Fabric, also available for rent.
Zsolnay glazed ceramic ornaments and national decorative motifs frame the building in the above-mentioned current Hungarian-style Secession.
The existing ornamentation on the facade of the building indicates the initial destination of the building, a bank. Symbols such as beehives, which are represented on the pediment of the building and above the access door, suggest the banking function of the building.
The De Scont Bank of Southern Hungary, a banking institution established in 1906, operated in the Miksa Steiner Palace during the pre-war period.
Recently restored, the Palace of the De Scont Bank is one of the most beloved buildings in Timisoara, being a representative element of the local Secession.
- https://heritageoftimisoara.ro/cladiri/Cetate/adresa/Gheorghe+Laz%C4%83r/1 site accessed in May 2021.
- Josef Geml, Vechea Timișoară în ultima jumătate de secol 1870-1920,Cosmopolitan Art Publishing House, Timisoara, 2016, pp. 308-309.
Discount Bank (Max Steiner Palace) in Union Square
a child is writing away
finger in the air
line after line
down to the bottom
close to the grass
turns his head and smiles at me
I tell him
with an irritated lisp
that you don’t mark the middle of a story
by a fullstop
“Our winter journey also takes us to Timişoara, so close to our hearts from the years of all possibilities. In the first days of February, the snow that had been falling endlessly for a few weeks, after frosts of twenty five degrees below zero, suddenly started to melt; the sidewalks are bordered by muddy streams flowing down the streets, ending up in swamps at larger crossings... Everything seems dirty from the melting snow, but very fresh and sunny in our recollections. Along this canal, there used to be parks drenched in scents and colour, bordered on the other side by a boulevard so proud for those times, which seemed, under the oblique twilight rays, an implausible Seine, and it was just the Bega river. Everywhere there were flowers and young girls dressed in white, who were coming and going with their tennis rackets from and to the nets scattered all over the city like white doves... It was my compensation for the student years dreamed of in Heidelberg.” (Camil Petrescu, Three Springs, Timișoara, Facla Publishing House, 1975, p. 250)
In the summer of 2022 I came to Timisoara with a friend to visit the beautiful city full of history. Walking around, we ended up in Unirii Square where there is a very interesting building whose colour can be slightly confusing. In the distance we saw a white building, Discount Bank (Max Steiner Palace). My friend also saw the building, but mentioned that it is not white, but light blue, which is the colour she saw a few months ago. We decided to head towards the building so we could better analyze the color. When we got there, my friend also realized that the Discount Bank was white, but she explained that a few months ago the building was blue. However, I didn't believe her because I knew that no renovations had been done recently. An old man overheard our conversation and smiling told us that we were both right. He explained that the shade changes according to the light the building is bathed in. So the building becomes white, blue or lilac, and the secret lies in the paints used, which give this spectacular effect through the elements in their composition. I thanked her for the explanation and continued the walk with my friend to find out other secrets of Timișoara's buildings.
Andreea D, UPT student, 2023