The Theresia Bastion, also known as the "Bastion of the Fortress", is the largest surviving part of Timișoara's former bastioned fortress.
The Theresia Bastion, also known as the "Bastion of the Fortress", is the largest surviving part of Timișoara's former bastioned fortress. Unlike the other eight bastions, it was enclosed on all sides, one of its functions being to defend the Transylvanian Gate. In 1734 it was completely finished, being included in the first ring of fortifications and named Theresia Bastion, in honour of Queen Maria Theresia.
Apart from this fragment of the Bastion, three other smaller fragments have been preserved in the vicinity of the roundabout at the New Clinics, in the Botanical Park and near the 700 Square.
Originally the building of the Theresia Bastion served as a storehouse for supplies for both provincial and military authorities. In the 18th century its vaulted rooms contained ovens, flour and salt stores, among other things. Later it was raised and casemated. In the second half of the 18th century it temporarily served as the residence of the Catholic Bishop of Cenad. Over the years, this building has housed various town offices as well as state archives, warehouses, storerooms, workshops, school boarding houses, a printing press and a fencing school.
In the context of the demolition of the fortress at the beginning of the 20th century, this part of the former fortress was also to be demolished, after the erection of a substitute food store for the army on the current Gheorghe Lazăr Street. However, since various institutions were based here and the presence of the Theresia Bastion did not hinder the development of the city or the movement between the Citadel and the Fabric, it was kept.
From 1971 until the beginning of the last renovation, the Theresia Bastion housed the Ethnography Section of the Banat Museum, which contained the richest collection of folk art in Romania. MECIPT-1, the first electronic computer, created in the Romanian university environment at the Polytechnic Institute of Timisoara, has also found its place in the Technical Museum in the Bastion building. Part of the Timiș County Library and the Museum of the Violin used to operate in the same location. After the last restoration, completed in 2010, it became the temporary headquarters of the Banat Museum in Timișoara and other cultural institutions of regional importance.
- Franz Binder, Alt-TemeswarVerlag der Deutschen Buchhandlung, Timișoara, 1934.
- Dan N. Buruleanu, Florin Medeleț, Timisoara. The story of its citiesMirton Publishing, 2004.
- Mihai Opriș, Recent discoveries, which required the correction of Timișoara's urban historyBrumar Publishing House, 2007.
- *** – Temeschburg-Temeswar. Eine südosteuropäische Stadt im ZeitwandelHerausgegeben von der Heimatortgemeinschaft Temeschburg-Temeswar, Karlsruhe, 1994.
Maria Theresia Bastion
“The area up here, once called the fortress, is now called “the inner city”. It is one of the four areas, separated by the groves of the park, which make up Timisoara. Up north is the town of Iosefin, and there is the factory district, which Romanians have called “Fabric” from the very beginning, when the Austrian government gifted its creation with this industrial benevolence, which was highly valued at the time; finally, on the other side lie the former town barns, which turned into an Elizabethan city.” (Nicolae Iorga, Selected Travel Notes about Transylvania and Banat, Lucian Cursaru (Ed.), vol. II, Bucharest, Minerva Publishing House, 1977, p. 120)
... So, I say that there was a natural inner modeling, which would somehow define, for every person, a spirit of the place. I am referring to these buildings, with their specificity, they influencing a certain participation of each one in the life of the burg, of the fortress. But I’m also referring to some loans, of attitude, of behavior, that the Romanians here assumed, and assimilated from populations of other ethnicities: Germans, Hungarians, Jews, Serbs. For example, speaking of the spirit of Timișoara, I think that this area, of historical and architectural heritage, of the former fortress - still called the old Fortress - which comes from the Bastion, of course, with Unirii Square, to the Cathedral, through the historical center of Timișoara, it is, so to speak, an argument in itself, of immediate impact, for someone coming from outside, an argument that speaks, by itself, about the spirit of the place. This one can be connected with the way the people from this place are, since-then especially the ones that have been here since the beginning, but also those that are here today, to whom something certain of the spirit has been transmitted, from generation to generation, of this place...
Eugen Bunaru interviewed by Aurora Dumitrescu in Timişoara, 2004