Piata Traian, Piața Traian nr. 3-4
"Traian Square is the central square of the Fabric district, its beginnings being related to the first half a sec. in the 18th century. The original appearance of the Square was very different from today, given that many of the existing buildings at the time were relatively modest, with a single level and a rather rural look. The current appearance was received only at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when the great palaces were built on all four sides of the square."
Traian Square (formerly called Kossuth tér and Hauptplatzis the central square of the Fabric neighborhood, its beginnings being linked to the first half of the 18th century. The initial appearance of the square was very different from today, given that many of the existing buildings were relatively modest at the time, with a single level and a rather rural aspect. The square was the place where the weekly fairs were held in the past. The current appearance was received only at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when the great palaces were built on all four sides of the square.
The Serbian Orthodox Church, dedicated to St. George, located on the eastern side of the square, was built between 1745-1755, being one of the oldest buildings in the entire neighborhood. On the left side of the church, at the end of the 19th century, the House of the Serbian Community of Fabric was built. Edified in the eclectic style/historic style, the building housed on the ground floor many famous shops of the time, among which we recall the Csendes shop or the Kohn brothers store.
On the northern side, named after the original owner, Bela Fiatska Palace or the Mercur Palace was built at the beginning of the 20th century. Edified in the Secession style, the palace has a distinctive ornamental element, a bronze statue of the god Mercury, located on the corner of the building and the Square. On the ground floor of this building was the shop of the merchant Al. Nenadovics.
The western side of the square also hosts an impressive palace, the Palace of Countess Ana Mirbach, built at the beginning of the last century in the Secession style, according to the plans of architect Josef Kremer.
Among the houses located on the southern side of the square, the building once owned by Baron Mihai Nikolics of Rudna stands out.
There are also two public monuments in Traian Square: the obelisk or pyramid with a cross, erected in 1774 by the senior official from Timișoara, Stojša Spasojević, and the stone bell, the work of artist Ștefan Călărășanu, erected in honor of the 1989 Revolution.
- https://heritageoftimisoara.ro/cladiri/Fabric/adresa/Traian/2 site accessed in May 2021.
- https://heritageoftimisoara.ro/cladiri/Fabric/adresa/3+August+1919/33 site accessed in May 2021.
- https://heritageoftimisoara.ro/cladiri/Fabric/adresa/Ion+Mihalache/1 site accessed in May 2021.
- http://ploaiadecuvinte.blogspot.com/2012_04_13_archive.html site accessed in May 2021.
The Traian Square
I was three years old when the "Excelsior" Azur factory, varnishes and paints, where my father was a shareholder, went bankrupt. (…) And then they thought, my father thought it would be good to start a Serbian newspaper, because there were so many Serbs in Banat and they would surely have subscribers. And so, he did. They founded this newspaper (Temisvarski Vesnik, 1933). He found a pressman in Cetate, on Eugeniu de Savoia, where there was a printing house that agreed to print his newspaper. The newspaper was biweekly, appearing twice a week. He had apprentices who came from the countryside, a little smarter, who wanted to become pressmen. And there were two couriers. The manuscripts were written by hand, at our home, first there on Samuil Micu street. And from there they came here to the Cetate. I don't even know how those kids came there, by tram or... And the proofreading was done twice. First the manuscript was collected, a sample smeared with printing ink was drawn, on which the corrections were made at the edge, that it was made on the slits. Even then the corrections were made at the edge, with signs that I still remember what they looked like. And then the courier would run back with them, correct them, do the second test, and run home again, and only then would it be good to print. And someone else was going there to do the proofreading, they were doing another page, a trial page, to see if there were any gross mistakes. So, the third correction was made there. So that was Monday and Tuesday until noon - you can imagine how fast they had to be there! At noon on Tuesday, the newspaper was being delivered. And for that, they had to stick the addresses on every newspaper. I don't know how many subscribers there were - a thousand and something - two thousand subscribers in the whole area, all the way down to the Danube: Arad, Timiş, Caraş - they were villages with a lot of subscribers. And by the end of the year, they were starting to gather material for the Calendar.
(…) What did your childhood factory look like? Ah, the Fabric of my childhood was very beautiful. I also remember the shore of Bega, where I played and fought with my cousin, who is only a year older than me... When we moved to Traian Square, we lived in this part where there are household items and they lived at a right angle, in their house, which was Nenadovič House - it was only one floor high, but the roof was very high, and downstairs were all kinds of beautiful shops, and in the corner was grandpa's shop. "Nenadovič Alexandru şi fiul " What kind of store was it? It had delicacies, a Grocery shop and Delicacies. What a craziness! All the good things in the world were there!
Xenia Manojlovic, born in 1930 in Timișoara - excerpt from an interview conducted by Simona Adam in Timișoara in 2002, The oral history and anthropology group archive, coordinated by Smaranda Vultur.
I remember a small episode, which may be of interest to someone who wants to know Timisoara, that a certain merchant, who had a small shop near the Power Plant, on Ștefan cel Mare, wanted to move to Traian Square, because there it was a free space. He came to my grandfather, because he was the oldest of all the food merchants, because there were five of them there, and he asked him, "Mr. Nenadovici, look what I'm thinking... Do you agree for me to move to Traian Square?” My grandfather told him: "Yes, sir, move!" Commercially it was not a competition, because it was a small company. Then he went to the other patrons in Traian's Square to ask them: “Gentlemen, look, I went to Mr. Nenadovici's and he agreed for me to move here. Do you agree?” "If he accepts you in Traian Square we agree." I'm talking about the ones from the food industry. So, the man did not simply come to rent the space because it was free and ready, as it happens today. That was the atmosphere back then and it was a very light, a very relaxed atmosphere. People got along and it wasn't a clientele that was just Grosz's or Toth Sandor's or Katz's. The dispute at the time was simply commercial, through what you could offer. For example, someone from Bucharest would come to my grandfather and say: “Sir, I brought a sample of the original rum from Cuba. Taste and tell yourself how much you want to take from us ". My grandfather or my father, who knew how much is sold here every year, because the rum in Cuba was famous, talked and told him that they wanted this much quarterly and and this much annually. For this, the company offered exclusivity, meaning that in Timişoara it did not sign a contract with anyone else. Those who heard, after a few months, that this company has rum from Cuba, came to buy. Of course, that was what attracted him, but they would also buy something else since they came into the store. That's what those merchants did. This was an example with my grandfather and my father, but so did the other merchants, with other items, which they had exclusively. (...)
But they were very good people. Because my grandfather was a merchant, he wanted his son to be a merchant too, and that's what he did. My father did the whole hierarchy, starting from apprentice, from calf, as these trades were called. My father was my grandfather's companion, because that was the name of the company "Alexander Nenadovich and Son". My father then took over this firm from my grandfather, and continued. While my grandfather was alive, he was always in the shop, more honorary, because he was old and already weakened by his strength.
Vladimir Nenadovici, born in 1923 in Timișoara – excerpt from an interview by Adrian Onică, Timișoara 2003, The oral history and anthropology group archive, coordinated by Smaranda Vultur.
I lived in an area where poor people lived, a Jewish neighborhood. The Fabric neighborhood was a neighborhood of Jews, Neologicals, Orthodox and Spanish, there were many, thousands of Jews were here in Timisoara and all these religions were freely practiced wherever they wanted. For jews, there was a restaurant named Koşer located in Fabric, it was a church, a big and beautiful temple, but today you can't even see inside because people are afraid that the ceiling might fall.
On Friday, the Jews would take the sweet leavened bread (in Romanian it is called “cozonac”) to a baker to bake it because in the evening the cozonac was cut and they were praying, Brohe prayer was said, the one in which you thank God on Friday night. They would take all of it to the Orthodox bakery, there was a restaurant with free access, everyone could go there for a meal that avoided foods that were forbidden. It was beautiful when we went to that synagogue. They were beautifully dressed women, the rich showed off all their jewelry, and we all always received new clothes and new shoes for Easter. Gifts like this were always made for the holidays. Men offered bouquets of flowers to women, this was the day when it was Lent, you would eat in the evening and until the next evening when the stars appeared you didn't eat, smoke or drink anything. This is Lent, it is done for the salvation of the soul, or as they say, for the forgiveness of sins.
Were there Jewish schools? We had high school, we didn't have college and there were several schools in the neighborhoods. On the street where we lived, the Talmud-Tora was taught, the 7-year-olds went to that school and then they went to the high school that was in Cetate.
What was the name of the street you lived on then? Negruzzi Street, other streets where Jews lived were named after historians, scientists. We lived with many Christians and had a lot of children in the house. Well, now that Easter is coming, for example, we use pască (Easter bread), we eat that pască, but then from that pască the neighbors who were Christians would also eat, they ate for pleasure. They brought us red Easter eggs. We had a great time at Easter. I believe that in Romania the anti-Semitism has not reached high levels as it has reached in other countries neighboring us. We didn't hate each other, we didn't hurt each other, the legionnaires ruined the atmosphere a little. Only if I tell you what misery I lived in, there were so many children living in a home with only a room and a kitchen and there were a lot of beds and there was a lot of poverty. Often the children didn't go to school because they didn't have shoes. Poverty was severe, and only poor Jews lived there. Now, it seems awful to us to live in a block, but back then the people who thought they were rich and wealthy and had everything, they were actually middle-class Jews. They weren't extremely poor, but they weren't wealthy either. Now society has developed and so have we. We are originally from Spain, we are called Mangelus, we are Sephardic, the Romanians call me mangeloaică.
Kornelia Mautner, born Benjamin, in 1920 in Timişoara - Excerpt from the interview conducted by Adrian Onică in Timişoara in 2001, published in Memoria salvată, Evreii din Banat ieri și azi, coordinated by Smaranda Vultur, Polirom Publishing House, Iași, 2002.
FABRIC – C’EST MOI
Ceea ce-l frapează pe străinul venit la Timişoara este prezenţa în oraş a mai multor locuri cu aspect de centru.
Inima Fabricului este Piaţa Traian, alimentată de străzile-vene care se răstoarnă brusc în artere atunci când eşti nevoit să te integrezi fluxului ce se îndepărtează de acest cord dreptunghiular.
Faţă de anii când treceam zilnic (de fapt, eram mânat) pe aici de câteva ori, multe s-au schimbat, deşi aerul unei continuităţi există. L-ar da pozele făcute din diferite unghiuri de pe clădiri, întotdeauna gata să-şi ia zborul. Realitatea-i că ar trebui fotografiat cel puţin din minut în minut. S-ar observa şi mişcarea trecătorilor, şi felul cum se mută lumina, asupra lor şi asupra zidurilor. S-ar vedea şi apăsarea subtilă, dar cu atât mai dramatică, a amurgului, când unui suflet tânăr îi cresc fără greş aripi cu bătaie scurtă sau, mai degrabă, ceea ce-i din cale-afară de trist, aripi cu bătaie iluzorie, ce se împleticesc printre murii scorţoşi, în rutina posacă, pragmatică a indivizilor cartierului, pe care tot îi vezi şi-i vezi şi-i revezi.
Uimitor mi se pare că piaţa continuă să se menţină şi astăzi, când trec prin ea, o dată la câţiva ani, când nu-i mai dau tributul meu de sânge, când nu mă mai extind orgolios din perete-n perete, din om în om, până la exclamaţia supremă “Piaţa Traian – c’est moi!”
Acolo unde a fost clubul muncitoresc s-a instalat un atelier de vulcanizare. Geamul prin care privesc îmi dă iluzia de vechime, de cumul al atâtor şi atâtor imagini, dar parcă poţi să ştii?! Aici în fiecare seară se spărgea câte ceva, simţurile însetate îşi purtau posesorul (posedatul!) ba într-o parte, ba într-alta, după semnele abia arătate, pe fondul înşelător de apatic, ale vehemenţei, ale vacarmului, ale încăierării. Aici am văzut prima dată doi autori de cărţi, Mihu Dragomir şi Nicolae Tăutu, i-am măsurat îndelung, am tot experimentat distanţele faţă de ei. Dan, colegul meu de bancă, astăzi un redutabil hispanist, i-a recitat la ureche, în pauza întâlnirii, scriitorului militar poemul kilometric pe care tocmai îl terminase în ora de P.A.P. (Pregătirea pentru apărarea patriei) sau de rusă. Bănuindu-l de tentativa afirmării cu orice preţ, am pufăit indignat la auzul versului “disperarea linge pietrele”, pe când vocea în schimbare a prietenului meu căpătase accente cu adevărat exasperate, încât m-am întors cu spatele ca să pot da drumul râsului nervos.
Tot aici aveam să asist pentru prima dată (elev în penultima clasă de liceu) la un caft ca-n filme, parte integrantă a serii de dans, între băieţii cartierului şi studenţi, tranşat categoric în favoarea celor dintâi. Faţa nobil însângerată a unui student, argumentele lui asupra nevinovăţiei şi nonviolenţei, dezvoltate într-o frumoasă curgere, mi-au stârnit invidie şi o strivitoare admiraţie, dar m-au şi învăţat o lecţie – să nu mă laud cu şcolile mele în faţa micilor şi marilor golani şi bătăuşi ce dominau zona şi cu care, din motive de securitate, a trebuit să mă fac haver (pretenar).
O cu totul altă stare am avut neputând să intervin pentru bucovineanul bătut fără motiv de chelneri în berăria de la subsol. El, salahorul dezrădăcinat, slăbănog, pierdut în pantalonii largi şi în uriaşele cizme de cauciuc, ne cântase, puţin mai înainte, cu limpede şi insuportabilă deznădejde “Că streinu-i ca pelinu / În pelin mai pui zahar / Da’ streinu-i tot amar”. Acum se ferea încetinit în faţa agresorilor şi-i ruga cu glas întretăiat să-i dea numai la cap, să-i ocrotească stomacul, pentru că are un ulcer urât. Şi aceia se înfuriau şi mai tare, îl plesneau cu poftă şi în cap, şi la stomac, să nu mai aibă pretenţii. Într-un târziu a apărut tacticos miliţianul, care a scos caietul de procese-verbale, hotărât să-1 încondeieze pe bucovinean pentru tulburarea ordinei publice.
Cofetăria a rămas tot acolo, cu aceleaşi prăjituri lâncede în vitrină, dar grădina de vară a dispărut. Aici veneam cu Genu în preajma vreunui examen şi, porniţi să îngrăşăm subit porcul, ne turnam conţinutul unei fiole de cofeină în suc, ca să putem citi toată noaptea.
O altă pivniţă celebră era pe Anton Pann. În locul ei vei da peste depozitul de geamuri. Ne arătam în ajunul Anului Nou, luam un rom mic pentru a ne monta. Lumpeni tineri şi bătrâni (mai ales cocişi, căruţaşi adică) aveau să petreacă în infernul nu prea adânc, prin învârtejirea fumului gros şi a sunetelor închipuind melodii de chef româneşti şi ungureşti, scâncite de un moş urduros şi cu buboaie năvalnice pe figură la o scripcă ieşită din uz. Urmau să se prezinte cei cu capra; în schimbul unei monede de trei lei, ţigăncuşa îşi dezvelea pentru o clipă sânii. Plecam spre săli de petrecere un pic mai scuturate, lăsându-i pe mâna unei fericiri neatinse de nici un dubiu.
N-a rămas, pe Mareşal Joffre, casa lui Kuliner Peter (cel care scria mizerabil, dar desena grozav, pentru că luase lecţii cu marele Podlipny) şi a lui Hild Robert (care în ziua de Şabat, în ciuda protestelor dirigintelui, stătea singur în picioare cât durau cursurilc). În locul acelei case e un spaţiu, un interval între două blocuri.
Viorel Marineasa, fragment din volumul O cedare în anii ’20, Editura Paralela 45, Piteşti, 1998.
„Am ajuns în Timișoara într-o toamnă ca parte a unei povești de dragoste și nu știam la ce să mă aștept din partea acestui oraș. Nu știam cum mă va primi și dacă mă va accepta însă în fiecare zi se lăsa descoperit și câteodată, când îl răsfățam, mă lăsa să-i admir interiorul unei clădiri sau îmi plimba pașii pe vreo străduță lăturalnică plină de frunze în culorile toamnei. În diminețile răcoroase ne încălzeam împreună la o cafea în Unirii iar după-amiaza mă lăsa să urc la etaj să-i salut o prietenă veche ce-i ducea mai departe parfumul vienez prin intermediul anticariatului. Câteodată mă rătăceam pe străduțele sale și parcă voind să-mi arate drumul mă trimetea către Librăria germană sau rondul “Punctele cardinale”. Nu voiam să părăsesc cetatea și reveneam sub zidurile Bastionului ca mai apoi sa mă trezesc plimbându-mă pe malul Begăi cu un trandafir la rever cules din Parcul rozelor. Asfințitul mă prindea în parcul Catedralei cuprins de vacarmul ciorilor și corbilor și atunci fugeam repede după tramvaiul ce ducea în Piața Traian, dorind să îmi potolesc foamea cu un mic muncitoresc ca mai apoi seara să se încheie în restaurantul fabricii de bere alături de o blondă brumată. Astfel îmi petreceam zilele de toamnă în cosmopolitul Temesvar.”