In 1782, after Timișoara became a free royal city and the German and Rascian magistrates were unified into a single town hall, a significant renovation of the town hall building and an extension of its premises took place, made by architect / builder Josef Aigner.
The foundations of the first City Hall of the German community in Timișoara were laid on January 1, 1718. Its leadership stated in a document from 1731, addressed to the Banat Country Administration, that the necessary measures had to be taken for the construction of a town hall. At the end of the same year, the foundation stone of the building was laid, which cost 26,000 guilders to build and housed other city offices. In 1782, after Timișoara became a free royal city and the German and Rascian magistrates were unified into a single town hall, a significant renovation of the town hall building and an extension of its premises took place, designed by architect/builder Josef Aigner.
In the 18th century, the usual town hall meetings took place twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays, respectively, and if the mayor considered it necessary, a special meeting could be scheduled on another day of the week. The mayor and city councilors had to set an example by their behavior and avoid any form of corruption, otherwise, they would be punished according to their actions.
The siege of the fortress by the revolutionary army in 1849 caused damage to the town hall building, so it had to be renovated according to a project developed in 1858. The current building is made in an eclectic style. A century later, the City Hall moved to its current location.
In the center of the square is the monument St. Mary, created by the sculptors Wasserburger and Blim between 1753 and 1756 after the project of Raffael Donner. The Baroque monument was commissioned in 1753 and sculpted in Vienna, and was erected in the market in 1756, at the initiative of the Congregation of St. Nepomuk, on its pedestal being episodes from the life of St. Nepomuk. This statue, commemorating the plague epidemic of 1738-1740, has replaced an older statue of Saint Nepomuk, which is now in front of the Millennium Church in Fabric. The statue of St. Mary was replaced after the revolution of 1848-1849 with the monument of fidelity but later regained its original position.
- Mihai Opriș, Mihai Botescu - Historic architecture in Timișoara Tempus Publishing House, Timisoara, 2014
- Bela Schiff, Unser Alt-Temeswar, Sonntagsblatt Publishing House, Timisoara, 1937.
The Old Town Hall and the monument of St. Mary
not all the bullet holes from '89
no money was found
to fill them all
and poverty has left so long
those eyes open
for us to sometimes cross eyes
and not pretend
that we don’t know
“Timișoara has a grand train station. Straight ahead, on the best asphalt pavement, smooth and clean, you walk past the gleam of the six-row windows of a huge mill, then through the alleys lined up with secular trees, perfect for a walk that shelters, in the cool of the evening, pairs enjoying the autumn moon, for they have lost the spring moon. Coarse breaths of air come from the waters of the Bega river, where one can discern piles of planks, abandoned boats. A large iron bridge leads to a neighborhood of tall houses, whitewashed by electricity. Then again follows the road through the trees, where peasant carts with white covers trickle along. Finally, at the entrance on a narrow street with large buildings, there is a bright palace with a theater-like facade, which displays a first-rate café, then the gangway to the great Kronprinz Hotel, worthy of any large capital. The owner is Swabian, everyone speaks German; right across, a smaller hotel with a German-only sign. From the very beginning, Timișoara shows itself for what it is: the town built on the ruins of the former Ottoman Paschalik, according to straight-line plans, for the Banat Swabians and other outcasts brought by German rule from all over the world, from the Lorraine in France, from Spain.” (Nicolae Iorga, Selected Travel Notes about Transylvania and Banat, Lucian Cursaru (Ed.), vol. II, Bucharest, Minerva Publishing House, 1977, p. 118-119)
An evening of music - Freedom Square
I was walking quietly through the centre of Timișoara one evening, and once I arrived in Libertății Square I couldn't help hearing some sounds that seemed to be made by an instrument unknown to me at that moment. As I approached, those invigorating sounds gave me an inner relaxation. Being at a sufficient distance I realized with amazement that the gentleman making the sounds was using an instrument that looked as if it had been brought by aliens, a sort of mini spaceship. I later learn that the instrument is called a Handpan and it is not a cheap instrument, but at that moment I could only sit on a bench, listen to the music and watch with interest how the instrument was used.
Emilian P, Student UPT, 2023