ROMANIA – Situated on the plain near the borders with Hungary and Serbia, Timișoara – where I arrived at the airport and spent two nights – is a university town of 320,000. It is called Temesvar in Hungarian, Timisvar in Serbian, and a variation on the theme in various other languages. Pictures made on 2017-07-16.

Despite being quite a big city, the center is quite small, and is situated around three squares:

The largest, Piața Victoriei, which is lined with 19th century Habsburg buildings:

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3. The opera sits at the northern end of the square

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And two much older squares:

5. Piața Libertății

Piața Unirii:

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8. Modern (communist-era and more recent) buildings surround the center on the norther side. This picture was taken from Piața Unirii

9. Piața Ionel I. C. Brătianu, which is where I got off the bus from the airport

10. Communist mural on the street from the center to the main station, Timișoara Nord

11. On the same street, but closer to the center, I really like this style of architecture of which there is so much in Romania

12. Piața Victoriei in the evening, with the orthodox cathedral at the southern end

Romania has changed quite a lot since I was last there. For one thing, it now has an increasing amount of bicycle infrastructure, which in some places is better than in Belgium. So I rented a bike and started by following the river Bega out of town to the east.

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16. This was more or less the edge of town. I went a bit further but there wasn’t much to see

17. I came back by a parallel road on the northern side of the river (the center is on the southern side)

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Which brought me to this rather elegant but slightly crumbling nineteenth century neighbourhood, which starts at a bridge over the Bega

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21. The houses get lower as you get further out of town

22. Back towards the river, sadly the sun was shining directly behind the more impressive 19th century buildings

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24. Though the light was perfect for this one

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27. Down a more residential side street

28. And in a more modern neighbourhood slightly to the west

29. The Bega as it leaves central Timisoara in the west

30. I have to say that, though there is nothing wrong with it, I found Timisoara the least interesting of the four towns I visited on this trip, but that one thing is almost unbeatable: Parcul Rozelor, which lies on the the river banks for the whole length of the center, and where all the people seemed to have gathered on the Sunday I was in town

31. One last look at the Bega river and the orthodox cathedral

Stay tuned for the other towns, each one very special in its own way. Our next stop is the medieval town of Sibiu.

Series NavigationSibiu: A German Town in Romania (& Ceausescu’s Mountain Road) >>
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