Dear Timisoara,

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You are my hometown. You just got elected the European Cultural Capital in 2021. You are now in charge of:

  • highlighting the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe
  • the celebration of this diversity of culture!
  • increasing the feeling of belonging within Europeans
  • developing the cities through cultural events

 

It is really nice seeing you from above, isn’t it?

But, why have you won? You’re just a boring town located in a merely recognised country, in the Pannonian Plain, which does not say too much. It merely has over 350.000 documented residents and probably the number of tourists are barely over the number of residents. Oh! I forgot about the students! They are very few, just about 40.000. The number rises every year, thank God!

You have a constant number of people who are still coming, for your schools, jobs and maybe just for your architecture. But now, that you are the new Cultural Capital of Europe, now that more people know about you, you’ll be invaded. What has happened before is nothing! You need to be prepared! If you were previously flooded with tourists, beware of the tsunami! It does feel like everyone now wants to see you and it is utterly odd.

You have nothing to do in Timisoara. Why? Because nothing happens there. There is nothing to see there. 

Most of the tourists say that they came to see what do you have to offer. I have tried to answer this question myself and I think that I have found some answers.

Your’ protected by law historical architecture covers over 14.000 buildings, especially keeping in mind the fact that the majority of them are extremely valuable, having the status of a site or historical monument. Impressive.

When it comes to the architectural style, you lack diversity! I am so sorry to say that, but you can only find buildings or assemblies in the Baroque, Secession (Art Nouveau), Art Deco, neo-Classical, neo-Renaissance, neo-Gothic, neo-Romanesque, neo-Byzantine, Moldavian, neo-Mudéjar, the brutal Socialist, Modernist and nevertheless, the pompous Eclectic style.

Panorama 15

The Union Square, as you can see confuses your tourists, throwing them brutally in the past, starting from the early 18-century baroque Viennese architecture to the Session (Art Nouveau) of the beginning of the 20th century. Nevertheless, the Catholic Cathedral, all the baroque buildings and the houses on the north side, the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, the Diocese Palace, the de Scont Bank, the Bruck House and the Trinity Baroque monument in the middle of the square are the most uninteresting aspects of your architecture. It is indeed, a disgrace to present yourself with those buildings without a cultural fundament.

This Union Square is actually considered to be the heart of your old fortress, the ancient city, but now, in our contemporary times, the pedestrian historic centre is barely stretching from the Maria Theresa Bastion, through the Union Square, passing through the squares of Liberty, St George up to the Victory Square (which was known as the Opera Square). So many names to remember! Why do you still try?

Panorama 16

This Liberty Square, in its actual shape, after you have been rehabilitated (because you needed that), became a Darts board. Why? Because it looks like that from above:

 

Because of that, your lovely square was re-named by your sweet citizens- The Red Square or even worst- A landing point for aliens. Who else would want to visit you, after all? Because nothing happens here! NOTHING! There are no people from the Philharmonic singing their hearts out, obviously, here is not even held the biggest literary event in Romania, not even a free mega-concert held by Julio Iglesias.

Panorama 17

Furthermore, this Victory Square of yours is not even one of the most beautiful sites which have combined both the eclectic urban style and the influences of Art Nouveau, making it the most original site of this kind. I mean, look at those lousy huts which are called buildings: The Palace of the Banatian Joint Banks, the Lloyd Palace, the Weiss Palace, the Neuhausz Palace, the Merbl Palace, the Dauerbach Palace, the Hilt Palace, the Szechenyi Palace,  the Löffler Palace, the Chamber of Commerce Palace. How could you show that much muli-culturalism in one single space? I am disappointed.

 

That ugly white building in the middle is just a mere symbol of your seeming culturalism. It’s just a symbol of the Communist Revolution from 1989.

 

It is just the only Opera House in the world which has three different theatres inside it: the Romanian theatre, the German theatre and Hungarian theatre, as well as being a Opera House. Moreover, it is just a basic palace built in a Renaissance style, with a facade which illustrates the impressive Romanian neo-Byzantine inter-war period. It’s just unique in the whole world, nothing to brag.

The third image is definitely the cherry on top. That pointy building with a cross which is merely 7m is considered to be one of the most beautiful monuments of religious architecture in Romania. It’s just the Metropolitan Cathedral of Banat. It’s not even important to mention the fact that it is the tallest Orthodox church in the world (excepting Russia).

I mean, you can actually see from the pictures how boring you are! You have no style, whatsoever. NOTHING! This was only your architecture from your centre, I am not even going to consider the most important aspect of yourself: the human heritage. You can barely be considered to be multi-cultural, as you only have the following nationalities: Romanian, German, Hungarian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Hebrew, Italian and Pemi. They don’t have anything in common, after all, they are just living together. They are not even holding the most inexplicable and unique feeling, something called the Spirit of Timisoara.

I hope that I did not annoy or upset you that much because I truly love you. I love every bits and pieces of your architecture and I cannot wait to walk on your streets again. I can’t wait to go HOME.

Yours faithfully,

Mimi.

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