Part Six: Iosefin
The banks of the Bega southwest of the Timişoara Fortress have been inhabited since the 18th century. The first settlers here were Germans who built one-storey houses with gardens in Swabian style on both sides of the river. In the late 18th century the area was named after Emperor Joseph II and came to be known as Josefstadt in German, Józsefváros in Hungarian, and Iosefin in Romanian.
The neighborhood underwent a strong development following the construction of the first railway station of the city in 1857 (Timişoara North). Many factories were established in the area between the railway station and the Bega, and almost the entire neighbourhood was rebuilt.
Most buildings that survive here today are from around 1900. The best examples of Secessionist architecture can be found on the northeastern part of the 16 December 1989 Boulevard, King Carol I Boulevard, General Ion Dragalina Boulevard, and along the Bega.
29. Temes-Béga Water Regulation Society
Piaţa Sfânta Maria / Bulevardul 16 Decembrie 1989 / Splaiul Tudor Vladimirescu
Lipót Baumhorn, 1900-1901; Arthur Tunner,1910-1911
This building marks, together with the Marschall Palace across the street, entry to the Iosefin district. It was built by the Temes-Béga Water Regulation Society, a company responsible for the management of the Bega Canal, and is known as the Water Palace. It was originally lower, but was raised to the current height a decade later. Its style is a combination of Eclecticism and Art Nouveau. The façade includes references to the building’s function, showing, for example, fish and seahorses as decorations. Some decorative elements were removed or modified during a recent renovation.
30. Savings Bank
Strada Ion Ghica 1
Martin Gemeinhardt, 1906
Art Nouveau elements are mixed with those of the older styles on this façade.
31. Buildings on Bulevardul General Ion Dragalina 15 & 15A
These two buildings are almost identical in their façade decoration, which includes various organic and geometric elements.
32. Lichtfusz Palace
Bulevardul General Ion Dragalina 19
The Lichtfusz Palace in Iosefin has a symmetrical façade with a rich stucco decoration, showing the motifs of trees, flowers, eagles and shields. It also has an elaborate cornice. The initials of the owner are shown on the entrance door.
33. Gemeinhardt Palace
Bulevardul General Ion Dragalina 29
Martin Gemeinhardt, 1911-1912
This building is another masterpiece of Martin Gemeinhardt. He was also its first owner. Old postcards show a massive Secessionist palace behind the old Golden Anchor Bridge in a rural, almost entirely unbuilt landscape. It is a beautiful structure with high mansard roofs, romantic turrets, miniature bay windows, loggias with Serlian arches, and walls and balconies with geometric motifs.
Hotel Splendid operated in the building in the interwar period. It was modified during World War II.
34. Pisică Palace
Strada Johann Nepomuk Preyer 2
Károly Bonn (?), 1911-1912
The Pisică Palace, located at a major intersection not far from the Schott and Brück palaces, is one of the most outstanding buildings in the western part of Iosefin. It has undulating eaves typical of Hungarian Secession, a thin turret at the corner, many elaborate floral ornaments on the façades, and some coloured ceramic plates and geometric decorations here and there.
35. Brück Palace
Bulevardul Iuliu Maniu 40
Henrik Telkes, 1911-1912
This building has an interesting corner solution with high bay windows of different shapes. The decorations are mostly geometric.
36. Building on Strada Alexandru Vlahuţă 2
This building, originally a private dwelling, now a medical centre, is a hidden gem in the western part of Iosefin.
37. Building on Splaiul Nicolae Titulescu 19
This building is located on a scenic spot on the northern bank of the Bega, next to the Iosefin water tower. Its façade features elements typical of international Art Nouveau and Vienna Secession, such as mascarons, floral and geometric motifs, and compositions made of three parallel stripes.
38. Building on Splaiul Nicolae Titulescu 15
Notable features on this façade include the pairs of mascarons above the first- and second-floor windows, the pairs of trefoils under the first-floor windows, and the three-line compositions and organic and geometric motifs on the central axis and the sides.