Heritage of Timișoara

Elisabetin 1 Timotei Cipariu str.

The Apartment Building and Church of the Reformed Community

Completion date:

June 28, 1902

  • Architect: arch. László Jánosházy arch. Károly Nagy Junior
  • Construction authorization: July 26, 1901
  • Modification authorization: 1906
  • Property type: Private property
  • Protection type: Historical Site
    Urban site "Vechiul cartier Iosefin"
  • Main arch. style Art Nouveau/Secession
  • Current condition Very good
  • Planimetry Rectangular
  • No. of levels 3
  • Current functions Church
    Apartment Tower

In 1898, the Reformed Community bought two plots of land from the Town Hall of Timișoara, from the plots created after the lifting of the interdiction to build in the non-aedificandi area (the embankment). The two neighbouring plots located towards Hunyadi Boulevard (currently 16 Decembrie 1989 Boulevard), but which belonged to Batthyány Street (currently Timotei Cipariu Street), costed 2,940 crowns. On 26 July 1901 a construction permit was issued for a church and a three storey apartment building. The work was finished on 28 July 1902. In 1906, another construction permit is issued for the modification of the building.    

Josef Geml, town mayor between 1914 and 1919, described in his book "The Old Timișoara" the palace and church of the Reformed Community as some of the most beautiful edifices in town. The ensemble was designed by the architects from Budapest, Károly Nagy Jr. and László Jánosházy, and erected by the local constructor Karl Hart, in the style of the 1900s, with historicist Eclecticism and Neo-Gothic influences. The latter can be seen in the volumes of the tower and roofs, as well as in the ornamentation of the facade.

The apartment building stands out through the chromatic contrast between the red and texture of the brick and the white of the stones used for the window and door surrounds, as well as for the pedestal of the edifice, alternating the pattern of bricks bonds with that of stone. The roofs have a steep inclination and are decorated with wrought iron finials, of which we note the one shaped as a rooster at the top of the tower on Timotei Cipariu Street.

It is also with noticing the ogival windows on the second floor, which give the ensemble a Neo-Gothic look, as well as the arches circumscribing the pediments. Inside, we find a series of skilfully made stained windows, ornaments of wrought iron and natural stone, as well as an organ made by Wegenstein Lipót, an organ builder from Timișoara famous at the beginning of the 20th century.

Apart from its architectural qualities, the Palace and Church of the Reformed Community remains a reference point in the collective consciousness of the people in Timișoara as the place where the Anticommunist Revolution in 1989 started. 

On the western side of the ensemble there is a (restored) inscription "Éljen Tőkés László! Szabadság" (Long live Tőkés László), the Reformed pastor whose refusal to leave the palace finally generated the 1989 Anti-Communist Revolution, and a bust of the pastor from the 16th century, Szegedi Kis István.

The building’s character was captured by artist Livia Coloji in her illustration for the project Heritage of Timișora: Elisabetin, where she immortalized the ensemble in the context of 1989.

Vintage photos

Authors of this file:

Research & text: Mihai-Claudiu Moldovan

Field research & mapping: Vlad Pată (coordonator)

Translation into English: Cristina Chira

Photographer: Flavius Neamciuc

Last modified: 3 years ago

Published on: 22 October 2019

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