Heritage of Timișoara

Elisabetin 11 Timotei Cipariu str.

Christian Mátyás Palace

Alternative names:

The House with Dogs

Completion date:

1911

  • Architect: Unknown
  • Construction authorization: May 1910
  • Property type: Private property
  • Protection type: Historical Site
    Urban site "Vechiul cartier Iosefin"
    TM-II-s-B-06098
  • Main arch. style Art Nouveau/Secession
  • Building condition Poor
  • Planimetry Rectangular
  • No. of levels 3
  • Current functions Multiple property




Deep inside the Elisabetin neighbourhood, at the junction of Timotei Cipariu Street and Treboniu Laurian Street, lies what is perhaps one of the most ignored and unknown apartment buildings in Timișoara, a construction whose elegance and refinement would rightfully grant it a place in any of the big squares of the city.

The plot of land under Christian Mátyás Apartment Building was, until 1892, in the “non-aedificandi” area of the city (the protection area outside the fortification where no constructions were permitted). But even after the regime of the land changed, due to the persistence of woos storage spaces in the area, building was postponed until the beginning od the 20th century.

In 1905, Hauschild Mária built a house on a plot of land situated at the intersection of Batthány Street (today Timotei Cipariu Street) and Posta Street (today Treboniu-Laurian Street. The house was purchased a year later for 21.000 crowns by Christian Mátyás, a wealthy cashier of the city. In the same year (1906), Christian finalises the construction works on a second house right next to it, probably on the north side.

Five years later, he obtains a building permit for a two-storey apartment building which he erects in the style of the 1900s, the Secession style. The construction works are finalised in just one year. Stylistically speaking, the building belongs to the same category as the rest of the apartment buildings erected in Timișoara between 1910-1912: elaborate pediments that obscure the roofs, a geometrical aesthetic that still keeps some elements of floral inspiration, statues and large-scale bas-reliefs attached to the facades, visual effects achieved through patterns in the plaster of the facades, narrow entrance ways meant solely for people, small balconies with wrought iron parapets, as well as other elements frequently encountered in the era.

Apart from its large size (larger than the neighbouring buildings), the The House with Dogs also stands out because of a more subtle detail: a bas-relief with dogs on the pediment of the main facade, a very rare occurrence in the ornamentation of Timișoara.

Christian Mátyás Apartment Building remains one of the mysteries of local built heritage: who was the architect who designed this well-proportioned edifice? Why did Christian choose to decorate his building with dogs, such a rare ornament on the facades in Timișoara? And who sculpted the six bas-reliefs that embellish the façade of the apartment building?

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 months ago

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