Heritage of Timișoara

Fabric 1 Romanilor sq.

Ştefania Palace

Alternative names:

Totisz Palace / The House with Monkeys / The City Hall's Tenement House

Completion date:


  • Architect: Arch. László Székely
  • Former Owner: Timişoara City Hall Rudolf Totisz
  • Construction authorization: 1908
  • Property type: Private property
  • Protection type: Architectural Ensemble
    Urban ensemble "Fabric" (II)
  • Main arch. style Art Nouveau/Secession
  • Building condition Very good
  • Planimetry Rectangular Complex
  • No. of levels 2
  • Current functions Store/Supermarket
    Foundation Headquarters
    Apartment Tower
    Multiple property
    Bar/Coffee shop

At the beginning of the 1900s, in order to widen 3 August 1919 Blvd (Andrássy Road at the time), Timişoara City Hall bought Risticz and Sigmund’s ground floor houses and demolished them.

In their place, in 1908 began the construction of a tenement house which would help raise the city’s capital. The design belonged to László Székely, the city’s chief architect.

Finished in 1909, the building has three street fronts and two entrances, one in Romanilor Square and one on Ştefan Cel Mare street. At the first floor there was the so called Fabric Society Club (Geselligkeitsklub), which, during World War I, gave up the space for the city’s Commercial High School for Girls. Also during those times, two other properties on the second floor hosted the Commercial High School for Boys.

In 1918 the building is sold to the General Director of “Wool Industry Inc.,” and later, to Rudolf Totisz, the Consul of Belgium in Timişoara who renames the building “Ştefania,” in honour of his wife. Today, becuse of the statues depicting bears and gorillas located at the top of one of the facades, the building is also know as “The House with Monkeys”.

In the first half of the 20th century, at the ground floor of the building operated a restaurant with terrace called “Carul cu Bere” (The Cart with Beer), with its entrance in the Romans’ Square. Other ventures that functioned in the building were the Dénes & Pollak’s shop of textiles and haberdashery, the Spierer perfume shop, the Schwartz shoe shop on the first floor, and a branch of the Timişoara Bank, whose director was Sigismund Szana.

Vintage photos

Contributors to this record:

Research & text: Alexandra Palconi

Fieldresearch & mapping: arh. Anca-Raluca Majaru, arh. Cristina Chira

Translation into English: Alexandra Dragoş

Photographer: Flavius Neamciuc

Last modified: 1 year ago

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