Heritage of Timișoara

Iosefin 7 Emanoil Gojdu str.

Baron Béla Gudenus of Gad Palace

Completion date:


  • Architect: Arch. Henrik Telkes
  • Former Owner: Baron Béla Gudenus (Adalbert Josef Freiherr von Gudenus)
  • Construction authorization: May 3, 1912
  • Property type: Private property
  • Protection type: Historical Site
    Urban site "Old neighborhood of Iosefin"
  • Main arch. style Art Nouveau/Secession
  • Current condition Fair
  • Planimetry Rectangular Complex
  • No. of levels 4
  • Current functions Multiple property
    Vocational School

A very thrilling moment for the research team of the Heritage of Timișoara was the discovery, on a small street in Iosefin, of a four storey building which dominated its surroundings (consisting mostly of one storey houses).

A particular detail caught everyone’s eye: a family crest located above the entrance of the building, which turned out to be the key to the mystery of the edifice and the identification of its owner. Framed by a lion and a vulture, the crest depicted a shield divided in two by a descending diagonal. In the two surfaces thus created there were two crenellated towers, and an anthropomorphous figure lay in the centre of the crest. The crest was topped by a crown.

After a comparative analysis between the crest on the building and the crests of the nobiliary families in Banat, we found a series of resemblances with that of Gudenus of Gad. The hypothesis was confirmed when we found, in The Monitor of Timișoara (the May 1912 edition) information about a building permit issued to „br.” (Baron) Gudenus Béla for constructing an apartment building. Prior to this, the Baron had acquired, for the price of 38.000 crowns, the house of the widow Hamerak Paulina. The house was located at the current address of the apartment building, and was, in all likelihood, demolished to make way for the new edifice. The building on Emanoil Gojdu Street was thus connected to the Gudenus family, whose ruined country mansion in Gad, Timiș county, the Prin Banat project team had visited and researched in 2013.

The building is remarkable thanks to its monumentality and attentively details designed by the skilled and sensitive architect Henrik Telkes, the author of this edifice.

Gudenus was an aristocratic family original from the region of Styria, Austria. It had two branches: a Hungarian one and an Austrian one. The exact moment of the family’s arrival in Banat is unknown, but it is certrain that, in the second half of the 19th century, through his marriage with Baroness Anna Sarolta Csávossy, Baron Hugo Gudenus becane owner of the estate in Gad, as well as of other estates belonging to the local families of Fodor, Kászonyi, Kukovics, Pálffy and Nagy. The estates also included two mansions, one built by the Fodors and one by the Kukovics.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Hugo și Béla Gudenus, the sons of Hugo and Anna, were the biggest landowners in the area. Of the two, the more notable was Baron Béla Gudenus (Adalbert Josef Freiherr von Gudenus), born in Gad on 26 October 1863. În the 1900s he was a well-known figure of Timișoara’s high life, dividing his time between his estate in Gad and his businesses in the city. Contaminated, perhaps, by the building fever that had taken over Timișoara in that period, in 1911 the Baron decided to built the apartment building on Emanoil Gojdu Street (then known as Ormos Street) in Iosefin. In the last years of the Austro-Hungarian administration, Baron Béla Gudenus held the function of virilist at the Town Hall of Timișoara. (The virilists were citizens who, because of the high taxes they were paying, were assigned a place on the local and county council without having to be be elected, and who had right to participate in the elections of the members of parliament).

În the 1920s, Baron Hugo Gudenus the Senior passed away, followed, shortly after, by his wife Anna. From the press of that period we find out that before his death Hugo had entrusted his youngest son, Béla Gudenus, with the mission of equally and fairly dividing the family fortune between the heirs. This included 5 houses in Budapest, jewellery and valuable art objects. However, the Baron’s mission took on a strange turn, as the heirs of Gudenus of Gad ended up suing over the unfair division of wealth, accusing the bizarre disappearance of jewellery and art objects. The trial lasts for 7 years and was cancelled in 1929, with the agreement of all sides.

In 1941, the press in Budapest announced that Baron Béla Gudenus, aged 78, had passed away after a long battle with illness, on 9 September, in his home in Timișoara.

Authors of this file:

Research & text: Mihai Moldovan, Alexandra Palconi-Sitov

Field research & mapping: arh. Vlad Pată (coordonator), Simona Iovănescu (voluntar)

Translation into English: Cristina Chira

Photographer: Flavius Neamciuc

Last modified: 3 years ago

Published on: 17 January 2020

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