Timișoara is the capital city of Timiș County, in western Romania. One of the largest Romanian cities, with a population of 303,708 inhabitants (the third most populous city in the country, as of 2011), and considered the informal capital city of the historical region of Banat, Timișoara is the main social, economic and cultural center in the western part of Romania.
Timișoara was first mentioned as a place in either 1212 or 1266. The territory later to be known as Banat was conquered and annexed by the Kingdom of Hungary in 1030. Timișoara grew considerably during the reign of Charles I, who, upon his visit here in 1307, ordered the construction of a royal palace. Timișoara's importance also grew thanks to its strategic location, which facilitated control over the Banat plain. John Hunyadi established a permanent military encampment here, and moved here together with his family. In 1552, Ahmed Pasha conquered the city with a 16,000 Ottomans and transformed it into a capital city in the region. The local military commander, Stefan Losonczy, was captured and beheaded on July 27, 1552 after resisting the Ottoman invasion with just over 2,300 men.
During World War II, Timișoara suffered damage from both Allied and Axis bombing raids, especially during the second half of 1944. On August 23, 1944, Romania, which until then was a member of the Axis, declared war on Nazi Germany and joined the Allies. Surprised, the local Wehrmacht garrison surrendered without a fight, and German and Hungarian troops attempted to take the city by force throughout September, without success.
After the war, the People's Republic of Romania was proclaimed, and Timișoara underwent Sovietization and later, systematization. The city's population tripled between 1948 and 1992. In December 1989, Timișoara witnessed a series of mass street protests by Romanians, Hungarians and Serbs, in what was to become the Romanian Revolution of 1989.
- The St George's Cathedral, or The Dome is located at Piaţa Unirii, in the centre of town. The cathedral's foundation stone was put on 6th of August 1736. It was designed by Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach from Vienna, then Hans Lechner continued the building from 1750. It was finished by two architects from Timişoara, Johann Theodor Kostka and Carl Alexander Steinlein in 1774. The Dome was built in Austrian baroque style and it was dedicated to Saint George, the dioceses patron saint. The picture located at the high altar was painted by Michelangelo Unterberger, the director of fine arts academy of Vienna, illustrating the patron saint. The side altars were painted by Johann Nepomuk Schöpf in 1772. The precious oil-lamps were made by Josef Moser. The organ was made by Leopold Wegenstein, and it provides an impressive experience for the ears. The cathedrals bells were renewed in Germany in 1998.
- The Huniade Castle is the oldest monument of Timişoara, built between 1443 and 1447 by John Hunyadi over the old royal castle dating from the 14th century (built during the reign of Charles of Anjou). It currently houses the History Section and the Natural Sciencies Section of the Banat Museum.
- The Millennium Church is located in the Fabric quarter of Timişoara, near the main Traian square. The church was built in the Neo-Romanesque style by Lajos Ybl, the foundation-stone being placed in 1896. It was sanctified on 13th of October 1901 by Sándor Dessewffy. The main towers are 65m high, the central cupola 45m, and the capacity is for 3,000 people. The bell was made by Antal Novotny. The altar-piece was painted by György Vastagh and its organ was made by Leopold Wegenstein.
- Memorial Museum of the 1989 Revolution (Muzeul Revolutiei). The Memorial Museum exhibits uniforms of Romanian militia and military, written testimonies of witnesses and participants in the Revolution, official and personal documents, an audio-visual archive, a library and a collection of newspapers. A video charting the rise and fall of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu may be shown on request.
- The Timişoara Orthodox Cathedral (Catedrala Ortodoxă) is a Romanian Orthodox cathedral built between 1937 and 1940. It is dedicated to the Three Holy Hierarchs, Saints Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom. It has 11 towers, of which the central and the highest has a height of 96 meters. It is home to many valuable religious objects such as old icons and early writings in Romanian, such as the 1648 Noul Testament de la Bălgrad ("The New Testament of Bălgrad") and the 1643 Cazania lui Varlaam ("The Homiliary of Metropolitan Varlaam"). The building's style is quite unusual among Romanian Orthodox buildings, although it is partly based on local religious tradition and partly on Byzantine architecture (the style developed by Moldavian and Byzantine artisans transplanted and adapted).