Timisoara, A European Capital of Culture

Timisoara, A European Capital of Culture

527 words/4:15 minutes reading time

Timisoara is a city in western Romania in the region of Banat. Founded a little less than 1,000 years ago, being first mentioned as a Roman castrum (a military term meaning ‘fort’) and then being more formally built up as a city by the Hungarian Kingdom, including that of Charles the First. Timisoara eventually became a city under Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian rule, Serbia, and eventually Romania. As part of Romania, it is perhaps most recently famous for being the city in which the revolution in 1989 started, which was part of the larger fall of communist Europe.    

Now, over 30 years later Timisoara is in the European Capital of Culture along with Veszprem, Hungary, and Elefsina, Greece. Part of an initiative to grow and support cities through arts and culture this celebration lasted one year and is a great opportunity to bring newcomers to see parts of Europe that might alternatively not have been such obviously great options. So, for this blog, we will be discussing some of the programs and events that will be happening over the year in Timisoara. 

For art exhibitions, we can mention three exceptional options, all of which will be free. First, Paul Neagu, who was a contemporary artist whose works included sculpting, performance art, drawing, and watercolor, will run as an exhibition until April 15th. Second, an exhibition of the paintings and sculptures of the surrealist artist Victor Brauner will go until May 28th. Third, and finally, will be the largest exhibit in Romania of the last fifty years for the sculptor Constantin Brancusi, and, who is often considered a pioneer of the modernist movement.

For musical events, the summer is going to hold two great festivals. First, is the JAZZ X Festival, which will be from June 28th to July 2nd. This festival is held in the center of the city and in the past has hosted bands from all corners of the world. Second, is Flight Festival, which is held in Timisoara small planes airport and gives attendees an eclectic mix of rock, hip-hop, reggae, and electronic music. This festival is also great for art and technology exhibitions, games, and food vendors. 

These events are all certain to bring many international newcomers. The Capital of Culture tends to do that. However, aside from the internationally recognized artists and musicians, of which this blog only mentioned a small percentage, there are so many great things to see and do. From interdisciplinary art exhibitions, academic discussions, fashion shows, film premieres, food festivals, and green and eco-friendly conceptual ideas to share. 

As well, besides the exciting year ahead, Timisoara itself is a great city to visit. In the past several years it has become a main stop for those exploring Romania, the Balkans, and Central Europe. It is close to Budapest and Belgrade, the Danube is only a couple of hours away, and is a great place to start if you are more interested in exploring the Carpathian Mountains. 

The city has great nightlife, a multitude of choice restaurants and hotels to select from, plenty of history to learn about, and is a city filled with beautiful parks and architectural sights. 

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