The first record of the city of Timişoara, built on the site of an ancient Roman fortress called Castrum Regium Themes, dates back to 1212. Over the years, Timişoara, the largest city in western Romania, was influenced by many cultures. Turks, Austrians, Germans and Serbs all left their mark and their influence can be seen in neighborhoods throughout the city even today.
The charm of this city, settled on the northern bank of the Bega River, lies in its distinct architectural character and vibrant cultural life. Frequently referred to as "Little Vienna," Timişoara is home to year-round musical and theatrical performances, art galleries, museums and a buzzing nightlife. A progressive, cosmopolitan place, Timişoara was the first city in Europe and second in the world after New York, to use electricity to illuminate its public streets.
Thanks to its mild climate, Timişoara has lots of public squares and lush green retreats. The city is easy to explore on foot. Timişoara abounds with churches of several denominations, a Jewish quarter, an elegant baroque square and a pedestrian-only downtown area. Some of the monuments in the heart of the city afford panoramic views, while the many parks in this "city of flowers" provide an idyllic spot to take a break from sightseeing.
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