TIMISOARA (formerly TEMESVAR), a city of western Rumania, capital of the department of Timis Torontal. Pop. (1930) 91,866, largely Magyar. It lies on the navigable Bega canal and on the river Bega, and consists of the inner town, f or merly strongly fortified, and of four outlying suburbs, the inter vening space, formerly the glacis, having been laid out in parks.
Timisoara is the seat of a Roman Catholic and a Greek Orthodox bishop. Amongst its principal buildings are the Roman Catholic cathedral, built (1735-57) by Maria Theresa ; the Greek Orthodox cathedral; a castle built by John Hunyady in 1442, now used as an arsenal ; the town and county hall, the museum and large barracks. In the principal square rises a Gothic column, 6o ft. high, erected by the emperor Francis Joseph in 1851 to commemorate the suc cessful resistance of the town to the siege of 107 days laid by the Hungarian revolutionary army in 1849. Timisoara is a centre of
Timisoara is an old town, and although destroyed by the Tatars in 1242, it was a populous place at the beginning of the 14th century, and was strongly fortified by King Charles Robert of Anjou, who resided there several years. The Hunyady family had also their residence there. In 1514 the peasant leader, Stephan Dozsa, was defeated by the Transylvanian voivod, John Zapolya, near Timisoara, captured and executed. It was taken by the Turks in 1552, and recovered by Prince Eugene of Savoy in 1716. After this it grew steadily in importance, serving as the capital of the whole Banat. It was again besieged by the Hun garians in 1849, and occupied by Serbia in 1919, but ultimately allotted to Rumania.