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Unirii Square, Timisoara, Romania

Unirii Timisoara Reviews

wilsonrj98 wilsonrj…
1 reviews
The spread of tourism Jun 09, 2008
As Romania turns its eyes towards the EU it is by no means new territory. Austro-Hungarian roots peer down from every facade lining the Plaza Unirii. Half of the buildings sit vacant, sun baked plaster peels back to reveal untended structures. The other half house the same outstanding architecture, but have been inhabited by a cafe or restaurant, as well as a bit of tender-love-and-care, stand immaculate. The laid-back cafe culture of the Mediterranean lingers under sail-like umbrellas which line two sides of the plaza. The small, but elegant art museum occupies a beautifully refurbished building. The 5 Lei was well worth a seemingly personalized tour of the interior architecture, where security switch on the lights for you as you wander the empty halls. It is easy to finish a day at the plaza eating gelato, sipping cappuccino or simply watching the coming and goings of the residents and students. Although Timisoara is finding its way onto more maps, many of them are in the hands of the investing companies of Western Europe seeking tax breaks and cheap labor. With this you get numerous 3-star hotels, and few hostels (one in the works), and a blend of semi-uninterested foreigners fearful to stray too far from the central plaza and main walking street that is overshadowed by the Orthodox Church. This will not hold true for long. As more buildings gain new faces, so does the town. Still, many households fetch their water from the central square's fountain daily (although I drank from the faucet much of the 10 days I stayed with no side-effects). The students, children and local business men also frequent the central water source, while Perrier is served just feet away to an Italian investor (the prices reflect this dichotomy; the market houses many deals while the cafes host Parisian prices). So, while this square is teeming with local life, it hints at the upcoming EU participation, reflects the historic involvement in past empires, and houses signs of an independent people, who's spirit toppled the once harsh dictator. A city (and country) in flux, with many draws, many festivals, and many sides, all of which make it a worthwhile adventure.
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photo by: Luci26