Timișoara (Romanian pronunciation: Listeni[timiˈʃo̯ara]; German: Temeswar, also formerly Temeschburg or Temeschwar; Hungarian: Temesvár, [ˈtɛmɛʃvaːr] (About this sound listen); Yiddish: טעמשוואר; Serbian: Темишвар, Temišvar; Banat Bulgarian: Timišvár; Turkish: Temeşvar; Slovak: Temešvár) is the capital city of Timiș County, and the main social, economic and cultural centre in western Romania.
The third most populous city in the country, with 319,279 inhabitants as of the 2011 census, Timișoara is the informal capital city of the historical region of Banat. In September 2016, Timișoara was selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2021.
Timișoara lies at an altitude of 90 metres (300 feet) on the southeast edge of the Banat plain, part of the Pannonian Plain near the divergence of the Timiș and Bega rivers. The waters of the two rivers form a swampy and frequently flooded land. Timișoara developed on one of few places where the swamps could be crossed. These constituted a natural protection around the fortress for a very long time, however, they also favoured a wet and insalubrious climate, as well as the proliferation of the plague and cholera, which kept the number of inhabitants at a relatively low number and significantly prevented the development of the city. With time, however, the rivers of the area were drained, dammed and diverted. Due to these hydrographical projects undertaken in the 18th century, the city no longer lies on the Timiș River, but on the Bega canal. This improvement of the land was made irreversible by building the Bega canal (started in 1728) and by the complete draining of the surrounding marshes. However, the land across the city lies above a water table at a depth of only 0.5 to 5 metres (1.6–16.4 feet), a factor which does not allow the construction of tall buildings. The rich black soil and relatively high water table make this a fertile agricultural region.
This is a relatively active seismic area, and earthquakes up to 6 on the Richter scale have been recorded.
As of 2011 census data, Timișoara has a population of 319,279, while the proposed Timișoara metropolitan area would have a population of 418,415. As defined by Eurostat, the Timișoara functional urban area has a population of 359,443 residents (as of 2015).
Of this population, 86.79% were ethnic Romanians, while 5.12% were Hungarians, 1.37% Germans, 1.3% Serbs, 0.69% Romani, 0.18% Ukrainians, 0.17% Slovaks, 0.11% Jews and 0.76% others. 14.2% of the population are under 15 years of age, 4.0% are over 75.
Since 1990, Timișoara saw a slight population decline owing to migration and a drop in birthrates. Notably, the Hungarian and German communities experienced significant decline, with the latter being reduced by half between 1992 and 2002. On the other hand, the Ukrainian community has grown, partly due to the presence of Ukrainian language educational facilities. In recent years, local investment by Italian companies has spurred the creation of an Italian community, even leading to calls for an Italian Cultural Center.
The first free local elections in post-communist Timișoara took place in 1992. The winner was Viorel Oancea, of the Civic Alliance Party (PAC), which later merged with the Liberal Party. He was the first officer who spoke to the crowd of revolutionaries gathered in Opera Square. The 1996 elections were won by Gheorghe Ciuhandu, of the Christian Democrats. He had four terms, also winning elections in 2000, 2004 and 2008. Meanwhile, Ciuhandu took over the Christian Democratic Party and ran for president of Romania in 2004. Timișoara's mayor, elected in 2012 and again in 2016, is Nicolae Robu. Deputy mayors are Dan Diaconu (PNL) and Farkas Imre (UDMR).
Revolution Festival – music festival held in June at the Village Museum
Timișoara Jazz Festival (JazzTM) – international jazz festival that takes place outdoors, in Victory Square (and starting from 2016 also in the Civic and Justice parks), in July and brings to the scene international jazz artists
Teszt Festival – euroregional theatre festival
Timishort– short movie festival held since 2009
Ceau, Cinema!– a "pocket-size" independent film festival that takes place in July made by volunteers and film enthusiasts with the support of local companies and cultural partners. It also takes place in Gottlob, which has the first reconditioned cinema in rural Romania.
StudentFest – a festival of culture and arts created by the students which has been held ever since 1992.
International Festival of Literature from Timișoara – the festival, held in October since 2012, brings together Romanian and foreign authors, for two days of lectures and open dialogue with the public
Street Delivery Festival – Organized in Bucharest, Timișoara and Iași, the festival reaches areas such as architecture, music, theatre, dance and film
Timișoara Tango Festival]– Argentine Tango event
ISWin – The International Student Week in Timișoara
TEDxTimișoara] – an independent conference organised under license from TED Conference
SABOTAGE Festival – Indoor Electronic Music and Art Festival held in October
Timiș (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈtimiʃ]) is a county (județ) of western Romania on the border with Hungary and Serbia, in the historical region Banat, with the county seat at Timișoara. It is the westernmost and the largest county in Romania in terms of land area. The county is also part of the Danube–Criș–Mureș–Tisa Euroregion.
This county has a total area of 8,697 km² (3,6% of Romania). It is the largest county in Romania.
In the eastern extremity are the Poiana Ruscă Mountains from the Western Romanian Carpathians group. Elevations decrease to the west, passing through the Lipova Hills to the Western Romanian Plain, the eastern part of the Pannonian Plain.
The county is crossed by many rivers, the most important being the Bega River and the Timiș River.