The engaging city of Timişoara, 250km west of Sibiu near the Serbian border and the rail junction at Arad, is Romania’s most Westward-oriented city, its good location and multilingual inhabitants attracting much foreign investment. The city’s fame abroad rests on its crucial role in the overthrow of the Ceauşescu regime. A Calvinist minister, Lászlo Tökes, stood up for the rights of the Hungarian community, and when the police came to evict him on December 16, 1989, his parishioners barred their way. The riots that ensued inspired the people of Bucharest to follow, so that Timişoara sees itself as the guardian of the revolution.

Approaching from the train station, you’ll enter the centre at the attractive pedestrianized Piața Victoriei, with fountains and flowerbeds strewn along its length. North of here, antique trams trundle past the Baroque Town Hall on the central Piața Libertății, while two blocks further north is the vast Piața Unirii.

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