Temesvar - Encyclopedia

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TEMESVAR, the capital of the county of Temes, Hungary, 188 m. S.E. of Budapest by rail. Pop. (1900) 53,033. It lies on the navigable Bega canal and on the river Bega, and consists of the inner town, formerly strongly fortified, and of four outlying suburbs. Several parks have been laid out on the site of the broad glacis which formerly separated Temesvar from its suburbs, which are now united with it by broad avenues. Temesvar 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 Hunyady Janos 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, 40 ft. high, erected by the Emperor Francis Joseph in 1851 to commemorate the successful resistance of the town to the siege of 107 days laid by the Hungarian revolutionary army in 1849. Temesvar is the most important centre of commerce and industry of south Hungary, and carries on a brisk trade in grain, flour, spirits and horses. Its industrial establishments include factories for tobacco, cloth, matches, leather, artificial manure, besides breweries and distilleries.

Temesvar 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 here several years. The Hunyady family had also their residence here. In 1514 the peasant leader, Stephan Dozsa, was defeated by the Transylvanian voivod, John Zapolya, near Temesvar, captured and executed. Unsuccessfully besieged by the Turks in 1552, it was captured by them in the following year after a heroic resistance. It remained in their hands until 1716, when it was liberated by Prince Eugene of Savoy. New strong fortifications were erected, and the town grew steadily in importance, serving as the capital of the whole Banat. It endured another siege in 1849, when it resisted successfully the attacks of a Hungarian revolutionary army.

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