During my holidays I love to do one thing: to visit new cities both during the day and night. It feels like each city has two faces, and I find it amazing how different these two faces sometimes are. But could you imagine these amazing cities without the electrical lights? And how different each city would look like at night if the streets were not equipped with the electrical lights? And did you know that a city in western Romania was the first one in Europe to introduce electrical street lights in the year 1884? If one finds the event as interesting as I do, he would plan his visit and begin tracing history in Timișoara.
The European premiere
If you wish to see where the first European electrical lamps were once placed, just start from the Art Museum of Timișoara. You can also extend your visit and take a peek at the treasure this museum has kept safe for you.
Art Museum of TimișoaraPiața Unirii 1, Timișoara 300085, Roumanie
Let’s just go back to where it all started. On the 12th of November 1884, 731 electric lamps were lit, and a 59 kilometers long street area was illuminated by incandescent filament light bulbs. As the witnesses describe, the streets have become the dots that altogether built the city map. The city became safer, and the people were excited about this event. This is an example of how the press reacted to this event which placed Timișoara the second city with electrical street lights in the world, after New York:
"The light of the electric lamp is strong and surpasses that of the gas flame; the light is gentle, almost identical to the shine of the moonlight, not only that it does not disturb the sight, but also it somehow sweetens it. " ("Luminătorul", no 76/22 sept. - 4 Oct. 1884)
Other interesting facts
The fact that Timișoara was the first city with electrical street lights in Europe will not seem random to one who knows a few facts about this city. In the year 1855, Timișoara became the first city with the lighted streets of the Habsburg Monarchy. At the time, the gas lamps were used to illuminate the streets. In 1854, the first telegraph service was installed in this Romanian city. Until the end of the 19th century, Timișoara was a pioneer of many other innovations like the first Romanian football match, the first cinematic projection or even the first asphalt road in Romania.
Timișoara as a city
I still remember my last visit to Timișoara, and it is still vivid to me how unique this city is. One may find various architecture styles. I personally was impressed by the Baroque style and the amazing squares these buildings were built around. Just one piece of advice: visit these amazing squares both during the day and night.
Not only can one start his adventure and begin tracing the history in Timișoara but he can also stop and enjoy nature as this city in Romania is also famous for the parks it has. Timișoara even has the surname “city of parks”, and I am sure your visit to this city will only confirm that.
We recommend to book your stays in Timisoara in advance as it can get booked up quickly during certain periods. If you use this link, you pay the same price and we get a small commission - thanks for your support!
Want to plan this trip? Build your own hotel+flight package, or reach out for personalized advice from one of our travel experts.
Interesting towns related to this story
Are you ready to experience this story yourself?