Photo album: November 2011
Calender 2012 with pictures of the Art Nouveau (Jugendstil, Secession) in Timişoara / Temeswar
This bas-relief can be seen on the front side of a former bank headquarter – the Credit Bank (original name, in Hungarian: Hitelbank). The building with elements of the second stage ("geometrical stage") of the Secession was erected 1912, one year after the demolition of the church which stood here. It was the church of the Piarist monastery (former Franciscan), one of Timişoara's major Baroque monuments. Since a Jewish owned bank was taking place of a former Christian church, it is easy to imagine the kind of offended comments in some circles... Only one year later, yet another Catholic church was being demolished, this time out of "urbanism reasons", however, in the end, most of its place was taken by another (Jewish-owned) bank. Popular theories about worldwide Judeo-Masonic conspiracies are nothing new, they were already part of the "mythology" in early XX-th century. However, this bas-reliefs reveal interesting close-ups (other than the speculations above) of the social and political turmoil of the time. The elegant lady in the image holds a small bag with money in her hand (obviously pointing to the banking activity), while in the other hand there is a book with the title "[dolg]ozik és ettel" (approximate translation from Hungarian: "Work and food"), shifting us abruptly into the left wing of the political spectrum. The other bas-relief, symmetrically positioned against the first, reiterates the same awkward mix between socialist and banking symbols: the woman holding a hammer steps on a beehive, the beehive acting as a symbol of saving (and thus, of the saving banks). Such concepts were propagating from Vienna, where the end of the XIX-th century brought up a feverish expansion of revolutionary ideas. The thinking behind such depictions was quite straight-forward: hard work, moderation and prosperity went hand in hand (and they still do, or?...). The building was designed by Székely László, an architect whose name we've already encountered. The building of the "Hitelbank", with its political message, stands as a good example to show that the architect's spirit and imagination are not the only things affecting the final outcome – that is, the outlook of the house. Sometimes, deliberate wishes of the owner have an equally significant weight.
In the autumn of 2011 we realised a calendar aimed at presenting the astonishing heritage of Timisoara to the world. Our pictures show special buildings and monuments from special angles – we want to open new perspectives to the history of Timisoara. On the page of each month we have a large picture of a detail of the Art Nouveau architecture of Timisoara; this architecture is also known as Jugendstil or Secession (the last name is very popular in our town) or, plainly, "style 1900", and makes up an important part of our city tours of Timisoara. On the back side of each month's page there's more information about the depicted monument – now you can read that info here in this photo album.
The calender were aimed to be gifts to our friends, customers and guests. In the meantime we have already started working for the calendar 2013!
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