Photographer's Note

There are some 8,000 Serbs living today in Timisoara, a city in Romania and the largest city in the region of Banat. Although less numerous than they used to be, they successfully preserve their tradition and cultural heritage. The most important gathering point of Serbs in Timisoara is the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral on the Unity Square, a beautiful church which is also a venue of cultural life of Serbs in Romania. More from Vukomir Petrić.

The Serbian Cathedral in Timisoara, dedicated to the Ascension of Jesus, was built in 1748, on the site of another Serbian Orthodox church, dedicated to St George, which was burnt down during the Austrian sway together with the castle of Timisoara, in 1737, allegedly for the purpose of fighting plague. The belfry was completed almost half a century later. Today’s magnificent iconostasis, which replaced the much more modest previous one, was completed and painted in 1843, by famous painter Konstantin Danil, while wood carvings are the work of the Janic brothers of Arad. According to archpriest Miroslav Stojkov, the Eparchy of Timisoara (Temisvar) was the richest in the whole of the Metropolitanate of Karlovci, which wealth is reflected in the church itself and the surrounding edifices.

The Serbs of Timisoara, like their Romanian fellow-citizens, went through a very hard time when, for ideological reasons, they were separated from the church by force. However, Serbs in Romania were fortunate enough to live in an Orthodox country with very pious people, so their piety preserved us as well. Despite all the circumstances, people went to church all the time, which they do now as well. The position of our priests is also very good. We have 54 churches and five monasteris and we have priests all over Romania, who are on the Romanian state salary, emphasizes archpriest Stojkov.

The Serbian Cathedral in Timisoara is the most important church of the Serbian community in Romania. It is also the seat of the Eparchy of Timisoara and is situated in the very heart of the city. With the surrounding Eparchy buildings, it forms a block along the entire western side of the Unity Square, the oldest square in the city. In 1964, the Serbian Cathedral was granted the status of a cultural monument of the state of Romania.

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Additional Photos by Petar Lackovic (petarl) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 21 W: 9 N: 145] (1375)
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