Temeschburg

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Temeschburg
Capital city
Capital District of Temeschburg
File:Timisoara collage.jpg
Flag of Temeschburg Other languages Timișoara(ro) Temesvár (hu) Тамишград/Tamišgrad (sr/hr) טעמשוואר‎ (yi) Temešhrad (sk) Timišgrad (bg)
Flag
Coat of arms of Temeschburg Other languages Timișoara(ro) Temesvár (hu) Тамишград/Tamišgrad (sr/hr) טעמשוואר‎ (yi) Temešhrad (sk) Timišgrad (bg)
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): "The City of Flowers, The City of Cathedrals, Little Vienna"
Motto(s): Heart of Unity
Sovereign state Flag of the Banat Principality.png The Banat
Cantons Temesch Canton
City type Special City-District and County
Urban region Greater Temeschburg
Named for Temesch River
City Hall Temeschburg City Hall
Government
 • Type Strong Mayor-council-commission
 • Mayor Zladko Otratovic (S)
 • City Council András Juhasz, President
Elevation 90 m (300 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 568,909
 • Estimate (2016) 589,876
Demonym(s) Temeschburger (de), timișorean (ro), temesvári (hu), тамишградки (sr)
Time zone Central European Time (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) Central European Summer Time (UTC+2)
Code 300001-300990
Call code 0256 / 0356

Temeschburg, formally known as the Capital City of Temeschburg is the capital of the Principality of the Banat and of the canton of Temesch. It has been the capital of the Banat since 1918, when the country was founded. With over 500.000 residents, Temeschburg is the Banat's most populous city. Temeschburg is located entirely within the Banatian Plain and is the center of the densely-populated Greater Temeschburg Area. The Greater Temeschburg Area consists of several large satellite towns, and numerous bedroom communities, which are linked to Temeschburg economically, culturally, and politically. The Greater Temeschburg Area had a population of 950,000 in 2016.

Founded as a fortress sometime in the 10th century, the citadel became reknown during it's brief serving as capitol of Hungary during the reign of Charles I of Hungary from 1315 to 1323. Subsequently, Temeschburg got city rights and became a small city in the Banat region of the Kingdom of Hungary. At the forefront of the fight against the Ottoman Turks, the city was besieged four times by Ottoman troops. It became an important center for the Ottoman Turks and later the Austrians, before becoming the capital of the Danube Swabian-led Banatian Principality.

Temeschburg is considered one of Europe's growing global cities and is listed as an beta+ city due to its great importance to the Central European market and is the primary economic center of the Banat. It is home to the Temeschburg Stock Exchange and controls the riverrine port of Temeschburg. In addition, Temeschburg will be one of the 13 host cities of the UEFA European Championship 2020 and will be European capital of culture in 2021, along with Elefsina and Cluj-Napoca.

All three branches of the Banatian federal government including the National Diet, the Crown (Hunyadi Castle), the Chancellor (Florimund Mercy House), and the Supreme Court are all located in Temeschburg. The Diet's Building, the Supreme Court Building, and the buildings of various ministries, agencies, and federal facilities are located throughout the city, with most within the historic center. Dually functioning as the national capital and the cantonal capital of Temesch, all three branches of the subservient province including the Cantonal Legislature, prefect, and Cantonal Supreme Court are located in the city.

Flag[edit | edit source]

The flag of the city is identical to the flag of Savoy. This comes from the fact that Prince Eugene of Savoy, under the command of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, liberated the city from Ottoman Turk rule.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Park of Roses by the Park of Roses Summer Theatre

The name Temeschburg is the German rendition of the Hungarian name, Temesvár. The first known use of the city name was made in the Register of Arad, where the city appears as Castrum Temesiensis or Demesiensis. The fortress was named so due to it lying close to the Temesch river on one of it's major neighbours, the Bega River. As the centuries progressed, the many nationalities living in the city began translating the Hungarian name into their own language, creating their own name for the city. The modern German form of Temeschburg was introduced in 1921 in an effort to appease the non-Hungarian population with a new, less-Hungarian sounding form of the German name, which up until then was Temeschwar, a loose phonetic transcription of the Hungarian Temesvár.

History[edit | edit source]

Historical affiliations

Early Middle Ages[edit | edit source]

The earliest signs of settlement in the region come from a 10th century community of warlords springing up around the modern Opera House. The findings include a graveyard where various pagan and Christian graves were found, many of the pagan graves having offerings similar to those of the pagan Hungarian warlords.

The settlements were at that time in the area of the Duchy of Glad and later the Duchy of Achtum, two duchies which were fiefs to the Bulgarian Empire. The settlement eventually shrunk and the graveyard was abandoned.

Kingdom of Hungary[edit | edit source]

The Hungarian kings began reenforcing their hold on the Banat, where lawlessness was quite prevalent due to the regional capitol being confined to Czanad, the region's bishopric and seat of Gerard of Czanad. Thus, the Castrum Temesiensis, translated into English to Fortress on the Temesch (which is an ironic name, considering the fortress sat on the river Bega, not the Temesch) became the Hungarian Temesvár. It was sacked by the Mongols in 1241, but was swiftly rebuilt afterwards by King Béla IV of Hungary.

In 1315, King Charles I of Hungary moved his court to Temesvár due to several nobles not accepting his rule and conquest. He built a castle near the fortress, over which was built today's Hunyadi Castle, the seat of the princely family. From his seat at Temesvár, he conquered Hungary and then finally moved the capitol away 8 years later to the more centrally located Visegrad. During this phase, a church dedicated to the popular Neapolitan saint Eligius suggests the presence of Neapolitans in the town. The city also became the seat of a bishopric, with Csánad

The city was settled by various traders and peasants, including Ragusans and Bulgarians. They became guest settlers who integrated as burghers of the newly-made city. Thus began the multicultural history of Temeschburg. Later, a Johannes Olaah was mentioned as a burgher, whose name suggests a Romanian origin, thus showing that the city started growing multiculturally.

The city began being at the forefront of the struggle against the Ottoman Turks in the 14th to 16th centuries. Crusaders had rallied their troops there before the Battle of Nicopolis in 1393. John Hunyadi, regent of Hungary, rebuilt the fortress at Temesvár stronger than ever and built the modern-day Huniade Castle in the mid-15th century and the city had faced four sieges by the Turks successfully: in 1462, 1476, 1491 and in 1522. Pál Kinizsi, the Ban of Severin, Captain-General of the Lower Parts of Hungary and later Count of Temes, was at the forefront of those battle in the late 15th century.

The fortress was also at the center of the fights of the Hunyadi and Szilágyi families, which almost brought Hungary to a civil war, and Temesvár was the seat of power of Hunyadi power, as John Hunyadi gained the Castle he built for his family. The fight broke out between the two Counts of Temes Mihály Szilágyi and Ladislaus Hunyadi after the death of Ladislaus' father. The most memorable episode of the family feud was Ladislaus Posthumus, King of Hungary, promising on the Bible during Mass in the city to forgive the Hunyadi family for killing Mihály after he conspired to kill Ladislaus Hunyadi. Afterwards, Ladislaus and his brother Matthias (later Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus) travelled to Buda, and both were promptly arrested. Ladislaus Hunyadi was executed with no trial or hearing and Matthias imprisoned in various Hungarian castles. Later, the Szilágyi family, remainder Hunyadi forces and the Szent-Miklosy family made Matthias king.

The city entered the annals once again as the largest peasant revolt in Hungarian history was crushed outside the walls of Temesvár in 1514 by an alliance between John Zápolya and István Báthory. The peasant revolt broke out after abuses by the nobility and the straining of resources due to a crusade against the Ottomans, so the crusader troops turned murderers and raiders, attacking the nobility. The leader of the rebellion, György Dózsa, was tortured and killed in the city, along with 70,000 other prisoners. Dózsa was seated in a smoulering iron chair, crowned with a hot iron crown and forced to hold a still red iron sceptre and named the 'peasant king', while also being tortured by being forced to 'play court', in which 8 other rebels, including his brother, were forced to eat Dózsa's flesh and then were cut down. György Dózsa died during this ordeal.

The striking down of the rebellion led to the Hungarians being unable to defeat the Ottomans at the Battle of Mohacs in 1526. Temesvár joined John Zápolya who was declared King of Hungary by the Transylvanian Diet and resisted Ottoman agression, including a long siege in the October of 1551. After fights broke out between the Transylvanian King John Sigismund Zápolya and the Austrian King of Western Hungary, Ferdinand I, the Ottomans striked again in 1552, and took the city after a two-month siege in June and July of 1552. And so the strongest Hungarian fortress, as it was called by Ottoman forces, fell.

Ottoman Rule[edit | edit source]

During Ottoman rule, Temeşvar as it was named by the Turks was rebuilt and deveolped slowly. It was one of the two main fortresses of the Ottoman Empire, along with Belgrade in the fight against the Austrians. However, the city suffered stagnation and the countryside was depopulated as a result. The city was repaired and named the seat of the Vilayet of Temeşvar, and was the center of religious, educational and military power in the region. Mosques were built in all quarters of the city and of it's sattelite settlements, and where the modern Town Hall Square stands was a bazaar and a Turkish bath.

Revolts against the powers in the city started already in the late 16th century, with Transylvanian Prince Sigismund Báthory organizing a rebellion in the Banat, but due to absent structure and power, the Pasha of Temeşvar managed to hold Temeşvar in Ottoman hands. However, several other cities and fortresses fell to the rebellion, and as such, the Pasha had to deal with the rebellion. The city came twice under siege by the rebellion's forces. After the rebellion was defeated, the fortress-city became one of the primary stops for Ottoman troops in the fight against Christian Europe.

During the Great Turkish War, after Turkish troops failed to take Vienna and later defend their territory in Hungary, Temeşvar was the objective of the Elector of Saxony, the Austrian allied Frederick Augustus I of Saxony. While he couldn't cime from the west due the bogs at Kikinda, he came from the north from Lippa and put Temeşvar under siege, but after he heard the Sultan himself would come to relieve the besieged, Frederick-Augustus battled them on his own terms at Czene, with the battle having an inconclusive ending and rendering both troops unable to battle. Due to this blunder, Prince Eugene of Savoy was assigned to the troops, and later he became the Commander after Frederick-Augustus was crowned King of Poland-Lithuania. Prince Eugene of Savoy beat the Ottomans at every turn until the Treaty of Karlowitz, when the Great Turkish War ended.

Afterwards, the Ottomans reinforced the city's defenses, building those up, with supplies coming from Wallachia and the hinterlands of the Banat. These supplies were used to bolster the walls and the fortress due to fears of another Austrian invasion.

Due to Austrian intervention in the Morean War between the Ottomans and Venice, the Austro-Turkish War of 1716-1718 broke out, leading to other attacks on Temeşvar. After a months-long siege, Eugene of Savoy marched into the city, having won the battle, and Temeşvar fell into German hands.

Early Austrian Rule[edit | edit source]

After the Treaty of Passarowitz, which ended the war, Temeschwar, as it was called by the Austrian rulers, was added to the new territory organized as the Banat of Temesch, and Temeschwar was declared it's capital. The territory was made into a crown and chamber property, with the sole authority being the monarch and his servants and officers, with no other power tolerated, as was practice in other Austrian military territories.

The city itself was rebuilt and colonized with Germans, Frenchmen and Italians, as was the rest of the Banat during the Swabian Colonization. Motive for this was the depopulation of the area. The city's fortress was rebuilt in the then-modern Vauban-style and became the main city in the Banat region. Governor Mercy had drained the swamps of the Bega and created the modern Bega Canal, which created fertile land around the city, draining thus the swamps that existed there previously. The Bega Canal was hailed a technological achievement of it's time. The German population began to swell, both due to the Swabian Colonization and the forceful settlement of undesirables from Austria proper, and in 1720 they elected the first mayor, Peter Solderer, who laid the ground of the old town hall in the ruins of an old Turkish bath. Temeschwar was being built up again: in the 1740s, the Temeschwar Roman-Catholic Cathedral, the Serbian-Orthodox Saint Sava Cathedral and the Prefecture of the Banat of Temesch (today the Diet) were all built.

In 1751, Austrian Archduchess Maria Theresia brought civilian rule to the Banat, dissolving the military ruling of the province. Temeschwar grew, and Western innovation and thought began trickling in from Vienna: A beer factory was built in 1718, the oldest in that area of Europe; the post line Vienna-Buda-Temeschwar-Hermannstadt (modern-day Sibiu) was founded, with 37 post stations; Matthias Heimler opens the first print in the Banat in 1771; from 1774, the city was supplied fresh water through a pipeline; and in 1776, the first newspaper of Eastern Europe was published, the Temeschwarer Nachrichten.

As the Banat of Temesch was incorporated into the Kingdom of Hungary, it was divided into three: the county of Torontal, the county of Temes and the county of Krassó Szörény. Temeschwar was added to the County of Temesch, becoming it's capital. It was made a city by Austrian Archduke Joseph II in 1781 and reconfirmed in 1790. During the Austro-Turkish War of 1778, Temeschwar was besieged, and it's surrounding areas were plundered, but the Austrians restored rule shortly afterward.

19th Century[edit | edit source]

While Temeschwar didn't have an important part in the Napoleonic War, the city did house the Imperial Treasury, which was escorted out of Vienna by the Viennese City Police, in order to prevent it from falling in Napoleon's hands. Refugees from Bavarian-occupied Tyrol arrived in Temeschwar and founded a village in County Temesch called Königsgnade, but some settled in Temeschwar itself.

In the Restaurationist period, Temeschwar continued to grow and became one of the fastest-growing cities in the Austrian Empire. The first smallpox vaccine in Central Europe was used here, and the famous Hungarian mathematician János Bolyai developed and reported his discovery of non-euclidean geometry. The city took little part in the anti-Imperial feelings that were brewing in other parts of the Empire, due to it's remoteness from other urban areas.

When the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 was declared, Temeschburg mayor Johann Nepomuk Freyer and the city council declared their loyalty for the Empire, even as the rest of Hungary declared independence from the Austrian Empire. The city was held by Croatian general Georg von Rucavina, who declared a state of emergency in the Banat and Temes County. The city was attacked by Revolutionary general Józef Bem, and was besieged for the longest period in it's history. These forces were later defeated at the Battle of Sanktandres, one of the last battles of the Revolution.

After the Revolution, Temeschwar became the seat of the Voivodeship of Serbia and the Banat of Temesch from 1849 until 1860, during which time the Dicasterial Palace was built. Due to the Industrial Revolution, life in the city began to change drastically. The telegraph, city illumination by gas, horse-drawn tramways and later, as the first city in the Austrian Empire, illumination by electricity changed the city life of Temeschwar.

In 1867, Temeschwar, along with the entirety of the modern territory of Temesch Canton and the entire Banat itself came under the Transleithanian and Hungarian half of the newly-formed Austria-Hungary. The period from then until 1918 saw the forcible magyarization of the city, a time now remembered by chauvinism and oppression by Hungarians.

During the final years of the 19th and especially during the early years of the 20th century, Temeschwar experiences the height of it's architectural development, with the entire Opera Square and 1. November Boulevard, as well as many buildings around the entire city being built up. The greatest and most reowned contributer is First Architect of the City, László Székely. He would go on to become known as the greatest of the architectural contributers to the modern city of Temeschburg.

First Half of the 20th Century[edit | edit source]

20th and 21st Century[edit | edit source]

Geography[edit | edit source]

See also: Greater Temeschburg Area and Temesch Canton

Cityscape[edit | edit source]

Panorama of a Temeschburg Communist-style residential area to the south-east of city center, with view of the Romanian Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Three Hierarchs and the Millenium Church.

The entire city is formally divided into 12 different districts (Old City, Fabrik, Elizabethstadt, Josefstadt, Mehallen, Kischoden, Freidorf, Kardosch, Neugiroden, Rote Czarda, Neusentesch and Altgiroden) including many distinct neighborhoods. Often, the neighbourhoods have distinct cultural identities, making the city a cultural cluster.

Landmarks[edit | edit source]

Significant landmarks throughout the city include the Huniade Castle, the Diet's building, the Temeschburg State Opera, the Romanian Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Three Hierarchs, Temeschburg Catholic Dome, the Theresia Bastion, the Banat National Philharmonic, the Bega Canal Riverwalk, Prince Eugene Square and the Old Town Hall, the Temeschburg Park Complex, the Temeschburg Zoo, the Dan Păltinișanu Center, the Continental Tower, the Old City Synagogue and the Temeschburg Stock Exchange Center.


Topography[edit | edit source]

The city's topography is almost entirely flat. The highest point in the city is at 90 meters above the city. This point is found in the east of the city near the Green Forest of Temeschburg. The city was built on swampy terrain, and as such, all highrise buildings require special foundations, hence why the Temeschburg skyline never took off like Neussatz's.

The entire city is located within the Banat Plain, a part of the Pannonian Plain. The Bega, the city's main drainage channel, starts in the Rußberge, flows westwards through the city and exits through its mouth outside the city limits at Neu-Kischoden, from where it eventually flows into the Danube at Panczau. The city lies on a minor faultline and can experience earthquakes up to Magnitude 6 on the Richter scale.

Climate[edit | edit source]

Climate data for Temeschburg (Botanical Garden), the Banat (1990–2016)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17.4
(63.3)
20.5
(68.9)
28.2
(82.8)
32.0
(89.6)
34.5
(94.1)
38.4
(101.1)
41.1
(106)
41.0
(105.8)
39.7
(103.5)
33.8
(92.8)
27.1
(80.8)
20.2
(68.4)
41.1
(106)
Average high °C (°F) 2.3
(36.1)
5.6
(42.1)
11.9
(53.4)
17.6
(63.7)
22.8
(73)
25.7
(78.3)
27.8
(82)
27.6
(81.7)
24.0
(75.2)
18.1
(64.6)
10.3
(50.5)
4.2
(39.6)
16.5
(61.7)
Daily mean °C (°F) −1.6
(29.1)
1.2
(34.2)
5.8
(42.4)
11.2
(52.2)
16.3
(61.3)
19.4
(66.9)
21.1
(70)
20.4
(68.7)
16.5
(61.7)
11.0
(51.8)
5.6
(42.1)
0.8
(33.4)
10.6
(51.1)
Average low °C (°F) −4.8
(23.4)
−2.3
(27.9)
1.2
(34.2)
5.8
(42.4)
10.1
(50.2)
13.4
(56.1)
14.6
(58.3)
14.3
(57.7)
11.2
(52.2)
6.2
(43.2)
2.1
(35.8)
−1.7
(28.9)
5.8
(42.4)
Record low °C (°F) −35.3
(−31.5)
−29.2
(−20.6)
−20.0
(−4)
−5.2
(22.6)
−5.0
(23)
2.2
(36)
5.9
(42.6)
5.0
(41)
−1.9
(28.6)
−6.8
(19.8)
−15.4
(4.3)
−24.8
(−12.6)
−35.3
(−31.5)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 40
(1.57)
36
(1.42)
37
(1.46)
48
(1.89)
65
(2.56)
76
(2.99)
64
(2.52)
50
(1.97)
40
(1.57)
39
(1.54)
48
(1.89)
50
(1.97)
593
(23.35)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 9.8
(3.86)
9.3
(3.66)
4.4
(1.73)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
3.7
(1.46)
7.2
(2.83)
34.4
(13.54)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 7 7 7 8 9 10 7 6 6 5 8 9 89
Average relative humidity (%) 90 86 79 73 73 74 73 75 76 81 85 89 79
Mean monthly sunshine hours 72.1 92.2 155.4 186.4 242.4 262.3 300.6 280.2 217.5 177.3 86.4 56.9 2,129.7
Source: Princely Climate Administration
Temeschburg has a Temperate-Oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb. The city and surrounding region is characterized by stifling heat in summers due to warm air masses from the Adriatic Sea and harsh winters with a lot of snow that melts due to cyclones regularely. Precipitation occurs during the winter, spring and summer. Snow is common during the winter months of December and January but often thaws completely out due to warm air masses.

Demographics[edit | edit source]

The most populous city in the Banat, in 2011, the Banat Princely Bureau of Census officially counted 568,909 people living in Temeschburg.The population density was 3,446.58 people per square kilometer. For every 100 females, there were 99.2 males and for every 100 females above the age of 18, there were 97.6 males.

Race and ethnicity[edit | edit source]

Boasting one of Central Europe's most multicultural communities, Temeschburg is home to many nationalities and even more languages. There are various ethnic enclaves and neighborhoods throughout the city like Tondotown and Blašković.

According to the Census, 545.584 (95.9%) were white, 11.947 (2.1%) were Asian, 8.534 (1.5%) were Middle Eastern and 2,844 (0.5%) were others or mixed.

Germans make up the largest white ethnicity in the city at 32% of the total white population, followed by Romanians at 24%, Serbians at 22%, Hungarians at 10%, Jews at 4%, Gypsies at 3%, Slovaks at 2% and Bulgarians at 1%. Other minorities such as Czech, Poles, Rusyns, Italians and French constitute together 2% of the white population. 

Temeschburg's Asian community has developed recently, with most people originating from Tondo, China or Sierra. The largest Asian minority are Tondolese, at an overwhelming 70% of the community, followed by Chinese of any origin at 25% and other groups like Thai, Korean and Japanese rounding up together to 5%.

The city is also home to a significant number of people of Middle Eastern descent, mostly Arabs, Persians, Kurds and Turks. They are among the fastest growing ethnic groups in the city and have been known as the "new" immigrants in recent years. The number is expected to rise drastically due to the recent Syrian refugee crisis.

Crime[edit | edit source]

Temeschburg has suffered a history of crime that is especially prevalent during the early 2000s. Most of the crime is done by either Gypsy or Serbian mafia, with a new Macedonian mafia arising in the unaccounted Macedonian immigrant group (counted as Serbians).

Religion[edit | edit source]

Compared to other cities, Temeschburg has a larger percentage of Catholics with 42% accounting for religious faith in the city. This higher concentration of Catholics can be attributed to the city's higher incidence of Germans and Hungarians populations who have traditionally been Catholic. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Temeschburg is the Archdiocese responsible for the entire Banat.

Orthodoxy is the second largest form of Christianity, practiced by a slim majority of Serbians and vast majority of Romanians, combining at 31%. These are split in two branches: The Romanian Orthodox Church with 19% and the Serbian Orthodox Church at 11.5%. 1.5% adhere to the Ohrid Archbishopric of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.

Greek Catholicism is the third-largest form of Christianity practiced with about 16% of Temeschburg's population. The largest denominations are Ruthenian-Serbian Catholic at 10%, Romanian Catholics at 5%, and Hungarian Greek Catholics at 1%. 4% of the population is Protestants, mostly Lutheran and Calvinist.

Almost 22.000 Jews live in Temeschburg, although over half of them are secular. Of the Jewish religious communities represented, the vast majority are Orthodox Jews.

Reflecting demographic changes, Islam, Buddhism, Zalmoxianism and other pagan religions are now also represented in the city. Temeschburg is notable for it's ban on the Church of Scientology, which had legally tried to get the city to unban the Scientologist Group, which has it's Banatian headquarters in Neussatz.

Economy[edit | edit source]

The main complex building for the Temeschburg Stock Exchange.

Temeschburg is a continental hub for international business, commerce, and entertainemnt. In 2012, Temeschburg placed 16th behind Neussatz and Hamburg on the "Top 20 Business Friendly Cities in Europe", published by Business Insider. It is a growing center for international trade, entertainment (video games, cinema and TV), manufacturing, technology, tourism, banking, real estate, education, telecommunications and healthcare. The superb highway system of the country is relied on heavily to exert the city's trading power.

Other important sectors include the public government, medical research and technology, non-profit institutions and organizations, and universities. Temeschburg is specially known as an university town, and many international students study in the city, many visiting the best IT and engineering university in Europe, the Temeschburg Polytechnic University.

Area 700[edit | edit source]

Temeschburg's financial sector is the headquarters of the Banat's financial industry and is known by its name, Area 700 (a reference to a nearby market founded to mark the 700th birthday of the city, but which gave name to the surrounding area). Many large financial companies have either headquarters or major regional offices in Temeschburg. While small, Temeschburg's financial district is the most important one in former Communist Europe.

Sister cities[edit | edit source]