Timisoara, Romania – A Great Shopping Destination

Claudiu and Bill at the Timisoara Mall

Last weekend we went across the border to Timisoara, Romania to do some school shopping. It is only about a 1 and 1/2 hour or 2 hour drive away and has much better shopping than Belgrade. They have more products and many more deals. We went to the big Ilius Mall and we found many clothes for the kids and I also bought some work pants and shirts. I even found Moleskin® notebooks at a really cool book store. I think we liked the shopping so much because we dropped the kids off at the playland in the mall and had a relaxed time. We also did some grocery shopping at the Real supermarket and stocked up on high processed sugary breakfast cereals for the kids. The city is the fourth-largest city Romania with a population around 300,000 people. The 1989 revolution against the communist regime started in the city and it has more of an Austrian-Hungarian feel than the rest of Romania.

I strongly recommend Timisoara for Belgraders looking for a weekend get-away. Besides the shopping, we made a stop at the Banat Village Museum. The “Banat” is the region covering eastern Romania, western Hungary and northern Serbia. The museum is located in a park setting with examples of old homesteads from the different ethnic groups and time periods. It is nothing flashy, but is a nice spot for kids to run around. They had a great little pond, where the kids threw rocks and chased dragonflies.

Hanging out at the pond at the Banat Village Museum in Timisoara

Orthodox Cathedral – Timisoara, Romania

 


We drove two hours north east of Belgrade Sunday to the beautiful city of Timisoara, Romania. We went for lunch, some shopping, and some sight seeing. The first place we stopped was the magnificent Romanian Orthodox Cathedral near Opera Square in the center of the city. The Sunday morning service had just ended and we were given an unofficial tour of place by our friend, Vesna. It was the first time I had someone explain the intracies of the Orthodox Church. In the picture above is the front altar, which in the Orthodox Church is covered by a wall and doors decorated with icons, called an iconostasis. People were lining up to kiss a golden icon in the middle and they were also lining up to say a prayer over the relics of St. Joseph of Banat. A piece of cloth from his robes was in a box on a small side altar.

I explained the architecture to the boys. There are many domes and arches and the color schemes of gold, burgandy, and dark green, which are typical orthdox art style. There were paintings all over the cathedral walls. We sat for awhile on the chairs on the side and enjoyed the warmth of the church. I appreciated the opportunity to teach the kids about another religious practice.

I highly recommend visiting Timsoara. They have really good shopping – better than Serbia, I guess because they are in the EU and the prices were reasonable. We also had a nice dinner at an Italian Restaurant.