HISTORY

The centenary celebration of the Palace of Culture in Targu Mures is an opportunity remembrance and thanksgiving to the founders, keepers and people with big hearts who have perpetuated the living spirit of this edifice, and they were not few. The 100 years that have passed over the building and its people, over the Mures community were not always favorable to the cultural specificity of the palace: two world wars, several political regimes, social unrest.



However, the imposing building has hosted numerous events in every period and time we would look, as if the temporal storms outside the walls had stopped at the entrance, powerless. The idea of building a cultural edifice in Targu Mures appeared in 1907. Mayor, Dr. Bernády György (1864-1938), an erudite and ambitious personality who always supported the construction of the building, convinced the City Council to approve this project.

In 1909 completes the land purchase of the adjacent parcels already owned by the city, so the projects are prepared and executed by the two architects in Budapest, Komor Marcell and Jakab Dezso, responsible for the design work. They had previously associated in the design of some buildings in Transylvania, spreading thus the Hungarian secession style throughout the Carpathian Basin. The first building designed in Targu Mures by the two was the Town Hall, built in 1907-1908. The building, currently the headquarter of the County Council and the Prefecture, will be replicated in Serbia for the City Hall in Subotica, with the distinctive bell tower – inspired by the architecture of the Public Palace of Siena. The traditional elements and popular motifs of the region harmonize with secession style; this union also reflects in the Palace of Culture. Originally planned to be built on two levels, the edifice receives a third level, at the relentless insistence of Mayor Dr. Bernády György, who identifies the need to add space for music school and pinacotheque – a beneficial decision showed by the future of the Conservatory and Philharmonic - hosted by the Palace.



The costs have exceeded 100% the original estimated costs, due to the lifting of an additional level to accommodate the Conservatory and the School of Fine Arts. The local media sarcastically characterized the city development and construction of the edifice: "The city with Berlin tastes that dresses in Parisian costume, wears London hairstyle and Amsterdam shoes." The final amount paid to the constructors and those who finished the interiors is 2,500,000 gold crowns, which led to increase the local taxes with 200%, in striving to cover the loans and its interest made for this purpose. All these efforts have made the mayor György Bernády, in 1926, to raise his hands to the sky, thanking the Lord that he reached to live this great and unique day of his life, the day when was acquitted the first payment sheet and the last rate to the banks that loaned the work! He also categorically opposed to submit the Palace of Culture to the Royal Cultural Foundation of King Charles II, because is "a good patrimony of city inhabitants."



The edifice was built in two years, a performance unmatched even today. The construction work was made on chapters: foundation, masonry, carpentry, drainage, ventilation and central heating, and the labor force recruited from the locality. The main facade is decorated with four alto reliefs cast in bronze and located on the windows base. The subjects are the legend of St. Elizabeth of Wartburg (work by Franz Liszt), the dialogue between father and son (mathematicians Bolyai), György Aranka (the secretary of the Hungarian Linguistic Society of Targu Mures) and the scene Bank-Ban (from the work of Ferencz Erkel).



On the same side was made a large mosaic representing the homage brought by the different social conditions of the town, the motherland - at that time, Hungary. Are represented a Romanian woman in national costume, garb weather traders, soldiers, and officers, to highlight the contribution of all to the prestige of honored authority.

On the lower side of the edifice, the mosaics represent musical allegories that are intertwined with plant motifs. Nicolae Iorga describes in a exciting way the edifice: "The Palace of Culture, built with religious and pious care, from the best material, the entire peasant life of the Secui had been studied and stylized to give an unquestionable new, fresh and beautiful character. In color, in the bizarre lines of ornaments, inspired from the legends on the scenes of the windows, it is the same rural-national seal everywhere. It had, for it to be a strenuous work and immoderate nationalism. There are conference rooms, a library, a museum that contains numerous canvases, including some very good ones – even the custodian is a very talented young painter. A whole breed manifestation as advanced countries has not had the inspiration to worship their lives to deep poetic classes."

Both on the front minor and the corners of the edifice are inserted balconies. The ones on the corners of the edifice are small but richly decorated with sculptures in floral and rectangular shapes. The balcony of the main facade is gorgeous by variety and richness of color with floral mosaics and carved with popular motifs.



Master Miksa Roth (1865-1944), who made both exterior mosaics and interior stained glasses and most of the decorations of the Hall of Mirrors, was one of the most important artists of Europe in this field. He created the famous stained glass windows and mosaics for famous buildings - Gresham Palace, the Agriculture Museum and The Academy of Music in Budapest, The Mariasdorf Catholic Church. The Palace of Culture in Targu Mures remains his most important work, as recognized by his compatriots: "In 1910, Róth created the beautiful windows of the Culture Palace in Targu Mures, Romania. In the Hall of Mirrors, scenes from Székely fairy tales, ballads and legends are presented in 12 full-length windows that occupy the large hall. Targu Mures is worth visiting if only to sit through this magical and colorful creation."

The painter Kriesch Aladar from Budapest, the founder of the School of Gödöllő, impressed by the rich traditions founded in 1880 in Calatei country, a Transylvanian region comprising 40 localities situated between Cluj and Huedin, adds to his name, in 1907, the title "Korosfoi" - " now the Cris spring. His subsequent works, including paintings from the Palace of Culture in Targu Mures, are essentially influenced by the crafts and the region's popular motifs.