Located in the Banat region of northwest Romania, Timisoara is a showcase for the Art Nouveau (also know as Secessionist or Jugendstill) style of architecture that was prominent in the later decades of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. The creative burst in Timisoara is due primarily to the Ausgliech of 1867, which saw the creation of the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy which had the effect of cooling political tensions and allowing for a nearly fifty year period of relative calm in the region which had formerly been characterized by unrest, revolution and a general societal stagnation. The Austro-Hungarian compromise lead to an outburst of economic growth in both countries, which in turn lead to a massive building frenzy across the region.
Timisoara lies in what is now contemporary Romania, but during Austro-Hungarian times, was a part of Hungary. Art Nouveau in Timisoara, inspired by both Austrian and Hungarian architects such as Odon Lechner of Hungary and Otto Wagner of Austria, eventually drew comparisons with Vienna, and the city became affectionately known as "Little Vienna." Characterized by mascarons, botanical and animal motifs such as owls and olive branches, beautiful wrought iron gates and flag-poles, gold leaves, statuettes of bears and monkeys and winding staircases, all of which were set upon polychromatic facades. Much of the sumptuous decor was based on traditional folk themes of the Romanian countryside.