The articles are of archaeological, historical and museological interest and are mainly related to the region of Banat, although some deal with Romanian and universal history as well
Jan. 22, 2024
In the first half of the 18th century, following the establishment of the two Magistrates, German and Rascian, in
Timisoara were created the armed Citizen Guards, which had both a military role, being involved in the Austro-
Turkish conflict of 1738–1739, and a civil one, ensuring the security and city order, quarantine in hospitals etc.
Known as Bürgergarde and Freie Compagnie, these units are quite rarely mentioned in documents until 1781.
With the granting of the rights of free royal city in 1781, the Citizen Guards were reorganized in Timisoara, being
equipped with new uniforms, weapons and flags. According to the preserved statistical data, in 1782 the German
guard had 154 members, and the Serbian guard had 118 members. The German and Serbian detachments of the
Citizen Guard were placed under the command of the mayor of the city. Two decades later, in 1809, the Citizen
Guard from Timisoara counted 1400 pedestrians and a company of 100 horsemen. The cavalry division, equipped
similar to the Austrian dragoon units, was generally recruited from the German population, while the infantry was
recruited from the German and Serbian citizens, but organized separately.
The two M. 1836 helmets kept in the collection of the National Museum of Banat are among the few pieces of this
type owned by museums in our country. Over time identified with the Shooting Society or with the fire brigade,
the helmets are originally of military origin, being produced for the Austrian cavalry officers, during the reign of
the emperor Ferdinand I (1835–1848). The Citizen Guard from Timisoara adopted helmets in the equipment
of the cavalry company, later the equipment being generalized to all units of the Guard. Dissolved in 1848, the
Citizen Guard in its old structure was not re-established in the following period. The pompous equipment of the
past ended up in the patrimony of the families of the former guards and in the props of the Shooting Societies,
societies established by the members of the Guard. Two of the M.1836 helmets once worn by the members of the
Citizen Guard became part, through the kindness of Meskó Béla and Babusnik Emil, of the museum’s collection,
being today among the most attractive exhibits of the military collection.