The former “Victoria” Bank

1850-1900 / 2 Horia street / Historical monument


The eclectic-style building was built in the last decade of the 19th century and was meant to be the headquarters of the Romanian Bank “Victoria”. Today, it is the head office of a commercial bank.

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In November 1886, a number of 20 prominent national personalities, among whom there were Alexandru Mocsoni, Antoniu Mocsoni, Stefan Cicio Pop, Mircea V. Stănescu, A. Suciu, Nicolae Oncu, Mihai Velicu and others, have decided to set up an Institute of Credits and Savings, with a registered capital of 100,000 fl.

The Constitutive Assembly was held on March 30, 1887. The number of shareholders who subscribed with 1,000 shares was 325. On April 8, 1887, the Board of Directors was elected. The chosen director was Nicolae Oncu, who, along with Sava Raicu. proved to be the two masterminds in Romania’s economy at the time. The Bank’s progress was very visible in 1893. Thus, Victoria Bank became the second-ranked Romanian Bank in Transylvania, after Sibiu’s “Albina” Bank.

The new local institution had its headquarters in the city centre, located in the Town Hall Square, on King Ferdinand Boulevard, no. 1-2. Victoria Bank became the main mediator of all direct financial transactions with the Czechs, thanks to the help of Sava Raicu, who was also a member of the Supervisory Board of the Brunn branch of “Sporobanka” Bank.


Elements of the Renaissance of Florence - the loggias on the upper level - and also those of Neo-Baroque style (columns, windows) can be admired on the building’s facade. On the ground floor, the head office of the so-called in Romanian “CEC” (i.e. Deposit Bank) was located for a long time. Today it is the head office of a commercial bank.

Interesting facts

The Bank has supported socio-cultural activities, such as a celebration of Aurel Vlaicu’s flight, which took place in 1912, both the event itself and Aurel Vlaicu’s entire stay in Arad having been financed by the Bank.

After the merger of the two local newspapers, “Tribuna Poporului” and “Românul”, into the publication “Românul”, the Bank continued to sponsor it.

In 1911, with Oncu’s agreement, Sava Raicu funds, through an initiative of the journalists of “Tribuna Poporului”, the setting of a “literary debate circle” evening, where several writers of the “Romanian Writers Society” were invited. Some of the guest were: Emil Gârleanu, Octavian Goga, Victor Eftimiu, Ion Agârbiceanu, Cincinat Pavelescu and others. The Literary evening was welcome with incredible success, hence the Hall of the “White Cross” Hotel was crowded with intellectuals.


  • “Victoria” Bank was founded by  a number of 20 prominent Romanian personalities, during the years of 1886-1887.
  • The new local institution had its headquarters in the city centre, namely in the Town Hall Square.
  • The Bank’s progress was very visible in 1893 and the bank became the second-ranked Romanian Bank in Transylvania.
  • The building of the bank displays architectural elements of Florentine Renaissance and neo-Baroque provenance.
  •  The Bank was also a supporter of socio-cultural activities, such as Aurel Vlaicu’s flight, in 1912.
  • Nowadays, the palace houses the head office of a commercial bank.

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The former Prefecture

Throughout time, the building hosted the Prefecture of Arad, then it became the editorial office of „Adevărul” and „Observator” newspapers and the Rectorate of „Aurel Vlaicu” University.