The future of Transylvanian cities as seen around 1910

The great American baseball player and coach Yogi Berra once famously said “The future ain’t what it used to be”. While on the surface this saying – as many other things Berra purportedly said – seems downright harebrained, it does have a deep philosophical core. It also certainly applies to a series of postcards from the first decade of the 20th century depicting Transylvanian cities in the future.

These science-fiction inspired postcards were in great vogue all over Europe at the time and with a little judicious googling you can find one showing the future of most major cities of the continent. Admittedly, the images aren’t that varied: most of them are based on actual black-and-white photos, are hand-coloured with futuristic modes of transportation drawn over the cityscape. Predictably, they show dirigibles, biplanes, suspended railways and the occasional imaginary car.

In our never-ending quest to keep you, the reader both informed and entertained, we have trawled the net and found the following ones. If you are inclined to take part in a small game, we invite you to send contemporary pictures of the same locations to the editor ( or our Facebook page. If we get enough responses, we will follow up this article with one showing the imagined and actual future side by side.

Tusnádfürdő/Băile Tușnad
Székelyudvarhely/Odorheiu Secuiesc
Nagybánya/Baia Mare
Máramarossziget/Sighetu Marmației


Title image: Temesvár/Timișoara in the future.

Author: Dénes Albert