THE HOUSE WITH THE PADLOCK
The development of the social and economic life had determined the appearance of the corporation, which grew in importance and were in a large variety. In 1718 only one guild was recorded; one century later, in 1823, 32 corporations are to be found in Arad.
The Arad corporation built some houses, which, due to their architecture, dominated the centre of the town, in the respective interval of time. In connection with this kind of activity, there is a building in Arad, which is worth visiting. Who does not know this house? Walking by it, who has not watched that padlock which is the theme of so many stories?
The most popular story says that the person who is able to unlock the respective padlock will get the house. But it is just a story because the padlock has no mechanism and the hole for the key is only for cheating the eye. The house was built in 1815 by Iosif Winkler, a merchant of Vienna; it was restored in 1851, date carved above the gate. In the corner of the building, in the Plevnei Street, there is a niche which houses a trunk put in a metal bar closed with a padlock. The researches have established that the trunk, built in 1827, was used only for ornament. "The Iron Trunk" (wood rolled in metallic sheet), placed in the respective niche, was made according to the Vienna model. Such trunks are to be found in all the large cities where the corporation had important activities such as: Vienna, Bratislava, Buda, Arad, Oradea, Timisoara, a.s.o. There are opinions, which say that they are means of popularisation for merchants.
"The Iron Trunk" is also a memory of the corporation. The journeymen, before becoming masters were obliged to do a piece of work to prove their professional training. Before doing it, they were supposed to travel through the country or even abroad. Leaving the town, they went to the trunk and stroke a nail into it. The House with the Padlock from Arad is also connected to the revolutionary events of 1848-1849. The house, for an interval of time, was the residence of the secret police of the Austrian Emperor and in the cellar, many revolutionaries were imprisoned.

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