Part of Transylvanian historic province, Banat is placed in the Western side between Meridional Carpathians, Danube, Tisza and Mures rivers. It has an area covering 18,966 km2. This ancient region is a model of good relations between Romanians, Hungarians, Germans, Serbians, Jews and Gypsies who are living together for many centuries and even became relatives during the time. All natives in Banat are proud, honest people, having a great sense of respect for their traditions. Their folk music and dance reveal much originality and make you go back to immemorial times. In this part of the country people sing ballads and say old legends which talk about feats of bravery of their past. You will be charmed by their way of treating guests. The favorite dishes prepared here are very spicy and the combinations are quite refined. It worth to come to Banat and taste by yourself the food! You will not be disappointed. Major cities you can visit here are: Timisoara, Arad, Resita and Lugoj.
Timisoara is the largest industrial and cultural city in the Western part of Romania which lies in Banat plain, on Bega navigable canal. It was first mentioned in 1212 as “Castrum regium Themes” and it had a great development since then. Conquered by Turkish armies in 1552, Timisoara remained under their protection until 1718 when Banat came under Austrian rule for other two centuries. Due to the colonists coming here, many beautiful buildings were erected in Timisoara. Also Bega river was drained and was transformed into a navigable canal. In the 18th century was built the first factory. You will be astonished finding out that this town was one of the first places in the world where horse-drawn tramways (1869) and electric lightning of the streets (1884) were introduced. These historic events demonstrate the modernity of the lifestyle in this city which little by little became the most important center in Banat.
Today in Timisoara is placed the most important international airport in the Western part of Romania – a proof that in the last decades this city had a continuous development. People often say about Timisoara that it is “The town of roses” due to the great number of these flowers that delight your view in any park you walk, especially along the Bega canal. Also there are many state and private universities where you may study from engineering to medicine. As a conclusion, Timisoara means for Banat the same as Iasi means for Moldavia region. main touristic places are: The Banat Museum, The Baroque Palace (built in the first half of the 18th century), The Roman Catholic Cathedral, The former Franciscan Monastery (1733-1736), The Mansion of Prince Eugene de Savoy, The State Opera, The Metropolitan Cathedral, The Botanical Garden and the Victory Plaza.
Romanians cannot forget that here were shoot the first revolutionaries in the night of December 16th, 1989. This revolution started in Timisoara and ended on December 22nd in Bucharest when the Communist Regime was finally defeated. Timisoara is an eternal symbol of freedom and liberty of thinking.
Arad is placed at 57 km far from Timisoara and lies on the right bank of the Mures river. This area was densely populated since Dacian and Roman times as proved by the archeological finds of the 3rd century B.C. and those dated in 4th century A.D. Arad was first mentioned in 1156 and it was already named as a town in 1329. Between 1552 and 1686 this important economic center was occupied by Turks – as well as the entire region. Its history was hard but the Romanian “flame” inside people’s hearts was kept alive; a few centuries later (in 1812) in Arad was opened the first Romanian Teachers Training School as a proof that this town had a remarkable development. Today Arad is an important economic center and it has many socio-cultural plans for the future.
As a curiosity, Ardealul Hotel – formerly called White Cross – is the place where came and performed many famous musicians as Franz Liszt (1846), Johann Strauss Junior (1847), Johannes Brahms (1879) and Pablo Casals (1912). There are beautiful buildings in Arad that worth your attention : The Theatre, The Old Theatre, The Palace of Culture, Serbian Church, The Orthodox Cathedral, The Roman Catholic Church and many others.
If you reach Banat it is impossible not to visit the Crisana region too. It covers around 12,238 km2 and its name is determined by the rivers which cross this region: Crisul Alb (The white Cris), Crisul Repede (The fast Cris) and Crisul Negru (The black Cris). The main cities are Oradea and Carei.
Oradea is the capital of Bihor county – a land full of legends and traditions. Not very far from this town (at 12 km) you may find the vestiges of an ancient fortress called Biharia which flourished in the 10th century A.D. when it was the heart of the land ruled by Prince Menumorut. But archeological finds show that entire area was populated since the Neolithic period. Oradea lies on the left bank terraces of the Crisul Repede river and it has a moderate climate with mild summers and winters. It became a urban location in 1235 after the Roman-Catholic Bishopric was set here. Destroyed by Tartar invasion in 1241, Oradea was built again during the next 100 years and in 1324 this town was mentioned again as a big one placed at the commercial roads which linked Transylvania, Banat and Hungary. In 1660 Oradea was occupied by Turks and became the seat of the Turkish province. Then it was conquered by Austrians in 1692 but its fame didn’t decrease. Oradea played an important role in Romanian history and in Romanian culture too. In 1778 a law academy was opened here and then many other schools, gymnasiums, libraries and other cultural places were set up.
Oradea is nowadays one of the major cities in the Western part of Romania. You may see here The Crisuri Land Museum, The Palace Park, The Roman Catholic Cathedral, The Moon Church and many others.
Only 8 km far away from Oradea you may spend your holiday in Baile Felix – one of the most famous resorts in Romania. You may go there by rail or by car. The landscape is charming because this small spa lies in the Hidisel valley between hills covered with oak woods. Natural factors that can determine you to go for a few days to Baile Felix are: mild climate, thermal mineral waters (20-500°C) and many trip opportunities in the neighborhood. Here is the place where you can treat rheumatic diseases, post-traumatic problems, central and peripheral neurologic affections and endocrine illnesses