The Banat region is a showcase of beauties and tourist attractions, most of which are yet to be discovered. It is exactly this lack of mass tourism that will ensure a holiday truly "off the beaten track".On the one hand, there is the picturesque countryside, starting just at the gates of Timişoara. The region's aspect is mainly the result of the policies after 1718, as the region underwent Habsburg rule. Colonists from all Europe streamed into the Banat, turning the marshes into a rich, multicultural and baroque landscape. In the mountains, the same rule favored industrial development so we have here many industrial monuments as well as some great cultural landmarks and spa architecture.
As the city of Timisoara grew larger, it included several of the former villages in the surroundings. The best example is Freidorf, which preserved its village appearance. There are still a few old houses of the first German inhabitants here. Just take a bus or a tram from the city center and head for the Freidorf countryside.In the lowland west of Timişoara you can find much more of this “countryside baroque”, especially in former villages of the “Banater Schwaben” like Biled, Şandra, Lovrin, Lenauheim (easily accessible by bus or train).
Rivers, Karsts & Spas between the Danube and the Carpathians
One of the best assets of the region is its stunning natural beauty. In the surroundings of Timişoara (up to 200 km) you can find more national and natural parks, as well as countless natural reserves. They cover huge areas, starting from the rugged mountain peaks of the Carpathians going over 2500 meters in height, down to the wild landscape of the "Iron Gates" of the Danube, Europe's longest river gorge.
The great gorge of the Danube makes up about 130 km of the region's southern border. In places, the river bed narrows from 4 km to only 200 meters, shadowed by limestone walls 250 meters high. This spectacular landscape is one of Europe's “must-see” spots.
North of it two other national parks – Semenic - Cheile Caraşului and Nera-Beuşniţa, respectively, preserve a typical karst area, abounding in gorges, caves and waterfalls.
The south part of the Banat includes also the Baile Herculane resort, set in the lovelly Cerna Valley. It is one of the oldest spa resorts in the world - already used by the romans, 2000 years ago and also beloved by the famous Sissi, who visited it no less than five times.
(details to the national parks and other protected areas in the Banat Mountains)
Picturesque & remote, yet surprising
The Banat can be surprisingly diverse. You might well expect the amounts of home-made wine or plum brandy (just fine to go along with the traditional Romanian cuisine), but this remote corner of Romania hides the country's oldest theater (in Oraviţa), a splendid miniature-copy of Vienna's former Burg theater (the original was demolished 150 years ago). Here you can find also the oldest mountain railway from Romania, Oraviţa-Anina, given in function in 1863, which is still in function and is a real engineering monument of that time (the railway Oravita-Bazias was given in function in 1854).
(details to the Oravita-Anina railway)
Many villages around the small town Făget preserve valuable wooden churches. About a dozen orthodox monasteries testify about faith in the countryside. In the nearby Haţeg region you can find ancient churches so old, that they have Roman carved stones inserted into their walls (Densuş is only one of them), as well as one of Eastern Europe's most magnificent castles at Hunedoara
(details to the Corvin Castle)
And for people who enjoy a good wine, they can taste good wines at the Recas Wineries (Cramele Recas), which are only at a distance of 25 km. from Timisoara or at the Petrovaselo Wineries (Cramele Petrovaselo), which are at 33km. from Timişoara.
(details of the Recas Wineries - Cramele Recas)
(details of the Petrovaselo Wineries - Cramele Petrovaselo)
Crossborder area of the Banat
At a short distance from Timişoara there are a lot of cities in Serbia and Hungary, with numerous tourist attractions. Szeged in Hungary is a twin city of Timişoara, at a distance of 120 km, situated along the Tisa river, with some beautifull buildings in the city. There are also approaches between the cultural heritage of Timişoara that of cities in Serbia, like Zrenianin, Pancevo, Vrset, Kikinda, even Belgrade is only at a distance of 170 km.
The crossborder area includes also the Danube–Kris–Mures–Tisa Euroregion (DKMT), founded în 1997, which covers areas from the western part of Romania, from the south-east of Hungary and from the northen part of Serbia, which through cooperation in various fields and also thanks to its touristic potential contributes to the developing of the region, which is the geografical centre of Europe.
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Fotografii din Banat