|Crisana is named after the three main rivers in the region:
Crisul Alb, Crisul Negru and Crisul Repede. The name Banat
comes from the word Ban, the military leader of the region.
|Location||Romania’s western border - Crisana borders Hungary in the
north, and Banat borders Serbia in the south.
|Area||19,000 sq miles|
|Population||Approximately 3 million people|
|Main cities||Arad, Oradea, Timisoara|
|Crisana has a temperate-continental climate, while Banat
boasts a slight Mediterranean influence, with hot summers
and mild winters
The unique mix of architectural and cultural heritages in the history-rich provinces of Crisana and Banat stems from the fact that for centuries Romanians have lived here alongside Germans (Swabs), Serbians and Hungarians (Magyars). A trio of western Romania cities - Timisoara, Oradea and Arad - provides travelers with an insight into this region’s long past and colorful traditions.
Habsburg rule until 1918 introduced Art Nouveau architecture in Banat and established Timisoara as “the garden city.” Frequently referred to as “Little Vienna,” Timisoara has always been a progressive, cosmopolitan city. An important trade and university town, Timisoara features open squares, parks and gardens, elegant boutiques, cafes, restaurants and a great display of Secessionist architecture. Cultural attractions include the Banat Museum (art, natural history and ethnography) the Village Museum, the Botanical Garden, the Timisoara Philharmonic and the Opera House. Places of historical note include the Ruins of Timisoara Fortress, Huniade Castle, Dicasterial Palace, Old City Hall and the Palace of Justice.
Just north of Timisoara on the Mures River banks lies the city of Arad, tracing its history back to the 12th century. Churches and cathedrals span four centuries, several denominations and architectural styles ranging from baroque to neoclassic. The exciting architecture of the buildings in the city’s square reflects the influence of the one-time Austrian-Hungarian occupation; most notable are the City Hall and Cenad Palace. An original Turkish fortress (built in 1550 and rebuilt twice in the 17th and 18th centuries), the Palace of Culture and the State Philharmonic House are some of the other sights to enjoy here.
Oradea, eight miles east of the Romanian-Hungarian border, is one of the most picturesque towns of western Romania, as well as an important cultural center. At the turn of the last century, most of the town’s old houses were rebuilt and customized to the then trendy architectural style from Vienna called “Sezession,” with its richly decorated facades of pale pink, green, blue and white. To get a feel for the city’s past, stroll around the Old Downtown and visit the Museum of the Cris Rivers, housed in a splendid 1770 baroque palace with 365 windows modeled after the Belvedere Palace in Vienna.
Western Romania is a heaven for active travelers and adventure seekers, with abundant opportunities for trekking, mountain climbing, hunting, fishing, horseback riding and more. Crisana and Banat have exquisite natural scenery with a climate similar to that of the Mediterranean region.
Baile Herculane, within driving distance of Timisoara, is an ancient Roman spa, developed in the 19th century as a fashionable resort. Legend has it that Hercules himself bathed in the strength-giving natural springs. Mount Domogled, to the west of the resort, is an extensive forest reservation sheltering rare trees, turtles and butterflies.
The Bihor Mountains, descending from east to west, hold some of the best-hidden treasures of Romania; explore the cave tunnels, underground waterfalls, hidden lakes, canyons and glaciers. West of the Bihor Mountains is Bears’ Cave. Named after fossil traces of the cave bear species (extinct 15,000 years ago) discovered here, it features two levels of galleries, extending more than a half-mile with stalactites and stalagmites estimated to be 22,000 years old, some resembling animal and castles shapes.
Biking, Camping, Caving, Fishing, Hiking, Nature walks, Skiing,
Wildlife and bird watching
The local cuisine of Banat, displaying Austrian, German and Hungarian influences, is based mainly on pork and on richly spiced vegetables. Sour cream, thyme, tarragon, cumin and hot paprika are favored to spice up the dishes. A local specialty is homemade noodles, called Iofca – prepared with cabbage or cheese, nuts, milk and poppy seeds. Another traditional dish in the Banat region is paprikash with dumplings made out of flour and egg dough boiled in salt water. Other local dishes include stew with dumplings, peas and fried eggs, chicken and pork goulash, giblet soup, and tarragon chicken stew.
Other local specialties:
Varga Beles – a tasty specialty homemade noodle pudding with cheese and raisins wrapped in a pie puff and baked in the oven.
Pogacele - traditional cakes usually with plum brandy.
The first records of viticulture in the Banat region date back from the period of the Roman invasion of Dacia, in the first century AD. Within the walls of the medieval citadel of Alba Iulia a network of tunnels were discovered; they were once used as cellars for the production of sparkling wine, the storage of wine for aging, and win-tasting rooms.
Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Cadarca are produced employing classical winemaking technologies, while the white wines like Italian Riesling, Traminer, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc, are obtained by using cooling zymurgy, resulting in fruity white wines of great finesse.
For more information please visit www.wineprincess.ro
For more information please visit www.recaswine.ro
Other vineyards: Teremia Mare, Jimbolia
Visitors can sample some of the popular wines produced here,
as well as learn about the local winemaking technique and the
conservation of bottled wines in the cellars.
Address: Str. Complex de Vinificatie, Recas, Timis County
Telephone: (256) 330.296
There are several daily trains and buses from/to Bucharest and other major cities in Romania to Banat and Crisana regions.
Main train stations in Banat and Crisana:
Timisoara, Arad, Oradea, Satu Mare
To check train and bus schedules for domestic routes please visit our: Romania Domestic Transportation section
Information on international trains to/from Banat and Crisana are available at:
Border crossing points in the Crisana and Banat regions from Hungary and Serbia into Romania include:
Hungary: Bors, Nadlac, Valea lui Mihai, Varsand, Carei, Petea, Urziceni
Serbia: Jimbolia, Naidas, Portile de Fier, Salonta, Stamora-Moravita, Turnu
Timisoara Tourist Information Centre
(Centrul de Informare Turistica)
Address: Str. Alba Iulia 2
Telephone: (256) 437.973
Open: Mon. – Fri. 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.; Closed Sun.
(April – September):
Mon. – Fri. 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.; Closed Sun.
(October – March):
Arad Tourist Information Centre
(Biroul de Informare Turistica INFOTUR)
Addres: Bd. Revolutiei 84-86
Telephone: (257) 270.277
Open: Mon. – Fri. 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Sat. 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.; Closed Sun.
Oradea Tourist Information Centre
(Centrul de Informare Turistica)
Addres: Piata Independentei 39
Telephone: (259) 435.140
Open: Mon. – Fri. 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Closed Sat. & Sun.