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Facts about Banat & Crișana

Banat and Crișana are Romania's westernmost regions bordering Hungary and Serbia.
The name Banat comes from the word Ban or Bannum, a territory with a military and administrative function,
Crișana was named after river Criș and its main tributaries: Crișul Alb, Crișul Negru and Crișul Repede.
Location: Western / Northwestern Romania.
Area: 19,000 sq miles
Population: approximately 3 million people
Main cities: Arad, Oradea, Timisoara
Climate: Crisana has a temperate-continental climate, while Banat boasts sub- Mediterranean influences, with hot summers and mild winters

Highlights

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 or Schwaben), Serbians and Hungarians.
The three main cities in western Romania: Timisoara Oradea and Arad are offering visitors an insight into the regions of Banat and Crisana long history and colorful traditions.

The Habsburg rule (early 18th century until 1918) introduced the Art Nouveau architecture in Banat.
Frequently referred to as "Little Vienna," Timisoara has always been a progressive, cosmopolitan city.
An important trade and university town, Timisoara features large open-squares, beautiful parks and gardens, elegant boutiques and cafes, restaurants and a great display of Secessionist architecture.
Among Timisoara's cultural attractions are the Museum of Region of Banat (art, natural history and ethnography sections), the Village Museum, the Botanical Garden, Timisoara Philharmonic and the Opera House. Sites of historical importance include the Ruins of Timisoara Fortress, Huniade Castle, Dicasterial Palace, Old City Hall and the Palace of Justice.

38 miles north of Timisoara, on the banks of Mures River, lies the city of Arad.
Monumental churches and cathedrals, each with their own story to tell, represent several denominations and architectural styles ranging from baroque to neoclassical. The exciting architecture of the city's administrative buildings reflects the influence of the Austrian-Hungarian empire; most notable are the City Hall and Cenad Palace, the Palace of Culture, the State Philharmonic House and the Turkish fortress.

Oradea, eight miles east of the Romanian-Hungarian border, is one of the most picturesque and well-maintaned towns in 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, modeled after the Belvedere Palace in Vienna.

Western Romania has lots to offer to active travelers and adventure seekers.
Althoug just a few of its mountain peaks in Banat and Crisana are taller than 6,000 ft., exquisite natural scenery and opportunities for trekking, mountain climbing, hunting, fishing, horseback riding abound.
Bihor Mountains are home to numerous caves, cave tunnels, underground waterfalls, hidden lakes, canyons and glaciers. The best-known of them is the Bears' Cave (Pestera Ursilor, where fossils of the Cave Bear (Ursus Spelaeusa - a prehistoric species of bear that became extinct about 24,000 years ago) were discovered. The Bears' Cave has two levels of galleries, more than a half-mile long with stalactites and stalagmites estimated to be 22,000 years old.

10 Places to explore in Banat and Crisana Regions

City of Oradea - home of one of the most spectacular displays of classic Art-Nouveau and Secession (a Viennese branch of 'Art Nouveau) architectural styles.

Băile Felix (Felix Thermal Baths) – town for its numerous geothermal springs, located 7 miles south of the city of Oradea.
The medical spas located in Băile Felix alleviate Arthritis and rheumatoid pain and help treat endocrine and nervous system disorders.

Pâncota Winery (Miniș-Maderat wineyards) – renown for its unique red wines, produced from native grapes:
Fetească Neagră and Cadarcă. A unique cuvée Roșu de Pâncota is obtainen from Burgundy/ Pinor Noir, Fetească Neagră and Cadarcă. Pâncota Winery also produces great dry rosé and white wines obtainen from international and native varieties of grapes: Rosé Cadarcă, Rosé Samba, Mustoasă de Măderat, Fetească Regală, Alb de Pâncota (Feteasca Regală, Mustoasa de Măderat and Muscat Ottonel cuvée).
Village Radna, 18 miles east of Arad and 20 miles south of Pâncota, is home to Maria Radna Basilica – the most important place of pilgrimage for Roman-Catholic Christians in Banat and Crisana.

Cheile Nerei-Beusnita National Park (Parcul Național Cheile Nerei – Beușnița) – a 91,000 acre protected area home to over 130 species of fauna and more than 320 species of flora.

Oraviţa – Anina scenic train route – the counterpart Semmering Bahn railway in Austria.
A true engineering marvel, unique in souteastern Europe, The Oravita – Anina railway was built in mid-1800s.
It crosses over 10 viaducts, passes through 14 tunnels and offers riders picturesque views of Anina Mountains.

Danube River - Iron Gates Nature Park (Parcul Natural Porţile de Fier) – 286,000 acres of land home to 18 protected areas rich in avifauna, botanical, forest and fresh water ecosystems and rare wildlife.

Timisoara - the largest city in western Romania and one of the country's leading university centres.
Nicknamed "the City of Roses", Timisoara is also known for its ample parks and beautiful architecture.

Aramic Winery – a small wine producing facility (26 miles SE of Timisoara),
known for its excellent white and red wines, obtained from native grapes: Fetească Albă (white, dry), Fetească Neagră (red, dry) as well as cuvées that blend the unique native grapes of Romania with international varieties: Alb de Silagi (Sauvignon Blanc, Fetească Albă and Muscat Ottonel), Piatra Soarelui Colonada (Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Fetească Albă) and Roșu de Silagi (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Fetească Neagră).

Rudăria Historic Molinological Area (Rezervaţia Mulinologică “Cheile Rudăriei”).
A 4-miles stretch of river Rudăria is home twenty-two historic, horizontal, water mills.
Built in late 1700s or early 1800s, Rudăria water-mills stand in their original location, just south of village Eftimie Murgu
(40 miles southeast of town of Oravita and 46 miles north of town of Orsova) and still serve the local community.
On the road from Oravita to Eftimie Murgu by two other attractions: Focul Viu Cave and Bigar Waterfall can be visited.

Trans-Semenic scenic road (DJ 582), from Reşiţa to Slatina-Timiş, via Gărâna.
A 38-miles drive that offers beautiful views of the northern side of Semenic Mountains National Park.

Main Museums in Banat and Crisana

Arad:

Arad History Museum
Muzeul de Istorie Arad

Oradea:

Rivers Criş Country Museum
Muzeul Ţării Crişurilor - Oradea

Oradea Fortress
Cetatea Oradea

Oradea Military Museum
Muzeul Militar Oradea

Oraviţa:

Museum of Theatre History
Muzeul de Istorie a Teatrului și a orașului Oravița

Reşiţa

Museum of Banat Mountains
Muzeul Banatului Montan

Steam Locomotives Museum - 1
Muzeul Locomotivelor - Reşiţa - 1

Steam Locomotives Museum - 2
Muzeul Locomotivelor - Reşiţa - 2

Timișoara:

Timișoara Art Museum
Muzeul de Arta Timișoara

(Region of) Banat History Museum
Muzeul Banatului

Museum of Rural Banat
Muzeul Satului Bănățean

Maria Theresia Bastion
Bastionul Maria Theresia

Banat and Crisana Performing Arts Institutions

Arad:

Arad Philharmonic Orchestra
Filarmonica Arad

Arad Classical Theatre
Teatrul Clasic Ioan Slavici - Arad

Oradea:

Oradea Philharmonic Orchestra
Filarmonica Oradea

Queen Mary Theatre
Teatrul Regina Maria - Oradea

Timișoara:

Timișoara National Opera
Opera Naționala Timișoara

Timișoara Philharmonic Orchestra
Filarmonica Banatul - Timișoara

Timișoara German Theatre
Teatrul German Timișoara

Timișoara Hungarian Theatre
Teatrul Maghiar de Stat Csiky Gergely Timișoara

Satu Mare:

Satu - Mare Philharmonic Orchestra
Filarmonica de Stat "Dinu Lipatti", Satu - Mare

Satu - Mare Theatre
Teatrul de Nord Satu Mare

Outdoor Adventures & National Parks

Semenic – Cheile Caraşului National Park (Parcului Naţional Semenic – Cheile Caraşului )
– home to one of the most extensive cave systems in Romania

Cheile Nerei - Beusnita National Park (Parcul Național Cheile Nerei – Beușnița) – a 91,000 acre protected area, wild gorges and unspoiled natural habitats home to over 130 species of fauna and more than 320 species of flora.

Danube River - Iron Gates Nature Park (Parcul Natural Porţile de Fier) – 286,000 acres of land home to 18 protected areas rich in avifauna, botanical, forest and fresh water ecosystems and rare wildlife.

Domogled-Valea Cernei National Park ( Parcul Național Domogled-Valea Cernei)
- over 100 caves, impressive gorges and rare wildlife

Most towns in the regions of Banat and Crisana are 60 minutes or less from areas that offer excellent conditions for biking, camping, caving, fishing, hiking, nature walks or wildlife watching.

Banat and Crisana Traditional Food

The traditional cuisine of Banat and Crisana regions is mainly based on pork, veal and grain.
Some local dishes feature Habsburg and Serbian influences. Many main courses in Banat feature sauces prepared with flour, beef bone broth and sour-cream.

A typical, traditional meal, in Banat / Crisana includes:
~ Iofca (small pieces of egg and flour dough - boiled then drained - and mixed with salty sheep’s-milk cheese, butter, sour-cream then baked in the oven)
~ Zupă Aurie or Zupă cu Tăiței (a clear hen soup with knife-cut home-made noodles). Zupa is a must-have on Sundays, at lunch,
~ Carnați de Porc în sos de VinPork sausage in wine sauce
~ Varga Beles - a very popular desert – pudding, made from home-made noodles, cottage cheese mixed and raisins, is wrapped in pastry-dough and slowly baked in the oven.

Winetasting / Wineries in Banat and Crisana

Banat and Crisana grapevine acreage is currently estimated at 29,730
There are eight major wine regions in Banat and Crisana : Diosig, Măderat, Miniș, Podgoria Silvaniei, Recaș, Silagiu, Teremia Mare and Valea lui Mihai.

The first records of viticulture in the Banat and Transylvania regions date back from the time of the Roman invasion of Dacia, in the first century AD.

The most unique - and arguably best - wine produced in Crisana region is "Rosu de Minis"; in 1862, at a wine competition in London, this unique red wine has won the 'Best of All' Wines Award.

The red, native variety Cadarca, displaying a ruby-red color with a stinging taste of fresh clove, was the wine of the imperial court of Vienna during the reign of Emperor Franz Josef, in the 18th century.

Nearby Timisoara, lies the Recaș vineyard; its beginnings date back to the 15th century.
Some of the award-winning wines produced at Recaș include:
Italian Riesling, Feteasca Regala and Sauvignon Blanc (white wines); Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (red wines).

...

» Wineries in Banat Region

Crama de Vin Tirol - Senator Wine
Address: Village Tirol - Doclin
Telephone: (+4) 0237 237.800
Website
Wines: Feteasca Regala, Feteasca Alba, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling Italian, Muscat Ottonel,
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cadarca, Majarca, Grand Burgund
Labels: Monser, Varius, Senator, Omnia, Suav, Glia

Crama Petro Vaselo
Address: Str. Principala 231, Petrovaselo
Telephone: (+4) 0728 135.058
Website
Wines: Chardonnay
Labels: Petro Vaselo

Cramele Recas
Address: Recas - DJ609E
E-mail
Telephone: (+4) 0256 330.100
Website
Wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah, Feteasca Neagra, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Feteasca Regala, Merlot, Feteasca Regala Neagra
Labels: Selene, Calusari, La Putere, Lautarul, Dreambird, Dreamfish, Cocosul dintre Vii

Crama Dealul Dorului
Address: Buzias - Ferma 3
E-mail
Telephone: (+4) 0745 053.924
Website
Wines: Riesling, Merlot, Burgund

Crama Terra Natura
Address: Str. Viilor 1, Jamu Mare
Telephone: (+4) 0 733 677.066
Website
Wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Italian Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris
Labels: Terra Natura

Crama Daiconi
Address: Str. Principala 49, Minis
Telephone> (+4) 0722 247.976
Website
Wines> Mustoasa de Maderat, Cadarca, Burgund, Merlot, Pinot Noir
Labels: Daiconi Wine

Crama Elite
Address: Masca - Siria
Telephone: (+4) 0720 934 491
Website
Wines: Feteasca Regala, Mustoasa de Maderat, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon Rose, Pinot Noir, Merlot
Labels: Elite

Crama Balla Geza
Address: DJ 708B, Miniș
Telephone: (+4) 0744 520.645
Website
Wines: Feteasca Neagra, Burgund, Cadarca
Labels: BG, Wine Princess, Stonewine

...

» Wineries in Crișana Region

Podgoria Silvania
Address: Str. Partizanilor 45, Simleul-Silvaniei
Telephone: (+4) 0756 111.709
Website
Wines: Chardonnay, Feteasca Alba, Feteasca Regala, Muscat Ottonel, Pinot Noir, sparkling wines – white and rose
Labels: Silvania Premium

Crama Ratesti
Address: Str. Bucuresti 152, Ardud
Telephone: 0261 769.194
Website
Wines: Feteasca Ragala, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Feteasca Neagra, Merlot, Pinot Noir
Labels: Crama Ratesti

Crama Nachbil
Address: Str. Pietii 428, Beltiug
Telephone: (4) 0757 109.755
Website
Wines: Versil, Chardonnay Barrique, Gewurtztraminer, Syrah, Rhine Riesling
Labels: Capela, Nachbil

Familia Hetei Cellars
Address: Str. Principala 611, Beltiug
Telephone: (+4) 0744 939.699
Website
Wines: Chardonnay Barrique, Feteasca Neagra, Merlot, Moscato Giallo, Pinor Noir, Shiraz
Labels: Familia Hetei

Carastelec Vinca
Address: Str. Principala 604, Carastelec
Telephone: (+4) 0740 040.777
Website
Wines: Feteasca Regala, Pinot Noir, Rhein Riesling
Labels: Vinca and Friza

ESSENTIALS

Transportation to Banat & Crisana

By air

Major airports in Banat and Crisana Regions:
Arad (ARW)
Oradea (OMR)
Timisoara (TSR)

Airlines with service to cities in Banat or Crisana:
Austrian Airlines
Lufthansa
BlueAir
Tarom

Travel to Banat and Crisana by train or bus

There is frequent train and bus service from 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
Romania Domestic Transportation section

Information on international trains to/from Banat and Crisana are available at
RomaniaTourism International Transportation section

Road access

Border crossing points in the Crisana and Banat regions:
Bors, Nadlac, Valea lui Mihai, Varsand, Carei, Petea, Urziceni (travel from/ to Hungary)
Jimbolia, Naidas, Portile de Fier, Salonta, Stamora-Moravita, Turnu (travel from/ to Serbia)

Tourist Info

Timisoara Info
Centrul de Informare Turistica
Address: Str. Alba Iulia 2
Telephone: (+4) 0256 437.973
E-mail
Website
Open: Mon. – Fri. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Arad Tourist Information Centre
Biroul de Informare Turistica INFOTUR
Addres: Bd. Revolutiei 81
Telephone: (+4) 0728 116.412
E-mail
Website
Open: Mon. – Fri. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Visit Oradea - Tourist Information Centre
Centrul de Informare și Promovare a Turismului - Oradea
Addres: Cetatea Oradea, Corp A, Piața Emanuil Gojdu Nr. 39-41, Oradea
Telephone: (+4) 0359 800.202
E-mail
Website
Open: Mon. – Fri. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Bihor couty Tourist Information Centre
Centrul Național de Informare și Promovare Turistică Bihor
Addres: Strada Patriotilor 2, Oradea
Telephone: (+4) 0359 800.202
E-mail
Website
Open: Mon. – Sun. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Maps

Romania Historical Regions Map
Romania Tourist Attractions Mao