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Facts about Banat & Crisana

The name of the region of Crisana comes from its three main rivers: Crisul Alb, Crisul Negru and Crisul Repede. The name Banat comes from the word Ban or Bannum, a territory with a military and administrative function.
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 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.

Places to explore

The Secession architectural style - an important link between the Byzantine style and the later modernist architecture - in Arad, Oradea and Timisoara

Zarandului Land (Tara Zarandului) with its main folk centers: Barsa, Barzava, Burchis-Capalnas and Buteni

The ancient spas of Hercules at Baile Herculane

The Bears' Cave (Pestera Ursilor) near the village of Chiscau, a cave of rare beauty, hosting a vast range of stalagmites and stalactites as well as fossil traces of the cave bear species extinct 15,000 years ago

The Wind Cave, the longest cave in Romania (more than 24 miles)

The Iron Gates of the Danube (Portile de Fier), the narrow Danube gorge between the Carpathian & Balkan Mountains

The Nera Gorges (35 km from Oravita)

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 Mountain Areas ( 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 & Parks

Semenic-Cheile Carasului National Park – wildest cave system in Romania
Nerei Gorges -Beusnita National Park - wild gorges and unspoiled natural habitats
Iron Gates Nature Park – Danube river gorges, including the narrowest on its path
Domogled Valea Cernei National Park – over 100 caves, impressive gorges and rare wildlife
Retezat National Park – 80 glacial lakes, including the largest (Bucura, 21 acres) and deepest (Zanoaga, 95 feet) in Romania

Activities

Biking, Camping, Caving, Fishing, Hiking, Nature walks, Skiing, Wildlife and bird watching

Food & Wine

Gastronomy

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.

Vineyards

The first records of viticulture in the Banat and Transylvania regions 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 inter-connected cellars were discovered; they were once used for production of sparkling wine and for storage and aging of still wines.

Minis Maderat Vineyard

The vineyards of Arad stretch on the hills bordering the western part of the Zarand Mountains, between Lipova and Pancota. Star of the region is the vineyard of Minis. In 1862, at a wine competition in London, "Rosu de Minis" has won the Best of all Wines Award. For more than one century the wines of Minis have been exported to several countries in Europe as well as to the United States of America.

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.

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.

Recas Vineyard

Nearby Timisoara, lies the vineyard of Recas, with a history dating back to the 15th century. Some of the award-winning wines produced here include Italian Riesling, Feteasca Regala, Muscat Ottonel/Feteasca Regala, Sauvignon Blanc (white wines); Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir/Merlot (red wines).

Winetasting / Wineries in Banat and Crisana

» Banat

Podgoria Tirol - Senator Wine
AddressDoclin (Caras Severin county)
Nearest CityTimisoara, Drobeta Turnu Severin.
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailoffice@senatorwine.ro
Telephone0237 237.800
Website www.senatorwine.ro
WinesFeteasca Regala, Feteasca Alba, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling Italian, Muscat Ottonel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cadarca, Majarca, Burgund Mare.
LabelsMonser, Varius, Senator, Omnia, Suav, Glia.
Crama Petro Vaselo
AddressPetrovaselo (Timis county), Str. Principala 231
Nearest CityTimisoara, Arad
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailsales@petrovaselo.com
Telephone0728 135.058
Websitewww.petrovaselo.com
WinesChardonnay.
LabelsPetro Vaselo.
Cramele Recas
AddressRecas (Timis county) DJ609E to Stanciova, Complex de Vinificatie CP1
Nearest CityTimisoara, Arad
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailoffice@recaswine.ro
Telephone0744 366.146
Websitewww.recaswine.ro
WinesSauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah, Feteasca Neagra, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Feteasca Regala, Merlot, Feteasca Regala Neagra.
LabelsSelene, Calusari, La Putere, Lautarul, Dreambird, Dreamfish, Cocosul dintre Vii.
Crama Dealul Dorului
AddressBuzias (Timis county), Ferma 3
Nearest CityTimisoara, Arad
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailvanzari@dealuldorului.ro
Telephone0744 617.981
Websitewww.dealuldorului.ro
WinesRiesling, Merlot, Burgund.
Labels
Crama Terra Natura
AddressJamu Mare (Timis county), Str. Viilor 1
Nearest CityTimisoara, Arad
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailoffice@terranatura.ro
Telephone0356 176 644
Websitewww.terranatura.ro
WinesSauvignon Blanc, Italian Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris.
LabelsTerra Natura.

» Crisana

Crama Daiconi
AddressMinis (Arad county), Str. Principala 49
Nearest CityTimisoara, Arad
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailoffice@daiconi.ro, robertocerantola@gmail.com
Telephone0722 247.976
Websitewww.daiconi.ro
WinesMustoasa de Maderat, Cadarca, Burgund, Merlot,
Pinot Noir.
LabelsDaiconi Wine.
Crama Elite
AddressMasca - Siria (Arad county)
Nearest CityArad, Timisoara
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailoffice@elitewine.ro
Telephone0720 934 491
Websitewww.elitewine.ro
WinesFeteasca Regala, Mustoasa de Maderat, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon Rose, Pinot Noir, Merlot.
LabelsElite.
Crama Wine Princess
AddressPaulis (Arad county), Str. Principala 583
Nearest CityArad, Timisoara
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailoffice@wineprincess.ro
Telephone0744 702.892
Websitewww.wineprincess.ro
WinesFeteasca Neagra, Cadarca, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Burgund, Merlot.
LabelsWine Princess, Stonewine.
Pivnitele Paven
AddressMasca - Siria (Arad county), Str. Principala 321 A
Nearest CityArad, Timisoara
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailpaven_dia@yahoo.com
Telephone0745 615.606
Podgoria Silvania
AddressSimleul-Silvaniei (Salaj county), Str. Partizanilor 45
Nearest CityOradea, Satu Mare
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailoffice@podgoriasilvania.ro
Telephone0756 111.709
Websitewww.podgoriasilvania.ro
Winessparkling wines – whise and rose.
LabelsSilvania Premium.
Crama Vinca
Address(Salaj county), Str. Principala 604
Nearest CityOradea, Satu Mare
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailinfo@vincawines.com
Telephone0766 452.136
Websitewww.vincawines.com
WinesFeteasca Regala, Pinot Noir.
LabelsVinca.
Crama Dobra
AddressDobra (Satu Mare county),
Nearest CitySatu Mare, Baia Mare
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
Telephone0744 697.539
WinesMuscat Ottonel.
LabelsDobra Wine.
Crama Familia Hetei
AddressBeltiug (Satu Mare county), Str. Principala 611
Nearest CitySatu Mare, Baia Mare
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailfamilia@hetei.ro
Telephone0261 870 090
Websitewww.hetei.ro
WinesTamaioasa Romaneasca, Chardonnay Barrique, Feteasca Neagra, Feteasca Regala.
LabelsFamilia Hetei.
Crama Nachbil
AddressBeltiug (Satu Mare county), Str. Pietii 428
Nearest CitySatu Mare, Baia Mare
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailoffice@nachbil.com
Telephone0757 109.755
Websitewww.nachbil.ro
WinesVersil, Chardonnay Barrique, Gewurtztraminer, Syrah, Rhine Riesling.
LabelsNachbil.
Crama Ratesti
AddressArdud (Satu Mare county), Str. Bucuresti 152
Nearest CitySatu Mare, Oradea
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailoffice@cramaratesti.ro
Telephone0261 769.194
Websitewww.cramaratesti.ro/english
WinesFeteasca Ragala, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Feteasca Neagra, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, .
LabelsCrama Ratesti.

ESSENTIALS

Transportation to Banat & Crisana

By air

Major airports located in:
Arad
(ARW) - www.aeroportularad.ro
Oradea (OMR) - www.aeroportoradea.ro
Timisoara (TSR) - www.aerotim.ro

Airlines with service to the region:
Austrian Airlines - www.austrian.com
Lufthansa - www.lufthansa.com
BlueAir - www.blueairweb.com
Tarom - www.tarom.ro

Travel to Banat and Crisana by train or bus

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:
www.romaniatourism.com/transportation.html#bytrain

Road access

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

Tourist Info

Timisoara Tourist Information Centre
(Centrul de Informare Turistica)
Address: Str. Alba Iulia 2
Telephone: (256) 437.973
Email: infoturism@primariatm.ro
Web: www.timisoara-info.ro/en.html
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
Email: turism@primariaarad.ro
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
Email: cetate@rdsor.ro
Open: Mon. – Fri. 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Closed Sat. & Sun.

Maps

- Regions Map - Historical-Regions-Map.html
- Romania - Detail Map - Romania-Detail-Map.html