Travel Now to Lush Romanian Banat via Forgotten Stories

It’s never been easier to journey to the Romanian Banat than it is right now, via its forgotten stories whispered by the wind, carried by its streams, and shared by its welcoming people.

Choosing Romania and its Banat County as your holiday destination is the ideal choice if you’re in the mood for a hiking trail or just don’t know were to holiday next, but you dream to discover a whimsical place.

Why Travel to Lush Banat, in Romania?

As a traveler… enter into Banat through the fabled Iron Gates guarded by two imposing mountain peaks, Godeanu and Țarcu. Discover historical Banat nicknamed “the realm between rivers,” its borders defined by the mighty Mureş River, the sweet waters of Tisa, the meandering Cerna, and the ancient Danube. Here, in Banat, majestic landscapes emerge, each telling a story that captivates the soul—a sight to behold, one that will leave you breathless.

What Forgotten Stories Banat Hides, but you can Read them All in Dreamland?

As a reader… meet a young Dacian mother in “For Country and for Family, over Danube“. Will she escape the Roman invaders bursting across Danube? Maybe her tale was the source of the legend about “Fighting Giants in Almăj Country, Banat.” Once giants really lived here, in Strength Valley (Valea Tăriei), where the skeletons of two meters tall inhabitants were recently discovered.

As a traveler… know that Guguland, located in Banat, is the place where the legendary sanctuary of Dacian god Zamolxis is believed to have existed. The people native of Guguland, the Gugulans, still believe in immortality, just like the Dacian warriors did, two millennia ago, when they went into battle, fearless. Here, near historical Sarmizegetusa, in the villages of Zăvoi and Marga, were discovered the ruins of a palace (with underfloor heating) belonging to Emperor Trajan. The Emperor’s Bridge was also located here, as were old Roman roads spreading further into Dacia. At Marga there was a customs point, traces of gold mining dating back to Roman times, a well-established settlement and even altars dedicated to the Roman Gods Nemesis and Mars.

Trajan column.rog Scene 6 Dacian civilians

As a reader… if it is revenge for the Dacian mother that you wish for, you will find it as well as be amazed by “Glaring and Grabbing, the Draco Flag” and the myth of a war flag with a wolf’s head and a serpent body. The legend of the “Raging Danube Boilers” and of Almăjana Fairy will break your heart, but not as much as the heart-wrenching folktale of how “Mierla, the Common Blackbird of Banat” came to be. Nevertheless, have heart, the 100-words story of “Dandelion Hopes” says.

As a traveler… observe the local architecture where fences around houses are absent, by the model of the old Dacian homes. Know that the valleys and the meadows you will stroll through was where people once went for refuge, away from invaders. Know that the local folklore is rich, just the hills of Banat are lush.

As a reader… my favorite folktale from Banat, always making me wonder if it is witchcraft or not, is “Water Mills from Rudăria, Mountainous Banat“although the whimsical charm of the “Sacrificing the Ignat Pig” Christmas Romanian tradition will definitely stay with you.

Dacian Roman war Transylvania stories historical fiction
Dacian Roman war Transylvania stories historical fiction

As a traveler… you don’t have to believe in witchcraft. But know that here, in Banat, the tall, wild grass is treacherous and it will slash your skin, like a spell, if you try to touch it. But fear not the locals collecting birch sap, for there’s no sorcery in its magical properties such as detoxing the body.

If you happen to be lucky enough to climb the hill known as the Turk’s Lip, Buza Turcului, where the ruins of Cuieşti Fortress are, then learning about a genial defense against a Janissary attack when all hope seemed lost, in “Grind and Grime of a Janissary,” will make you day… as a reader.

As a traveler… try to visit Teiuș Assumption Monastery, the jewel of the Christian Banat. This is an important place for Orthodox worshipers of Banat (no wonder it looks like a fortress) especially after the rapid expansion of the Catholic faith during the Hungarian ruling between the 11th-16th centuries. The first oral legend proving the existence of Orthodoxism here mentions the Green Cross by the Monk’s Spring. The spring still flows gently downhill in Teiuș Park.

As a reader… maybe, just maybe, you will climb into the church tower and know that you’ve reached “Zeitgeist of Monastic Life“and be glad you read about it first. Then, “Gazing at the Stars” you might wonder if the souls that once inhabited “Lindenfeld a Deserted Village in Severin, Banat” look down on its deserted paths and cracked church tower and weep.

As a traveler… know that Lindenfeld village in Caras-Severin, on Semenic Mountain of Banat
County was colonized by Pemi settlers who arrived from Bohemia and Bavaria during the 18th century. Life blossomed. Soon, prosperous villages such as Wolfswiese (Poiana), Wolfsberg (Gărâna), Weidenthal (Brebu Nou), and Lindenfeld appeared. During the 1980s, when most Germans who lived in Romania returned to Germany under the harsh Communist regime and its restrictions, this village was deserted. It still stands.

Lindenfeld, a deserted Pemi village in Banat. Haunting stories of a troubled history. Read more in Dreamland by Patricia Furstenberg
Lindenfeld, a deserted Pemi village in Banat. Haunting stories of a troubled history

Life is meant to be enjoyed by the reader who lives a thousand extra lives through books, dipping his / her toe in “An Emigrant’s Dreams, Timisoara“, “When Life Had Other Plans.”

No matter what, the “Jottings on a Tree” are everlasting historical letters as are the “Echoes of a Battle, the Getae” and your chance to read all about them, and so much more, is in Dreamland, Banat, Crisana, Maramures, Transylvania, 100-WORD STORIES, Folklore and History AND in Transylvania’s History A to Z.

Romanian Banat, inhabited since Neolithic era, governs the counties of Caraș-Severin, Timiș, and Arad in a magical realm of dream-like mountains, lush valleys and thick forests. 65,000 hectares of virgin and secular beech forests were included in 2016 by UNESCO World Heritage in its records as “Virgin beech forests in the Carpathians and Germany.”

Here, in the heart of Caraș-Severin, history is woven by a tapestry of 15 ethnic minorities: Romanians, Hungarians, Germans, Croats, Serbs, Czechs, Slovaks, Jews, Turks, Bulgarians, Ukrainians, Russian Lipovans, Italians, Roma and Poles.

Here you will journey along the Roman road leading from Lederata to Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa. You will traverse the picturesque Bistra Valley nestled to the north of Banat. Along its winding path remnants of a bygone era emerged, with flint artifacts dating back to the Upper Paleolithic discovered on its outskirts. Gold was extracted here for many centuries, from before the Roman occupation of Dacia and until the 11th century, at least. Uranium was extracted too…

Lands shaped by both man’s hand and nature’s indomitable force exist in the realm of dreams, in Banat, where history intertwines with echoes of bygone eras. Majestic landscapes emerge, each telling a story that captivates the soul—a sight to behold, leaving one breathless in its wake. Such wonders, in western Romania, invite visitors to unravel their mysteries and embrace the timeless allure of the past.

Charming traditions from Banat that mark the passing of time

On the Feast of Sântămărie Mare on August 15, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, there’s a charming tradition at Teiuș Monastery. It’s a sight to behold as the elders gracefully swap their summer hats for furry, winter ones, symbolizing the transition from summer to autumn. And as they do so, they utter the timeless saying: “Sântămărie has come, you leave your hat!” (O trecut Sântămărie, leapadă și pălărie!”). It’s moments like these that truly capture the essence of tradition and the changing seasons.

Water Mill Rudaria, folklore,spells, tradition in Banat
Water Mill Rudaria, folklore,spells, tradition in Banat

Do you know how to calm a barking stray dog?

Yes, Romania has roaming canines, although a lot less not. So how can you calm them down if they cut your path with their vicious bark? They are not necessary aggressive.

Speak kindly to them and whistle lightly. It will calm their barking – most of the time.

How can you Prevent meeting a Bear during your Hike?

To try your best not to bump into a bear during a mountain hike or a forest stroll make noise as you walk quickly. A little noise goes a long way. Sing and chat happily but keep that spring in your step.

Dreamland by Patricia Furstenberg, legends and folklore of Romania
Dreamland by Patricia Furstenberg, legends and folklore of Romania

Such wonderful, forgotten like the ones from Banat await none but you to unravel their mysteries and enjoy the timeless allure of the past. Start today by reading Dreamland.

14 Replies to “Travel Now to Lush Romanian Banat via Forgotten Stories”

    1. I am glad you think so, Manuel. Traveling can be a rewarding experience especially if one is fully engaged in the moment. I love to know a bit about the history of a place I visit. Banat has lush and wild expanses of land that are safe to explore and are still crowd-free.

      1. I see that it is a wonderful experience. I’m glad that’s the way it is for you. There is nothing better than doing what we like the most. Greetings Patricia. I love what you write.

  1. I have for quite a while been fascinated by Romania, a long while ago it
    had the country designator DA because it , was formerly Dalmatia, something unusual to us in the community, had I been somewhat younger I would love to tour as the restrictions are now lifted, the curtains being raised of course and long may it remain so.

    1. Hi, Bobby, so glad you visit again. No need.for a passport on WordPress 🙂
      Yes, we are very happy that restrictions have lifted and, as Romanaians, we can visit any place in the EU without even the need to show our passports.
      I think that DA, Dalmatia, was part of beautiful Croatia. Croatia is on my husband’s wish list as well, is where they filmed “Game of Thrones”. Romanian’s country designator is RO. Both countries are in Eastern Europe and were part of the Communist Bloc, yet to drive from one to the other it can take as long as 24 hrs.
      I hope that, at least immaginary, you will get to visit.

  2. This is a fascinating introduction to Banat. I’ve been to Transylvania and Walachia but not to Banat. I certainly would like to visit. As you know I loved your book Dreamland.

    1. Thank you so much, Thomas.
      Transylvania would have prepared you for Banat. Add more trees, hills, less hustle and bustle (I am not sneaking here of Banat’s main cities, like Timişoara in the SW or Arad in W). Oh, and add a more musical accent in the way the people speak Romanian, no rush, but with lots of love. You will find plenty of Hungarian speakers here.
      I used to holiday to Arad in my teens, stay with relatives. The people are friendly, caring, and they use regionalisms you better learn if you want to know what kind of food they speak of. 🙂 Speaking of, food it’s hearty and mouthwatering.

  3. Really good post, Patricia. I love the way you structured the post with the two sequences, as a reader and as a traveller. Banat sounds like a very nice and interesting place to visit.

    1. I love that you took note of that. I wanted to blend the stories with the local landmarks in a way that is exciting and appealing.
      Banat is one of a kind.
      But I believe that each place on earth has the same potential if we allow ourselves to lisen to its history and search for those landmarks that might have survived.

      1. You are absolutely right Patricia, it’s a question of exploring, doing some research and having an open mind.

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