Love the smell of hay, the singing of crickets and the Balkan sun? Then take a holiday to the lovely Czech villages in Romanian Banat.
Six villages from the original Czech settlement have survived to this day in Romanian Banat. Each of the villages is unique and has its very own customs, national dress and dialect. Their diversity is a tourist attraction in itself. They are like six unique colored beads that, when strung together, form one beautiful Carpathian necklace.
Magyarly, a timber entrepreneur from Oravica, was responsible for the first wave of Czech colonists when he convinced several dozen Czech families to relocate to the area. In 1823, these settlers founded the first Czech village, Svatá Alžběta (Elisabethfeld), which later disappeared due to a lack of water. The second Czech village, Svatá Helena, was likely founded between the years 1824 and 1825. Both villages are said to have been named after Magyarly's daughters. Magyarly, however, was not able to fulfill his promise and provide military protection to the setters, meaning that they needed to ask for help from the Military Board Guards’ Union.
The second major Czech resettlement, however, took place between the years of 1827 and 1828 and was instigated by the military, who had cleverly already secured border guard protection for the previously uninhabited territory.
In the summer of 1828, two Czech explorers named Martin Mareš and Michal Glazer set out on an arduous pilgrimage south from Bohemia to Romanian Banat. When they returned, they told their countryfolk about how they had been welcomed there with open arms and that the countryside was beautiful and very fertile. It was a great place to grow wheat, fruit, and grapes for wine.
Read an excerpt from their chronicles