The Banat- melting pot of cultures
Geography and History
The Banat region is situated in the west of Romania, at the border triangle with Serbia and Hungary. In early times it was inhabited and cultivated by Romans and Dacians and it can refer to a long and eventful history. In the 5th and6th century it was populated by Slavic tribes, later on it was conquered and governed by Hungarians, Turks and Serbs throughout the centuries. After the expulsion of the Turks it became part of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1718. When the 1st world war was over, the Austrian- Hungarian monarchy was abandoned and in 1918 the Banat region was divided. The smallest part (about 1 %) became Hungarian, about one third became part of Serbia and the biggest part was left to Romanian territory. But not only was the district divided into three parts by this separation- the cultural variety suffered and the union which had been established among the specific ethnic groups despite the differences in speech, religion and culture was destroyed.