The BANAT AURORA touristic area is the “pearl” of Banat tourism, of incomparable beauty, so that the tourist, who has discovered it, is seized by the desire to permanently “rediscover” it.
The two towns in the area, Anina and Oraviţa, are linked by the most spectacular mountain railway in south-eastern Europe, known as the “Banat Semering“, and that is why their history can only be described by using the superlative ” the most “.
The town of Anina is the town whose name, read either forward or backwards, sounds the same. Anina was the “mining centre” with the best “black stone” coal and the deepest mine in Banat (1240m) and the second in Europe. At Anina-Steierdorf, in the interwar period, existed the Banat Aurora or Sommerfrische climatic resort, as it was named on the year of its establishment (1893) until 1930; the resort was known all over Europe for the best cure with clean air and ozone. That is the premise for which we will present this tourist area with the same name, place where you can find the touristic “jewels” of Mountainous Banat.
The town of Oraviţa is the “proud” cultural centre of the Caraș inhabitants through the priorities they mantain in Romania: the first theatre (1817), the first railway station (1849), the first plain railway track (1854) and mountain railway track (1863), the first naturist pharmacy (1793), the first “Mountaineering School” (1729) and the first exhibition of industry and commerce (1869).
The Anina – Oraviţa – Bozovici triangle hosts the most picturesque and unique places in Banat. In 2002, in the cave named “The Bones Cave” they found the oldest remains of the modern European man (who lived 40 000 years ago), known as “Ion and Vasile from Anina”.
At the same time, between Oravita and Anina, on the bituminous shale industrial site from Crivina one discovered the frozen world of small-sized dinosaurs that had lived here. It is the only place of this kind in Europe where you can see the image of arboreal fern forest from Jurassic. Also in this area, there is the Almăj Country, which impresses the visitor by its calm beauty and an interesting and fascinating cultural mosaic.
DN 58: Caransebes – Resita – Anina (crossroad) DN 57B: Anina (crossroad) – Oraviţa
DJ 581: Resita – Grădinari DN 57: Grădinari – Oraviţa – Anina (crossroad)
E70: Timişoara – Caransebeş – Iablaniţa DN 57B: Iablaniţa-Bozovici-Anina-Oraviţa
In this area, you can visit 10 touristic sights of Romanian beauties and priorities :
1. The first mountain railway in Romania, Oraviţa-Anina (1863), with a length of 33.4 km and a difference of 338 m, called “Banat Semering”, consists of 14 tunnels carved in the hard rock of limestone and 10 viaducts across the deep valleys;
2. The first plain railway from Romania, Oraviţa – Iam – via Serbia – Baziaş (1854-62,5 km), also called “The Coal Path”, with the first railway station in Romania, built in 1849 at Oraviţa;
3. Mihai Eminescu Old Theatre in Oraviţa, built in 1817, being the first theatre in Romania and in Eastern Europe. It is a faithful copy of Vienna’s “Burgtheater”, having a special architecture in the Viennese Baroque style;
4. The water mills from Rudaria (today called Eftimie Murgu) with the 22 mills in function on the Rudăria Gorges;
5. The first pit at Anina, the entrance for the deepest mine (1240 m);
6. Parallel 45 with the Bigar spring, the cave and the Bigar waterfall, respectively the Bones Cave with the oldest remains of the modern European man who lived here 40,000 years ago;
7. Anina Mountains, with Buhui and Marghitaş artificial lakes, situated near Anina and Steierdorf, along the Buhui River. Midway between the lakes there is the Buhui Cave, with a length of 3.1 km, through which passes the longest underground river in Romania, the Buhui water;
8. The Nera-Beusnita Gorge National Park, here you can see the Nera Gorge (22 km), unique in Romania regarding its beauty and magnificence. The tourist route from Şopotul Nou to Sasca Montană is a fantastic one where you can see the natural lakes Bei Eye and Devil’s Lake and Beusnita Waterfalls;
9. The Almăj Country with its inherited traditions, customs and folk costumes from Banat;
10. The Orthodox Monastery at Ciclova Montana, the Roman Catholic Monastery “Saint Mary” at Ciclova Romana, The “Slatina-Nera” Monastery in Sasca Montana and The “Almaj-Putna” Monastery at Putna – Prigor