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For another use, see Ban (title)
Image:Banat location.png
Location of Banat in Europe
Map of the Banat region with largest cities shown

The Banat (Romanian: Banat, Serbian: Банат or Banat, Hungarian: Bánát or Bánság, German: Banat, Slovak: Banát, Banat Bulgarian: Banát) is a geographical and historical region of Central Europe currently divided between three countries: the eastern part lies in Romania (the counties of Timiş, Caraş-Severin, Arad, and Mehedinţi), the western part in Serbia (the Serbian Banat, mostly included in the Vojvodina region, except for a small part included in Central Serbia), and a small northern part in Hungary (Csongrád county).

The Banat is a part of the Pannonian plain bordered by the River Danube to the south, the River Tisza (Theiss, Tissa, Tisa) to the west, the River Mureş to the north, and the Southern Carpathian mountains to the east. Its historical capital was Timişoara (Hungarian: Temesvár, Serbian: Temišvar), now in Timiş county in Romania.


[edit] Name

The term Banat designated a frontier province governed by a ban. The -at suffix is Latinate (from Romanian, cf. Voievod/Voievodat and Cneaz/Cnezat or from Medieval Latin -atus).

There were several banats in the medieval Kingdom of Hungary, such as the banats of Dalmatia, of Slavonia, of Bosnia and of Croatia; these disappeared during the course of the Turkish Wars. But when the word is used without any other qualification, it indicates the Timişoara Banat, which strangely acquired this title after the Treaty of Passarowitz (1718), though it was never governed by a ban.

[edit] Geography

[edit] Romanian Banat

Map of Romania with Romanian Banat highlighted

In 1938, the counties of Timiş-Torontal, Caraş, Severin, Arad, and Hunedoara were joined to form Ţinutul Timiş, which encompassed the Romanian Banat.

On 6 September 1950, the province was replaced by the Timişoara Region (formed by the present-day counties of Timiş and Caraş-Severin).

In 1956, the southern half of the existing Arad Region was incorporated to the Timişoara Region.

In December 1960, the Timişoara Region was named the Banat Region.

On 17 February 1968, a new territorial division was made and today's Timiş, Caraş-Severin and Arad counties were formed.

Since 1998, Romania has been split into eight development regions, which act as a form of territorial autonomy divisions. The Vest development region is composed of four counties: Arad, Timiş, Hunedoara, and Caraş-Severin; thus it has almost same borders as the Timiş Province of 1929. The Vest development region is also a part of the Danube-Kris-Mures-Tisa Euroregion.

The Romanian Banat is mountainous in the south and southeast, while in the north, west and south-west it is flat and in some places marshy. The climate, except in the marshy parts, is generally healthy. Wheat, barley, oats, rye, maize, flax, hemp and tobacco are grown in large quantities, and the products of the vineyards are of a good quality. Game is plentiful and the rivers swarm with fish. The mineral wealth is great, including copper, tin, lead, zinc, iron and especially coal. Amongst its numerous mineral springs, the most important are those of Mehadia, with sulphurous waters, which were already known in the Roman period as the Termae Herculis (Băile Herculane). The present "Banat Region" of Romania includes some areas that are mountainous and were not part of the historical Banat or of the Pannonian plain.

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