Somewhere deep in the heart of Romania, in the area called Banat, you can find a house – a Czech village, where the traditions lost in the motherland have been preserved long ago. Hidden in deep valleys and surrounded by thick forests, these villages are relics of the past, where the old Czech language mixes with the local Romanian, and people live according to old customs.
Banat is a forgotten part of the Czech Republic
Banat, a region in southeastern Europe that stretches across present-day Romania, Serbia, and Hungary, was home to a unique community of Czech immigrants. The community settled here in the 19th and early 20th centuries, retaining many of the customs and traditions of their original home.
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The largest of these villages, Kernik, is located a few kilometers from the town of Nova Moldava. The Czech community here is strong and you can tell people support each other. The local church is the center of events, where religious services led by a Czech priest are regularly held. It is like the heart of the village and an important part of the community.
If you belong to the older generation, you may remember the years when we lived like this too
An oasis of traditional life
The people here live a very traditional lifestyle – they grow their own food, raise animals, bake their own bread, make their own butter, sausage and salami. As you walk through the village, you feel like you are in a storybook, the cows coming straight from the pasture back to the village square where the locals are waiting for them. It’s a magical return to the past. Such is the view of a foreigner. Life is not easy for the locals. Banat is the poorest region of Romania. Energy, gas, petrol and other living costs are very expensive here, health care is lagging behind and of very poor quality. However, what helps and pays for the area is tourism.
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Resurrection of the Old World
Nowadays, Banat is becoming a popular destination for Czechs who yearn for a simpler life far from the modern world. Many of them fall in love with this place so much that they buy a house here and spend most of their time here.
One of them is Lubos, a former programmer who left his fast-paced life in the city to become Banat’s newest citizen. When he first entered the blue cottage “U Filipa” hidden between green hills and fields full of wild flowers, he felt that he had found his true home.
A life without modern conveniences
However, life here is not for everyone. Without the modern conveniences we take for granted, life here is difficult. But those who decide to stay here say it’s worth it. If you are looking for a quiet place where you can enjoy Czech traditions, Banat in Romania is perfect. Visit these picturesque villages where you can hear the old Czech language and live old age with the locals.