Teius. The charm and the attraction of Caransebes, placed at the confluence of the Sebes and the Timis rivers, has the name of Teius, probably because of the lime trees (in Romanian “tei” means lime tree), which were abundant on the hills of this area. The confirmation of this affirmation is also given to us by the German colony in the foothills of Mountain Nemanu, with the name of Lindenfeld (Lime tree field). Teius always was a place of recreation for the inhabitants of Caransebes. The first documentary attestation dates from the year 1574. It is an area with a mild climate, unaffected by the winds of the Timis – Cerna passage, which tempted the people for ages to spend their free time on these plains. From the first decades of the 19th century, buildings with mixed character, with small peasant farms and rest houses were built here. From around 1900, between the peasant farms, there appeared a series of houses whose only purpose was that of pleasure. There were many advantages, an ionized air with smell of lime tree, acacia or fir, fountains with crystalline water, fruits, forest fruits, milk and many other alimentary products, which assured a pleasant living in the area. We can also mention the fact that the vegetation facilitated, and facilitates even today, the growing of bees. The milk products and the honey beeches were the pleasures of the tourists who came here. The avalanche of the villa construction, summer residences, contained the 1920-1933 period, when the Pasare villa, the Meda villa, the Mümler restaurant, the Popov villa-restaurant, the Biberia-Bordan villa (Biberia was the president of the Aulic Chancellery of Budapesta, and Bordan was a mayor of Caransebes) – today the Tatucu villa, the villa of the patriarch Miron Cristea, the Bastius villa and others, were built. After 1930, truly modern villas with comfort and the restaurants Forgaci and Friedman appeared in Teius. In 1935, Teius is declared a climatic resort, and the small station became a railway station, where even the fast trains stopped. Teius also had at that date a swimming place with booths, a beach with boats to rent, two tennis playgrounds and a small playground for children. In winter two lakes for skating were arranged, a descending track for ski, a slalom terrain, two tracks for sledges and a track for bobsleigh - which began from Corcana (489 m) and descended on a road of about two km to the Popov villa (200 m). Here, tourists from Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and even Austria and Germany, came for recreation. Teius had a park from the Halt until the Popov villa with resting benches and a spring with greatly demand water. On the place where the amphitheatre is today, the brass band of the three military companies from the town, every evening and on Sundays also in the morning, played. From 1940 the decline of Teius began, and after the year 1948, the villas and the houses were confiscated and transformed in worker houses. After the 1989 Revolution, in the area there began special investments. A hydrotechnics work of ample size, with dams and protection walls, financed by the European Union, makes the area near the Timis River and the nearby houses flood-proof. The Teius amphitheatre was repaired and complemented by a beautiful covering over the stage, becoming the “cultural centre” of the “Ruga de Sfantul Gheorghe”. The Swimming Place of the town was rearranged and became the place, where the manifestations of national echo “ The Summer Feasts “ are organized, which attract thousands of young people. In the area, which is located from the Timis bridge until the iron train bridge, called Zavoi or Sporn (German word which means peninsula), through a Romanian-American project the “Cotitura” area was rearranged, on the place of the former “Pescarus” a playground and a modern complex symbolically called “Phoenix” was built. Near the famous garden “Ograda gugulanului”, after some sculpture-camps, animated by the renowned artist Bata Marianov, some wood sculptures were made. Also here, in 2004, at the time of the Epiphany, a beautiful marble cross was unveiled.
Muntele Mic. At about 22 km, to the East of Caransebes, lies the scenic road DJ 608A, which crosses through the villages Zervesti, Turnu-Ruieni and Borlova, arrives at the Cableway station from Valea Craiului (773 m altitude), from where a cableway with a length of 3492 m (the longest in the country) and a difference of level of about 799 m, makes possible a rapid climbing to Muntele Mic. From here, the access can also be made on a paved road of about 13 km length. We must mention, that on the way, we can see the storage lake and the narcissus plains of Zervesti (where annually, in May, a beautiful field celebration takes place), the ruins of the Ruieni Tower, the Tower of Ovid, which, in the Dark Age, was a defence fortification and in the same time, a surveillance point. Stoica of Hateg believed that in the past, on his way to exile, the unhappy Latin poet Ovidiu crossed here and, charmed by the beauty of these places said “Cara mihi sedes” (my beloved home), from where the name of Caransebes came. The Tarcu Mountains, of which Muntele Mic is a subdivision, occupy the north-west region of the Meridional Carpathians. The limits of the Tarcu Mountains are the Timis and Bistra valleys, the valley of the Raul Rece (Hideg) and the Ses River, continued by the Raul Mare River. The existent relief in this area is generally speaking mountainous, but rises slowly from plains to high peaks. The light gibbous peak of the Muntele Mic Massif, which reaches the height of 1806 m, makes the ascending on this mountain very easy. For the amateurs of alpine landscapes, the Tarcu massive and the route to the Tarcu Peak (2190 m) offer splendid and panoramically scenery, hard to forget by any hiker. In the glacial valleys, through the retreat of the glaciers, we can see many times glacial lakes, which complete the picturesque landscape of these places. The Muntele Mic resort is at a height of 1525 m and from here, in four hours, we can get to the Caleanu or Tarcu peaks (where an important meteorological station exists). In about three hours you can get to Cuntu (here is a meteorological station too) and in four hours you can get to the Poiana Marului resort, which is at an altitude of 680 m. An important role of these stations is the altitude, the fresh air with Mediterranean climatically influences, the flora and the fauna, the cold springs and the beautiful sights. Through its position and altitude, the Tarcu mountains, and especially Muntele Mic, fulfil a role of barrage in the path of the circulation of the air masses which enter from the north and the north-east (cold air masses which bring precipitations – especially snow, in winter), and also from the south-east (dry and warm air masses). In tourism, generally speaking, the weather has a great importance. It can attract or drive away potential tourists. From this point of view the Muntele Mic area is privileged, being one of the areas in the country where the snow is kept even 6 months in a year. The massive precipitations, which come from the north-east, and also the low temperatures in the winter time, make winter sports possible, from November until May. The height of the snow layer is in winter about 100 cm. The preservation for a long time of a constant snow cover makes the resort ideal for winter sports. The ski tracks have slopes with different degrees of difficulty for the beginners and also for the advanced skiers. The most numerous animal species are linked to the forest. The bear, the wolf, the roe, the wild boar, the squirrel, the capercailzie, the chamois live here (the Tarcu Massif area). The most attractive species are those that can be hunted, which are rich in this area. The hunting amateurs from the country and from outside it are interested in this area, but a material base sufficiently developed for the organization of hunting does not exist. The flowing waters and the glacial and artificial lakes represent an attraction for this area. In the quick fast rivers, the local trout prevails. The newly built lakes, at the same time with the Bistra - Poiana Maru hydroelectrically arrangement, constitute an alternative for the tourists who want to fish or for those who want to practice water-sports. The official beginning of the tourism in the Muntele Mic area dates from the year 1936. In the manuscript edited by “the Association of the Office Workers of the Town of Timisoara – Muntele Mic” (AMIC), the motto of the Muntele Mic resort was “the highest resort of recreation and winter-sports in Banat”. The manuscript was edited at the same time with the opening, on the12th of July 1936, of the constructions on Muntele Mic, executed under the patronage of the town of Timisoara. The proximity of this area to the urban centres in Banat, and the altitude, awakened the interest for tourism, ski and recreation in the alpine area. The actions undertaken by the office workers from Timisoara and the members of the “Clubul Turistic Banatean” from Caransebes put the bases of the mountain resort, which had as main profile winter sports on Muntele Mic and of the climatic resort Poiana Marului. In that time according to the manuscript edited by that association, on the mountain the following “shelter houses” existed: - the castle of the 11th Battalion of Mountain Hunters, built in 1930, from the initiative of general Savu and colonel Ion Dumitrache, which had rooms for about 100 guests; - The Rotary chalet, built in 1933, by the Prochaska family and the Rotary Club from Timisoara, having 35 places; - The “Cuibul nostru” house belonging to the Fortune Community of Caransebes, with 10 beds; - The “Bradisor” chalet, which exists even today, with 20 places; - the recreational house “Bela Vista”, with 50 places, today inexistent, but at that time the most modern hosting place. The comfort of the tourists was affected by the lack of electric energy, which was averted through the construction of the Electrical Plant Muntele Mic. Designed by the Electrical Plant Timisoara and executed by the workshops of the Timisoara Trams, the plant had a power of 15 KW, which assured the necessary electricity to the resort. We must mention that this plant was the first constructed on a single wire, after the conception of the university teacher from Timisoara Corneliu Miklosi. Another aspect, which shows the development of the resort at that time, is the construction of a private phone line through a cable of 4913 m length; the phone put into service on 11th of October 1935, and in 1937 a direct phone call was made with London. The transport to the station was made through the horses hired from the Borlova village. The route Borlova - Fantana Voinei - Complex Muntele Mic was accessible. Besides the hosting capacities and the infrastructure constructions, the Saint Eli (Ilie) small convent and the Cross on the Cleantul Gainii were built in this period. The church was built in the Maramures style, from fir wood, being covered with shingle. It is the property of the Bishopric of Caransebes. In July 1936, the Monument of the Heroes from Banat, who fought for the unity of the country, is opened, the Cross on Muntele Mic. The cross was made of 8 stems of fir, offered for free by the Fortune Community of Caransebes, chosen from the nearby forest, which were pulled to the mounting place with the help of 10 pairs of horses. These stems formed the main body of the cross, which was 25 m high. It was fixed through anchoring them to the ground, on a metallic platform, embedded in the rock, at a height of 1670 m. On the cross, 4 powerful spotlights and a siren were mounted; these were supplied with electricity from the small hydro-electric plant. When the sky was clear, the cross was visible at night from certain points in Timisoara, but especially from the dome under the cross of the Cathedral. After the Second World War, the investments in the tourism of this area began in 1962 through the building of the first ski-lift, which was the first cable transport in the area. It had a length of about 600 m, with at level difference of 83 m and two tracks, one on the left side, for the advanced skiers, and one on the right side of about 1.7 km on the “Valea Soarelui” (Sun Valley), on the south-eastern part of Muntele Mic (now, through a PHARE project, the track was enlarged with 400 m, and the installation was completely remade and modernized). In 1973 the road from the Craiu Valley until up, in the resort, was build, designed by a team led by eng. Mihai Stanescu. In 1976, the longest funicular (chairlift) in the country was put in operation. This made the access to the resort easier and contributed to the growth of the number of tourists. The golden age of tourism on Muntele Mic were the 80’s, through the using in a tourist purpose of the Sebes, Tarcu, Cuntu and Libertatea chalets, and also through the construction of a second ski-lift in 1986, with a length of 800 m. The most important achievement in the domain of hosting places was the opening on the 1st of January 1988 of the Sebes Hotel, with a capacity of 304 places on 9 stories. In these years the hotel functioned at maximum capacity, but with time, the great maintenance costs and the diminishing of the number of tourists determined its closing in 1996. The 90’s were regression years of the tourism in this area, but, at the same time with the new orientation of the Romanian society, we hope that the interest for this area will rise again, from the authorities, through facilities and financial help, but also from the potential tourists, through the interest for recreation and the practicing of winter sports. After 1996, on the south-western side of the mountain, in the superior outskirts of the fir forest, some new chalets were built; among them there are the Bistra chalet, the “Cerbul” chalet and the chalets of “Iepurasul”. In 2001, the Muntele Mic cross renewal action and the tourist rehabilitation of the area began. This action, supported by many “friends of the mountains” (among them are Cornel Hamat and Cristian Matu, as initiators) was successful in 2003 and 2004, when a new cross made of metal and beautifully lighted replaced the old construction. In the last years EnduRoMania (the outcome of the cooperation between the German land Nord-Rhein Westphalia and Banat, materialized, beginning with 1995, through the development of active tourism in this area) and newly Promotour (the partnership of the tourist promotion of the Tarcu - Muntele Mic area, founded at the end of the year 2000 through the affiliation of six communes in the Tarcu - Muntele Mic area: Armenis, Bolvasnita, Slatina Timis, Teregova, Turnu Ruieni and Zavoi, with the town of Caransebes and the EnduRoMania Foundation), both having the kind Sergio Morariu as the initiator, brought numerous foreign visitors to the country. The initiatives of the associations, which were successful until now, are linked with the promoting of activities related to nature, that are active and sportive tourism, as remarkable economical development methods and as an opportunity of considerable enhancement of the living standard of the locals. Because, except the works at the hydroelectric systems and some loggings, the nature is untouched and permits the practicing of ecotourism, the friendly local population is very interested and capable of developing tourist products. Tarcu - Muntele Mic is one of the largest massifs in the Carpathians - the surface of the area being approximately 1320 square km and having 10 peaks of over 2000 m in height. The region has an old tourist tradition and is especially suited for summer and winter hikes, hikes on horse-back or with the wagon, bivouac, “Nordic walking”, “camera hunting”, the observation of animals, tourism on bike, endurotourism, ethnographical trips, land vehicles or tractor trips, flights with the delta plan and the organizing of “teambuilding”. More and more western tourists came in the area. All these actions, like the promise of rehabilitating the access road to Muntele Mic, determines us to state that in the near future, the tourism in this area will have a fast growth and the switching on of the lights of the new cross on the 14th of September 2004 symbolized the rebirth of it.
Poiana Rusca. The area has a tourist character, but also an industrial character and it is formed by the Bistra Valley and the Poiana Rusca Massif. The Poiana Rusca Massif stretches in three counties: Caras-Severin, Timis and Hunedoara. It rises under a block shape above the depressions in its vicinity, the highest peaks being in our county: Pades (1374 m), Rusca (1355 m) and Poiana (1049 m), with slopes which descend onto the Bistra and Timis valleys. This massif is very interesting from a geological point of view, having crystalline schists, limestone and sandstone, but we cannot leave out the deposits of metamorphic limestone, which makes up the richness of the area, marble, especially statuary marble, which rivals the Carrara marble. These metamorphic rocks are exploited on both slopes, to the west, and to the north-east. We can also find here: lead, zinc, copper and even gold, in the territory of the county, Ruschita is the mining centre of this massif. In the Ruschita area we have one of the biggest and oldest marble exploitation centers. Now the processing was transferred to Simeria, the old tradition was abandoned and took somewhat domestic processing forms; the masons from here processed at home objects like vases, flower supports, flower vases and other decorative objects. There is a centre for the construction of obituary or commemorative monuments too. It has been transferred to Simeria too and so an old tradition of marble processing in the area was lost. On the Bistra Valley, and in the Poiana Rusca area too, mountain tourism with familial character had been practiced at Ruschita, but mostly at Rusca Montana; the peasants and the workers from here received in their houses tourists, who enjoy spending here a few days to rest. Before the First World War and after 1943-1944, many people came here to spend their holidays. It is very interesting that Italians, Germans and Czechs, who came to their relatives or to their friends, settled in this picturesque area. The fact that a well developed tourism existed in this area is proved by the raising of a monument of tourism, unique in the world. In 1937 the Tourism Club of Banat built it from local marble, in the place known under the name of “Sapte izvoare” (Seven Springs). This monument was moved several years ago, from the high area, to the road which leads from Rusca Montana to Ruschita, at the entrance into the first locality. Annually, in August, the Day of the Monument of Tourism is celebrated here. Forest trains existed, which carried the tourists, in the weekend, on beautiful routes through the forests and the meadows, alongside the tumultuous waters. We must mention that between the localities of Boutari and Subcetate, on a mountain railroad line unique in Romania, trains with racks traveled. In the mountains, on the road which carries us on the Carlontului valley and after that on an almost unknown trail, which climbs to the Pades Peak, a rock, which looks like the face of a man, like a Sphinx from the Egyptian desert or maybe like the head of a Dacian, gets in our path. This tourist area in the vicinity of Caransebes, capitalized, could bring benefits to those who live in this sector. The human settlements with a folklore and ethnographic tradition can create, together with the surrounding nature, a special environment, so that these places remain unique for their beauty. Performance tourism in the alpine settlements and a mountain, pastoral and agrarian tourism, can bring a renewal of this special area.
Semenic. The Semenic Mountains are a part of the southern group of the Occidental Carpathians, culminating with the Piatra Goznei Peak (1447 m) and the Semenic Peak (1445 m) and representing an important hydrographical knot – ,,the water castle of Banat” – from which Timis, Nera, Barzava and others spring. As to their geological make-up, we can separate two crystalline areas: the Minis area and the Sebes area. The relief descends from the north of the Semenic Peak until the Nemanu Mare Peak (1122 m). In the area where the Timis springs are located is the Garana depression, formed through differential erosion. In these mountains we don’t find any glacial traces, only the effect of preglacial moulding, nival depressions, soil wavings and pyramidal peaks. Besides the Semenic Mountains, in the same group, we can also find the Anina Mountains and the Dognecea Mountains, which form the core of the Banat Mountains. This whole mountain ensemble is an important tourist area, where a complex tourism can be practiced. The natural reservations Semenic – Cheile Carasului and Cheile Nerei-Beusnita, which are of great value and beauty, can be found in this area. The Semenic Tourist Complex is found at a height of over 1400 m altitude, between the Piatra Gozna and Semenic peaks, situated in an attractive natural cadre, benefiting from winter-sports facilities and easy access routes. Besides a funicular, access roads from Resita to Valiug and from Slatina Timis to Trei Ape - Garana exist. This second road links with the Timisoara - Bucuresti railway through Slatina-Timis, which is 20 km away on the E 70 road from Caransebes. The Semenic area has the advantage of a long period of snow, like on Muntele Mic. There are quite a few places in the country, where the snow persists, even 6 months in a year. The tourists find here a ski lift and a few ski tracks, and the Semenic resort has over 400 hosting places mostly of them being in the Gozna, Nedeea and Semenic chalets, and in the local villas. Near the resort on the peak, on the Slatina Timis - Semenic road, we can find another group of chalets, at Trei Ape and Garana, where water-sports can be practiced on the lake. The Garana (Wolfsberg) and Brebu Nou (Weidental) villages have succeeded, from long ago, to affirm their tourist functionality, especially in the so-called mountain tourism, because the locals of German origin in this area rented, from long ago, rooms for the tourists who came there; they were the first who practiced rural tourism in the mountains in Banat. Numerous lodging houses, which offer quality tourist services, exist there. Annually, numerous manifestations are organized, among them being an appreciated jazz festival. Although they are linked more to Resita, the Semenic centre and Garana - Brebu - Trei Ape, through the repairing of the access from Slatina - Timis, it would be a tourist core with good access roads, with beautiful areas and sport facilities, which together with the other areas in the county, could rival with many resorts in the country or in the world.