Local time Tuesday 8:35 AM
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
Area 136.8 km²
Population 11,540 (2011)
Weather 11°C, Wind S at 5 km/h, 66% Humidity
Sânnicolau Mare (formerly spelled Sînnicolau Mare, [sɨnnikoˌla.u ˈmare]) is a town in Timiș County, Romania and the westernmost of the country. Located in the Banat region, along the borders with Serbia and Hungary, it has a population of just under 12,000.
Map of S%C3%A2nnicolau Mare 305600, Romania
In German, it is known as Groß Sankt Nikolaus, in Hungarian as Nagyszentmiklós, in Banat Bulgarian as Smikluš, and in Serbian as Сент Николаш / Sent Nikolaš. It is translated as "Great St. Nicholas" in English.
Near Sânnicolau Mare there are the remains of Morisena, an ancient town, seat of Roman legions and of medieval dukes of Banat. After the Treaty of Passarowitz (1718) until 1918, Sânnicolau Mare (and the Banat) was part of the Austrian monarchy, Temes District; in Transleithania after the compromise of 1867 in Austria-Hungary. In the late 18th century, the Habsburg dynasty of Austria recruited German farmers and artisans to resettle areas along the Danube that had been depopulated during the Ottoman reign and the plague. They were allowed to keep their own religion, language and culture, and many German villages were founded in the Banat. The descendants of the ethnic Germans became known as Danube Swabians (Danauswaben) and spoke a distinct form of German that became different from what evolved in the principal states. This is one reason for the high proportion of ethnic Germans in the town before World War II. After the war, many left the area to escape Soviet dominance; others were expelled because of anti-German sentiment throughout eastern Europe.
The town was a district center in Torontal County during Habsburg rule. The town served as the county seat between 1807 and 1820 due to a great fire in Großbetschkerek, the county seat. Occupied by Serbian troops in 1918 during World War I, the town became part of Romania in 1919 during the realignment after the war.
Sânnicolau Mare is known for the Treasure of Nagy Szent Miklos, a treasure of 23 gold objects discovered here in 1799 (it was then called Nagy Szent Miklos / Groß-Sankt-Niklaus in the Habsburg Monarchy). The pieces are on display in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna and the National Museum of History, Sofia. The town is the birthplace of Béla Bartók, the notable 20th-century Hungarian composer. The town is 64 kilometers away from Timişoara, the biggest city in the region.
At the 2011 census, the town counted with 11,540 inhabitants. 79.03% Romanians, 7.66% Hungarians, 3.21% Roms, 2.2% Germans, 0.12% Ukrainians