In the southwest of the county Caras Severin, at a junction of parallel 45, there is a city that keeps a glorious past behind. Although today there are very few who have heard from him, in the past centuries Oravita was one of the important cultural and industrial centers in the west of the country.
Often called the city of premieres due to the constructions built here, Oravita earned this reputation after the first brewery in the country, the first mountain railway in the country, the first mountain pharmacy, and the first theater were built in the small town crossed by the homonymous river.
So, if you are still wondering what you could visit on a trip to Oravita, here are the objectives you should not miss:
“Mihai Eminescu” Theater
Named today the Old Theater of Oravita, the “Mihai Eminescu” Theater is the first building erected on the present territory of Romania dedicated to artistic representations and concerts. Opened in 1817, the theater hosts the first performance at the beginning of October of the same year.
The design elements belong to the Baroque, Venetian-inspired style. Constructed as a copy of the Vienna theater, when it was demolished, the value of the Oravita edifice increased considerably. What makes Oravita theater a priceless historical objective is that over time it has not changed its building, has undergone major changes neither inside nor outside and the connection it has with the important Romanian personalities of poetry and music – Eminescu and Enescu.
First lift station
The city of Oravita built the first railway line between Oravita and Anina in the 19th century. This railway was used to transport coal from Anina to Bazias Prot. These works were very advanced for the respective times, the workers worked very hard until the sections that were part of this railway were completed.
In this area, the first station with an elevator was also built. This station should not be missed during your visit to the city of Oravita. The Oravita train station was the first station to have an elevator that helps to access the upper level. The year 1849 marked the foundation of this station.
At the end of the eighteenth century, the first mountain pharmacy in the county and the Romanian area is officially opened in Oravita. Although documents are attesting to the presence of a pharmaceutical point dating earlier than 1796 – the moment it officially opened – the pharmacy still retains its unique character and observing the opening date.
Of special importance and beauty rarely met, the pharmacy that has become a museum today is one of the tourist attractions that you cannot avoid.
Although it is a small city with no big significance, Oravita hides undeniable treasures. In addition to the objectives – the star listed above, the city hosts many others that deserve their place in your itinerary. If you go to Oravita and do not know what to do, ask the advice of the locals. Nothing makes them more proud than to tell you about their locality.
Churches in Oravita
If it is something that any city in Romania has more to measure, those would be the churches. From Oravita I have noticed the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of St. Elijah and the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the latter being painted in strong green colors.
But the impressive detail is that in the courtyard of the Roman Catholic Church there is a monument dedicated to Empress Sissi.
It seems that the empress was in the vicinity by 1887, and one year after his death, in 1899, a group of stonemasons from Oravita had the task of raising an obelisk in the memory of the empress. The moment was not always in the same place, but since 2004 it has remained in the city.
The houses in Oravita
Oravita is a city built for defense, the houses being built next to each other, so you can’t hide. On each floor, there is a window outside, later called by the “gossiping” locals. They were practically observers to see who was knocking on your door.
The carriage parking lot of the rich people was forbidden on the main street and they had to be parked in the courtyards.
This is how some stone guides appeared at the gates that helped the carriage to position themselves at night inside. All the houses in the area have two entrances: one entrance to the main street and one to the secondary street. The goods, the building materials were packed behind.
Each house also has a sign: dragon heads at the eaves show that there was a leader in the field of metal processing, oak leaves indicate that there was someone in the field of mining and forests.
A beehive shows that there was a representative of the Kosmos masonry dealing with banks and aid houses.
The Monetary or Banaria was established by imperial decree in 1811. The Director of the Monetary was named Augustin Knoblauch, son of Karl Knoblauch, the founder of the first mountain pharmacy in the Romanian area.
Hydraulic presses, modern installations for the multiplication of the coins, especially of the copper ones were brought, the resource explored at the nearby mines.
The coins are made of copper and bore the “O” logo, has several divisions. The mint worked until 1855.