Charlottenburg – Romanian Village in a Circle

Charlottenburg, licensed photography - E. Berwanger

Somewhere between Timişoara and Lipova (Banat province), a small settlement keeps tourists attention. Unique in Romania, Charlottenburg village has a circular form and was added to Historical Monuments list of Romanian Ministry of Culture.

In 1718, Banat become Austrian province and many German emigrants were brought here for colonization. In 1771 (during Austrian Maria Terezia reign), Charlottenburg was founded by Germans, around a fountain surrounded by mulberry plantations. Initially, the village diameter was about 210 m, and there were only 30 dwellings with 131 German people (Romanian “şvabi”). After colonization, there were 2 important families here: Petri and Griselini. The name “Charlottenburg” comes from Charlotte, Banat president’s wife of that time, descendants of Petri and Griselini families. With the second half of  19th Century, this village also became shelter for Romanians and Hungarians.

The main activity here was agricultural practice. In 1838, Charlottenburg lands were bought by Georg Simon Baron Sina de Hodosch et Kizdia, who founded the Catholic Church. His daughter married Count Siegfried von Wimpffen, who got involved in agriculture and, especially, hunting. At the beginning of 20th Century, he finished a park for hunting where he brought species like fallow deers or Carpathian deers. Once the tradition for hunting established, more species were settled in this area, as wild boars, hares, foxes, wolfes or bustards.

German population began to leave Charlottenburg lands after Second World War and, in present day, only one şvab still lives in the village. Named Peter Trimper, he takes care of his ethnics’ heritage here: village history, school, church and cemetery.

The entrance to the only circle-shaped village from Romania is called Şarlota (the Romanian correspondent for “Charlotte”) and the settlement is part of Bogda town, not too far from Timişoara, Timiş county.

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