The First Historical Records
The area where nowadays there are the villages forming the Tormac Commune has been mentioned in records since the Roman period, the soldiers injured in wars being sent back then to the Buziaş Baths, at the thermal springs, in order to recover and rest.
In 849 came the hordes of the Huns, who have settled in this area, later fighting fiercely against voivode Glad. He was defeated in the end, the Huns occupying the present territory of the Timiş county. The new rulers installed captain Kund as first leader. He divided the territory at his own will, but his rule did not last for long, the internal rivalries leading to the succession of several pretenders to the rule of this land.
The locality of Şipet appears in the historical records since the Middle Ages, in documents dating back to 1462, where it can be found with the name of “Magyarzebenth”. During the Ottoman rule, this was one of the most populous Banat villages. The Hungarian historians consider that Șipet had been inhabited in the beginning by Hungarians or by Slovaks, even though in the last centuries it has been a Romanian village. At the 1717 conscription, it appears with the name of “Schipeth”.
In the 19th century, the Șipet domain entered the possession of the Duca family, by means of an Imperial donation, as a result of Field Marshal Petre Duca (1755-1822)’s feats of arms in the Napoleonic wars. The village lay on an older hearth, located in the area called “Satul bătrân” (The Old Village), but, around 1894, it moved on a new one, because of the continuous attacks and plunderings of the rebel Hungarians from the neighbouring village, Tormac. The cholera epidemic of 1873 reduced the village population by half. During the Hungarian rule, it was called “Sipeth”, “Sipet”, “Sebed”.
With the financial support of the Bessarabian Maecenas Vasile Stroescu, the Orthodox confessional school was built. The foundation stone of the Orthodox church was laid on 25th August 1935, in the presence of bishop Vasile Lăzărescu.
In an Ottoman register dating back to the year 1554, the Cadăr village is mentioned as having 8 houses. In the 19th century, the Cadăr domain belonged to the Duca family, by means of an Imperial donation, along with the Şipet domain. In September-October of the year 1817, baron Petre Duca accompanied Emperor Francisc I and his wife, Augusta Carolina, in their journey across Banat.
The First Colonists of Tormac
Over the time, several wars related to the Citadel of Timişoara, peasants’ rebellions (the most important being that of 1514, led by Gheorghe Doja), the Turkish occupation (1551-1716) took place, until the great Occidental powers decided to embark together on a military action against the Turks. The leader of these armies was Emperor Leopold, and in the Timişoara area they were led by Prince Eugene of Savoy, who began the siege of the Timişoara citadel on 15th August 1716, and on 1st October he managed to enter the citadel. This is how the 164-year-long Turkish occupation of these territories came to an end.
At the suggestion of Prince Eugene of Savoy, King Karol III of Hungary assigned to the Count of Mercy the task of organizing this region. He restored the roads, drew the first military map of the region, brought colonists from Germany, France, Italy, and Poland and started the deforestation of the land, giving it back to the farmers – a fertile, black soil, but one that was very difficult to work.
The colonization of the “Lunca Timişului” area was started after the retreat of the Turks, in 1716, and it lasted until 1787, as a first phase. The first colonists were moved there from the Szabolcs and Pest Hungarian districts, being Catholics.
After the passing away of Empress Maria Theresa, the throne of the Empire was occupied by Emperor Josef II, who issued another colonization decree in 1782, but this proved to be a failure. In 1784, he issued another decree, with practical effects: the building of houses for the new colonists, in the places where it had been established to found new settlements.
Every locality had prepared for distribution to the colonists grains, dairy cattle, fodder, waggons, horses, household utensils, including dishes. All this was distributed for free.
During this period, in addition to the colonies Niţchidorf, Bacova, Ciacova, Deta, Recaş, Liebling, Rittberg was also colonized, having a number of 234 inhabitants. At its founding, the great Rittberg commune was part of the territory of Southern Hungary, which encompassed the territories between the Mureş, Tisa and Danube Rivers, and the Apuseni Mountains, respectively.
In 1900, the surface of the Rittberg locality was of 10.367.115 acres and it had a population of 3.060 inhabitants and 400 house numbers. The lands belonged to the Hungarian Kingdom Treasury until they were bought by Baron Sina Simion, and subsequently by the Neuman brothers, from Arad (a descendant of the Neuman brothers is still alive today, in Canada, bearing the name of Neuman de Végvári).
The Hungarian Colonists
The Swabian colonists were unable to adapt to living in the new colony: they had conflicts with the inhabitants of the neighbouring village, Şipet, the land was difficult to work, and the harvest was not always reflecting the work they had invested in it. After five years, in 1794, led by their preacher, Kropf Felician, the colonists left the locality in just one night, settling in present-day Darova. Only eight families stayed in Rittberg.
The lands from this area became the property of the Hungarian Treasury, and the Hungarian Government, being aware of the investments that had been made in this colony, decided, in 1794, to bring here other colonists, from the Tisa and Hungarian Cenad regions, the Csongrad and Bekes districts. Altogether, 150 Hungarian colonists were initially brought, occupying the houses left empty by the Swabians.
Changing their domicile, they started a new life that was tough, but full of hope. The colonists chose to come to this new region, which had become uninhabited, because in their place of origin they no longer had optimal conditions to form new families, on account of the scarce land and of the large number of children in every family.
The first years were difficult ones, they had to resort to great efforts, but, as the existing documents show, in 1800 they were negotiating with the representatives of the Government in order to obtain certain advantages, arising from obligations the Hungarian State had towards the colonists. On 7th June 1800, a treaty was signed by the representatives of the Timişoara Treasury, Baron Boselli, Konig Antal, the Reformed priest Boros Istvan, the mayor of the locality, Korsos Peter, respectively by 144 Reformed inhabitants. Through this agreement, the Hungarian colonists received houses or building materials, arable land, fields for viticulture, already-dug wells and help for their maintenance. In exchange, this agreement forced the colonists to not leave the area, to be diligent and take good care of their households.
The colonists organized themselves, they elected Szuts Ferentz as mayor and the first notary was Kava Samuel. The priest Boros Istvan came, together with a part of the congregation, from Magyar-Ittebe, nowadays part of the Serbia-Montenegro, respectively Voivodina territory. The first schoolmaster, Szedery Janos, came from Szentes.
Some of the colonists had come from the region adjacent to the Tisa River, where the land was easy to work, the living conditions were good, and, after the first years, they returned there. Other colonists were brought and occupied the houses left empty, but it is impossible to establish exactly where they were coming from.
Harder times followed in the colonists’ lives, since in 1810, Rittberg, as a Royal donation, became the property of Prince Meriadec of Pohan Guemeni Lajos Victor, from whom it was bought by Earl Voikffy Istvan. In 1829, these domains became the property of Baron Sina Gyorgy, being successively inherited by his son, Baron Sina Simion, by the latter’s daughter, Annasztaziana, and by the Earl Wimpfen Simon. Most of the owners, until Sina Gyorgy, refused to respect the provisions of the agreement that had been signed in 1800, no longer granting the local people’s privileges.
After 1834, the locality began developing again, and the new owner, Baron Sina, renewed the signed agreement and granted the colonists’ rights.
The locals started the building of a church and Baron Sina donated money for this purpose. But the year 1847 was a particularly difficult one, with poor harvests, and the funds gathered from different donations in order to build the church were distributed among the people in need and even among the more well-to-do householders. So great was the famine, that the owner of the neighbouring village domains, Gătaia, landowner Gorove Istvan, sent help to the inhabitants of Rittberg and ordered clothes and shoes to be made for the children of the wealthier householders. This gesture also contained an electoral element, because the local elections took place that same year, and the landowner wanted to keep his position. But, despite his attempts, the elections were won by his opponent, Ambrozy, who became Timiş subprefect.
Notwithstanding all the hardships that its inhabitants had endured, eventually, in 1848, Rittberg had become a locality respected by the other ones, that were inhabited by people of other nationalities.
Rittberg During the 1848 Revolution
Rumors about the revolution had spread to Rittberg, too: the colonists started having great expectations, the serfs believed they would become free, the householders wanted to be the owners of the land they were cultivating. The landowners, the Earls and the Barons did not want to lose the great domains, the forests. Although Baron Sina was the owner of the land since 1834, only then did he consider appropriate to be vested, in the presence of a big delegation from Timişoara, which included the subprefect Ambrozy, great landowners from the region, representatives of the Catholic Church, etc.
On 11th April 1848, serfdom was abolished, people no longer did compulsory work, and they became the owners of the land they were cultivating.
When the revolution reached Rittberg, Baja Jozsef and Szabo Mihaly became mayors until December, when they were handcuffed and taken to Timişoara. The Reformed preacher’s name was Gonczy Zolnay Daniel, and the schoolmaster was Jager Janos.
At the first recruitment, in Rittberg, 40 Hungarian soldiers, including young and older people, enlisted. They did not spend too much time reflecting; the next day after the recruitment, led by old Talyai Mihaly, aged 60, they left towards the battalion they were assigned to. A lot of them lost their lives in battle, including their leader, Talyai, all of them being considered heroes of Rittberg. Altogether, during the three recruitments that took place, about 80 local people enrolled in the Hungarian soldier troops. In addition to the battles that took place on the battlefield, those left at home had to endure the raids of the people from the neighbouring villages, who were supporting the Imperial troops.
The response of the occupying troops from Timişoara did not take long to appear. The commander sent an infantry battalion with four cannons, followed by the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages, eager to plunder.
On 10th December 1848, the frightened population began leaving the locality, the Emperor’s troops started plundering and pillaging the locality and the people they caught. A disorder beyond description was created, until the strong intervention of the armed troops. Hardly did they manage to stop the plundering and to bring the local people back to their homes, when they started the trial of those guilty of what had happened. The mayor was the first to be tried, being hit 20 times with a bat and sent handcuffed to Timişoara for his deeds. He was charged with tolling the church bells in order to alarm and instigate the locals. Probably the same punishment was in store for the priest Zolnay Daniel, but he got away unscathed, by hiding in the attic of a parishioner, as well as for the schoolmaster Jager Janos, the instigator of the Blajova crimes, who hid in the woods, after which nobody found him and neither did he return to the locality. The other participants could not be identified, so that the Baron confiscated all he could and returned to Timişoara with a huge tihte: he seized all the barley of the church, 20 cubic metres of wood and 20 cows.
Afterwards, peace came over Rittberg. The last recruitment took place on 1st May 1849, and the last episode of this independence war was when the troops led by Lazăr Vilmos, after the battle of Timişoara, lost by Kossuth’s troops, retreated through Rittberg. Among the 15.000 Hungarian soldiers there were many young people from this locality.
Rittberg Between 1867-1901
After Kossuth’ Hungarian soldiers lay down their arms, the lives of Rittberg’s inhabitants also calmed down. People attended to their business, receiving the help of the Timişoara Prefecture, and began the reconstruction of the locality from all points of view.
After the signing of the 1866 pact with Austria, the Austrian-Hungarian dualism worked well for this locality, too. After the crowning of the Austrian Emperor in 1867, the people were no longer afraid. Local elections were organized, Babella Janos being elected as mayor, followed by zs. Kiss Sandor, and in 1870 by Szoke Mihaly, all of them being well-known and appreciated householders. The notary of the locality was Molitorisz Balazs, who took part in the 1848-1849 events as an officer in the Hungarian soldiers troops. He was the first clerk of the Postal Agency, founded in 1862. It was he, also, who organized and opened in 1881 the first Agency of the Loan and Savings Bank. After his retirement, in 1890, his son, Karoly, was chosen in his place, practising for 10 years, during which time Rittberg started to develop again: the present village hall was built, the problem of the land was solved by means of the registration in the Land Register, the railroad was made, etc. The tomb of the distinguished notary can still be seen today in the commune cemetery.
During this period of time, at the celebration of the locality’s centenary, its name was also changed to Végvár. In 1901, schoolmaster Nikolenyi Istvan created a population register, where the following data were recorded: 130 births, 135 deaths and 27 marriages. In the commune there were 601 house numbers and 3060 inhabitants.
At the 1861 parliamentary elections, the commune elected Baron La’Presti Arpad, the descendant of Baron La’Presti Fontana d’Angioli’s family, from Castile. In 1865, the representative of Végvár in the Parliament was Mocsonyi Sandor, and in 1868 the lawyer Nedeczky Istvan. Starting with 1870, the representative of the commune was Vargics Imre, for a period of time of 23 years.
The population’s health status until the arrival of the first physician, Dr. Grun Ede, was a precarious one. The only doctor in the entire area was at Buziaş, but, on account of the bad roads and the poverty, the people did not have the possibility of taking the patients to be seen by him. People followed the advice of the barber or of the various women healers and used plant-based cures and blood-letting in order to get rid of the “bad blood”. The young doctor Grun Ede found out it was no easy task to convince the people to no longer follow the advice of the barbers or of the healers and give up the old ways of treating the diseases. Medical activity also developed thanks to the new pharmacy, which was opened in 1887.
In Végvár there were at that time two financial institutions, namely: “The Végvár Savings and Mutual Help Association”, founded in 1891, and “The Communal Loan Cooperation”, founded in 1901.
The Name of the Locality
Rittberg – Végvár – Tormac
The origin of the name “Rittberg” has remained unclear to this day, because several versions have been recorded:
a. It is said that the locals, seeing the vast grasslands, rising above the neighbouring localities, named the new settlement Rittberg.
b. The more credible version is that the Empress Maria Theresa had had as a lover an Austrian general called Rittberg (indeed, on the pedestal of a monument of the Empress appears a general with this name) and that this general would have been a close friend of the Chancellor Kaunitz Venczel, who would have named the new colony after his friend (there are other examples of this kind: the Niţchidorf village was named after baron Nitchi).
c. A third version is that the father of Chancellor Kaunitz inherited certain territories, including a locality called Rittberg, and gave its name to the new colony. Studying the present map of Germany, we can see that there is, indeed, a locality with this name.
Later on, at the centenary of the locality, the village received the name of “Végvár”, due to the Hungarian colonists who had settled there in 1794. The village elders decided they had to give the locality a Hungarian name, because there were very few local people of Swabian origin left, and, to the inhabitants of that time, the name of “Rittberg” had no significant meaning. Therefore, they chose that name: Végvár, meaning “The Last Citadel”, in which they had invested all their hopes, their dreams of a better and more prosperous life.
The present-day name, that of “Tormac”, was given to the locality after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, at the end of the First World War. In the military archives there is an older map, according to which there would have been another locality before Rittberg, at about 1 km South of the present one, called “Tormas”.
The Traditional Dwellings
Given the fact that the people founding the villages that are nowadays part of the Tormac commune were colonists brought from various regions of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, they did not have common customs and traditions. It could be said that some of these were somewhat similar, but there was no uniformity from this point of view.
The building of the dwellings is one of the most unitary aspects of the local culture, because the first houses were built specially for the colonists by the authorities that were in charge of this phenomenon, being finished before their arrival.
The houses built for the first Swabian colonists – during the reign of King Carol III and of Empress Maria Theresa – were low ones; they had walls made of brick and they consisted of a room and a kitchen. Reed was used a lot for the exterior of the houses. Plank was rarely used as a building material. A window where the householder’s scythe was also hung served as a lighting aperture. The roofs were made only of reed. The walls facing the street had two windows.
The houses built during the reign of Emperor Joseph II were taller, dwellings consisting of two rooms being already built. The verandas had pillars along the entire length of the house, and the entrance to the house was straight from the street. Decorations started appearing on the front wall of the dwellings, and, extremely rarely, tile-covered houses could be seen.
The houses were built at the back of the courtyard, only their façade facing the street. On the inside, the first room was called “the large room” and its windows were facing the street. Next were the kitchen and the bedroom, overlooking the courtyard. Right next to the house were the outbuildings, namely the storeroom or the „şpais”, the stables and the shed for the waggon. All the rooms and the outbuildings had a single, common roof.
On the opposite side of the courtyard were the barn and the pigsty, these outbuildings being located so that the householder could see them from the kitchen door or from the bedroom window. At the back of the courtyard there were the storage place for the firewood and the place for throwing the garbage. The vegetable gardens were quite small.
The Interior of the Houses
The inside of the dwellings was painted white, and the lower part of the walls, at about 56-60 cm from the floor, was painted in a dark colour. The rooms and the kitchen had no plank floor. Inside, the beams of the ceiling could be seen. The main characteristic of the dwellings was the fact that the ceiling was very low.
In the middle of the main room there was a table, surrounded by brick props over which was put a piece of plank, instead of chairs. With time, they were replaced by benches and, in the case of the most well-to-do households, by chairs. On one of the walls hung the mirror, under which there was the women’s dowry chest, painted and decorated with tulips. On the main beam hung the chandelier. On the walls there were hung, also, the man’s military service record, the bridal bouquet from the spouses’ marriage and perhaps several portraits.
The heating of the rooms was accomplished by means of ovens with hearths. During the long winter evenings, the family and neighbours gathered together; they sat around the oven and warmed themselves up, talking about the latest gossips of the day. The women spun, the men smoked their pipe, and the children hid, in order to avoid annoying the adults.
In the kitchen, the walls were decorated with painted plates made of clay or porcelain. Being in the kitchen was no pleasure for anyone, because all the smoke stayed in there, the chimneys being open, which caused draught to be produced. The cooking vessels were made of cast iron, being placed on a triangular stand, under which fire was lit. It was also here that the sausages, the bacon and the ham were smoked-dry.
The local men usually wore a long linen shirt, a small and a bigger waistcoat and a hat, and during the winter they wore an overcoat, a fur coat, a thicker waistcoat and a cap. For the overcoat they used dark blue or striped black broadcloth. The elders wore in winter sheepskin trousers, whereas the young and the middle-aged men, no matter the season, wore linen slacks. When going to church or in other special places, their costume consisted of a fur coat and tight trousers.
The women wore a wide skirt, an apron and a long-sleeved linen shirt. They plaited their hair and gathered it up, and they covered their head with a headkerchief. The unmarried girls wore for most of the time clothes made of light-coloured fabrics, flower-printed cloth. They wore no headkerchief and they kept their hair long, plaited and tied with a ribbon. They wore boots, shoes, during winter boots with foot wraps. Instead of boot polish, the shoes were conditioned with lard.
The underwear for the entire family was made by the women, who weaved and cut to measure clothes of linen and hemp. The necessary linen and hemp were obtained by every family from their own crops. From these materials were also made the bed sheets, the towels, the table cloths and other objects needed in the household, such as sacks and curtains. For all these things, they needed no money; everything was obtained by their own means.
There were also houses where the young people gathered on the autumn and winter nights, in order to weave, spin and do other such activities, but where they also sang, made jokes and had fun. These meetings were also used in order to get to better know each other. When there was also a fiddle available, they started dancing.
In the past, a marriage proposal was a kind of “trade”, that is the girls, when they reached marriage age, waited for the future bridegroom to come with a sum of money established by their parents through mutual agreement. But this custom wasn’t to be found in Rittberg.
Here, all marriages were initiated by the matchmakers, women traditionally called “Devils in flesh and bones”, who, at the request of a young man, tested the family of the bride-to-be in order to find out whether she had already been promised to someone else. If not, then the girl was asked whether she liked that boy and if she would accept his marriage proposal. Only after everything was settled did the family of the bridegroom-to-be start looking for sponsors, who had to ask the girl’s hand for the boy. Before the preparations went further, the future marriage had to be announced at church: who was marrying whom, who the parents were.
For the official marriage proposal, the young man accompanied his parents and sponsors. They took a bottle of wine with them and, once they got to the house in question, they started talking to the householder, in the presence of the young man, in order to find out whether he agreed to let his daughter marry. The sponsors could notice if the girl’s family were not in favour of the marriage, because she was not allowed to enter the room during their conversation, their questions received evasive answers and no further date was established.
When the girl’s family agreed to the marriage proposal, firstly the parents expressed their agreement, and only afterwards was the girl called into the room, too. She agreed to marry in exchange for the presents that were brought, according to custom, and the engagement date was already chosen. To the engagement were invited the relatives and close friends of the two families. The engagement took place at the girl’s house, but the expenses were largely undertaken by the boy’s family. The girl’s friends, the bridesmaids, adorned the hats and canes of the best men (a young and an older one). The marriage intention was announced in church for three Sundays in a row, and, on the afternoon of the last Sunday, the best men, with their hats and canes adorned, went to invite the guests for the following Wednesday.
On Tuesday evening, the boy’s family called his sponsor and several youths they assigned to his service, with well-established tasks. On that occasion, every young man received a “rank”: captain, lieutenant, sergeant, etc., which they kept until the end of the wedding, and the girls were asked, as good friends of the one that was about to marry, to pamper her, to advise her, and from that day until the wedding day, to accept that each of them kept her company for a night. Wednesday, on the morning of the marriage day, “the sponsor’s officers” invited the important participants: the bridegroom, his guests and the bride with her guests, whom they accompanied from her house up to the church. The marriage ceremony took place, after which every guest, on their own, the bride and the bridegroom’s, accompanied the wedded pair to their home.
Afterwards, the bridegroom’s guests left, accompanied by music, towards the bride’s house; in the meantime, the bride’s guests came out of the house to greet the others. After the greetings were exchanged, the bridegroom’s sponsor showed up and requested that the bride be entrusted to the bridegroom’s family. The sponsor of the bride took her by the hand and entrusted her to the bridegroom’s sponsor or to the bridegroom, after which thanks were addressed to the girl’s parents for raising her and taking care of her until that moment. Then the attendants entered the house and the young people dined. The organization of the meal and of the party was the responsibility of the sponsors. They were also the ones who organized the dance, making sure that not everyone danced at the same time, because there wasn’t enough space, but, also, that everybody had danced at least once. During the party, no one was allowed to recite witty couplets, otherwise being “arrested” by the sponsors and closed in the cellar. If, because of too much wine, the atmosphere became tense, the best man shook the chain that hung in the middle of the room, attached to the main beam. The wedding party had to cool down upon hearing this sign, unless they wanted to be punished.
During the wedding day, the bridegroom and the bride were separated. The bride spent the wedding night in the company of a friend and of another woman who watched over her. In the morning, she received her headkerchief and only wearing it was she allowed to dance with the bridegroom. On the last wedding day, the relatives and the bride’s family were invited to “the meal of loss”. On the first Sunday after the wedding, the bride was dressed by the bridesmaids and they went together to church.
After 1920, weddings no longer took place at home, but at a local tavern, and later on at the cultural community centre.
Still Living Traditions
Customs such as watering the girls on Easter day, traditional weddings, Christmas carolling in the villages of Cadăr and Şipet are still being kept in the Tormac commune.
Watering the Girls on Easter Day
The young men pay visits to their acquaintances and water the girls in every family, wishing them prosperity. Sometimes perfume is being used for this purpose. In exchange, as a sign of gratitude, they receive Easter eggs, sponge cake and wine.
The origin of this custom is not certain, though it is said it dates back to the 2nd century A.D.. One of the legends trying to provide an explanation for it says that, on the second day of Easter, a Christian girl was going to the market, in order to sell some eggs. On her way there, she met another girl, a pagan one, who wanted to buy her eggs. As they were talking, the Christian girl began explaining to the other girl what it meant to believe in God and how good it was to be a Christian, urging her to become one, as well. The pagan girl replied, “I will believe when the white eggs you sold me will turn red”.
The wonder was accomplished, the eggs turned red, and both girls fainted because of the fear. On the road passed two young men, who, seeing they had fainted, ran to the first well, brought water from there and poured it over them, helping them regain consciousness. As a sign of their gratitude, the girls offered them red eggs.
The Csűrdöngölő and Szederinda Folk Dance Ensembles
In 1999, the Pro-Tormac Foundation was founded, having the purpose of helping the youth of the locality to know, promote and continue the tradition, the authentic Magyar folklore.
In 2000, at the initiative of Mr. Nagy Albert, choreographer of the Szeged Folk Dance Ensemble (Hungary), the Csűrdöngölő Folk Dance Ensemble was founded. The group members are young people from the locality, nowadays high school and university students, even family persons in Timişoara.
The repertory of the folk dance ensemble consists of 13 Magyar and Romanian folk dances, specific to several regions of Romanian and Hungary. All the dances include typical costumes, authentic ones, belonging to the dancers. They have been made by the dancers’ parents, using their own material resources, following a traditional style.
During its 11 years of activity, the folk dance ensemble has participated in countless performances, both in Romania and abroad. The record of the group includes awards and diplomas from national and international contests. The most important of them are: the first prize at the D.K.M.T. Euroregional Festival, The “Stelele folclorului” National Festival – Oradea (2005), International Festivals from Belgium, France (2006), Turkey (2007), Hungary – every year, a performance at Romexpo, the Village Museum – Bucharest. TV appearances: TVR 1 Bucharest, TVR Timişoara – the Magyar language TV programme, Europa Nova.
The activity of this folk dance ensemble is carried on by the Szederinda Folk Dance Ensemble, composed of 11 pairs of dancers. The Szeged instructors continue to train the two local folk dance ensembles, and, when they are not available, Ms Toth Rozalia, a school teacher, and Ms Szarvas Elisabeta, a pre-primary school teacher (for the Szederinda folk dance ensemble), bring together the dancers for weekly rehearsals. The coordinator of the folk dance ensembles is Ms Păştean Erika.
7 October 1923 – writer Alex. Jebeleanu was born in Şipet (d. 26.04.1996);
20 October 1938 – prose-writer and publicist Graur János was born in Tormac;
19 March 1941 – poet Esztéro István was born in Tormac;
9 November 1945 – economist Nicolae Ţăran was born in Şipet;
27 October 1950 – writer and museographist Kiss Andrei was born in Tormac.
Twinning and Collaborations with Localities from Abroad:
– Twinning with the locality of Cahuzac-Sur-Vère (France), concerning the collaboration in the social field;
- Twinning with the locality of Rószke (Hungary), concerning the collaboration in the cultural field;
- Twinning with the locality of Nagyrev (Hungary), concerning the collaboration in the cultural and economic fields.
- Twinning with the locality of Decs (Hungary).
The Tormac Cultural Community Centre
Programme: Monday – Friday from 8:00 to 16:00
The Commune Library
Schools: The Tormac Primary and Lower Secondary School
Churches: The Tormac Reformed Church
The Şipet Orthodox Church
The relief of the commune, the special landscape, the local traditions, the natural monuments, and not only, are all elements recommending the investments in the development of tourism and agritourism. Among the local attractions must be mentioned the natural reserve Lunca Pogănişului (the Floodplain of the Pogăniş River), the local celebrations (such as “Zilele Tormăcene” – the Days of the Tormac commune), the Tormac Lake, the traditions and customs well preserved and valorified by the local people and, not in the last place, the cuisine specific to this region (its representative dish being bogracs – paprikash).
Tormac Reformed Church
The first inhabitants who settled in Tormac were Germans (Swabians), who arrived here in 1786. In 1794, the first Hungarians arrived (150 Reformed families). At the same time as the founding of the village, a small church, with a thatched roof, like most of the colonists’ houses, whose priest was called Boros Istvan, was also built.
The construction of the first actual church was started on 12 July 1858. This was all the more necessary since, in 1847, the parish house, together with the little church, had been consumed by a fire. The building of the church took place when Gönczy Zolnay Daniel was the priest of Tormac, taking three years to be completed. The church was built in a simple style, its spire being covered in zinc coated sheet. The length of the building was of 40 metres, its width was of 14 metres, and the walls were 14 metres high. In the construction of the church also took part the Hungarian Kingdom, donating 10,500 forints in the beginning and later another 3,000, together with the population, who managed to raise the amount of 16,000 forints. The chief builder was Forgach Jakab.
As great as the joy of the people in Tormac was when they saw the construction finished, just as great was their sadness when, three years later, the walls of the church began to crack. The cracks were so deep that the administration of the church had no other choice left than to demolish the whole construction. But the people of Tormac could not accept the idea of not having a church in their village, so they started the building of a new one. The priest began obtaining the necessary authorizations.
In 1878, the priest Gönczy Zolnay Daniel retired, being replaced by a new priest, named Zöld Mihaly. This one, as well, tried to do all he could in order to build a new church. All these efforts were not in vain, since on 28 June 1887 was started the building of a church inaugurated on 17 June 1888, where the believers can still pray nowadays.
In the spire of the church there are three bells of different sizes. The biggest of them weighs 342.5 kg, the weight of the middle one is of 201.5 kg, and the smallest has a weight of 99.5 kg. All the bells have been donated by the local people.
The number of Reformed inhabitants in Tormac is of 2,090.
Materials used: – 400,426 bricks
– 359 cubic metres of natural stones
– 603 cubic metres of sand
Costs: The total expenses, including the workforce, have been estimated to about 15,944 forints.
Dimensions: 34 m in length, 14 m in width, 34 m in height
Duration of the construction works: 28 June 1887-17 June 1888
Şipet Orthodox Church
The oldest church in the locality was situated in “Satul Bătrân” (“The Old Village”), its founder being Ilie Cionvică, member of one among the oldest families in the village, who had originally come from Băbeni, Vâlcea county. Nowadays there are no more traces of this church.
On the place of the present-day church there have been two previous ones. The first church, built before 1800, was demolished in 1880. An inventory made in 1805 still survives, containing data on the construction, the book fund of the church, the church domain and the names of its founders and builders. Thus, we find out that this was a church made of brick, whitewashed inside and out and covered in fir tree shingles. Its spire was still in place until 1890, being the favourite playground of the village children of that time.
The second church was built in 1891, in the Banat style, and it lasted until 1930, when it had to be demolished because of the cracks that had appeared in its walls. This church was very tall, with walls made of brick, it was covered in tin sheets and its azure dome was decorated with metal stars. The materials left after its demolition were used for the building of the present-day church. This was built in 1935, being consecrated in 1936, and it is dedicated to All Saints.
In the making of its foundation have been discovered the remains of a tomb dating back to the Middle Ages, which suggests that the area could have been the necropolis of a settlement of that era. Behind the church there is the family crypt of the baron Petru Duca, who had been rewarded with the Şipet and Cadăr domains for his feats of arms during the anti-Napoleonic wars. Unfortunately, its exact place is no longer exactly known, since nowadays the crypt is covered with soil. The church is built in the Byzantine style, being one of the most beautiful in Banat, and it is considered by the local people as the second one in the Timiş county, after the Metropolitan Cathedral in Timişoara.
Duration of the construction works: 25 August 1935-November 1936
Consecration: 24 August 1947
Lunca Pogănişului (The Floodplain of the Pogăniş River) – A Natural Reserve
The Tormac commune is located in the southeastern part of the Timiş county, in the eponymous plain, having under its administration the localities Cadăr, Şipet and the administrative centre – Tormac. The Pogăniş River, popularly called “Pogonici”, has its sources in the northern part of the Semenic Mountains, having a length of 97 km and a basin area of 667 square kilometres. The river mouth lies on the territory of the Sacoşul Turcesc commune, in the Timiş county, at the northwestern end of the Uliuc village.
Very few people have heard of the Lunca Pogănişului natural reserve, a potential recreational area, little known and visited, having no access way or arrangements, where in the spring blooms a rare beauty: the fritillary or checkered daffodil (Fritillaria meleagris), a plant species protected by law in all the European countries, facing extinction. Also called, in an affectionate manner, “Chess Flower”, “Guinea-hen Flower” or “Frog-cup”, this lovely flower has been recognized by the Romanian law as a nature monument, therefore several protected areas having been created. A Mediterranean plant, the fritillary belongs to the Liliaceae family and it has been included on the list of species protected by the Berne Convention. Besides Lunca Pogănişului, in Romania, the fritillary can also be found at Cheile Turzii, Tuşnad, on the bank of the Olt River, at Hărman, in the Domogled-Valea Cernei natural reserve.
The protected area, covering a surface of 75.5 ha, is one among the few places in Romania where this plant can be found, growing along the Pogăniş River. In Lunca Pogănişului, the fritillary grows on large areas, preferring the habitats in the wild. Thus, it blooms in the forests at Berini, Blajova, Cadăr, Niţchidorf, around the Buziaş, Otveşti, Chevereş localities, these being rarely met oak forests (Querqus robur), where the ash (Fraxinus excelsior) and the field maple (Acer campestre) are the main species of trees, mixed with hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), elm (Ulmus foliacea), European wild pear (Pirus piraster), cherry (Cerasus avium), and European crab apple (Malus silvestris). The main shrubs that can be found are the Tatar maple (Acer tataricum), the hawthorn (Crategus monogyna), the common dogwood (Cornus sanguinea), the wild privet (Ligustrum vulgare), and the blackthorn (Prunus spinosa).
The distance from Timişoara, on an asphalt road crossing Moşniţa Nouă-Sacoşu Turcesc and reaching Berini, is of 27 km. The zone, having a surface of about 800 ha, can be used for exceptional recreational arrangements. The vast surface of the reserve, the possibility of creating ponds, using the groundwater, the mosaic-like landscape, with wooded parts, are as many arguments supporting the previous statements. The area awaits people of initiative and investors, its potential load capacity being estimated to be of about 1,000-2,000 visitors.
The Tormac Lake
In the area of the commune can be created a recreational zone, which would be facilitated by the existence of a natural lake covering over 30 hectares. This could include angling, sports, and treatment centres, tourist pensions, camps, etc.
Zilele Tormacului (The Days of the Tormac Commune)
In the year 2000, the non-governmental organization Riveto Association, from the Tormac locality, organized the first edition of this manifestation. The purpose of the event was that of offering visitors a program consisting of various cultural and sports activities, as well as a good opportunity of getting back in touch for those having left Tormac.
The activities are extremely varied, including cooking contests – „Bográcsfőző verseny” (paprikash), sports contests (soccer, ping pong), ATV contests, entertaining contests. Traditionally, the evening programme begins with the riders’ parade, as well as with that of the Tormac volunteer firefighters, of the folk ensembles of the locality – Csűrdöngölő, Szederinda – and of the athletes.
Starting with 2004, the organization of this activity was taken over by the Tormac Local Council, the non-governmental organizations of the commune, the Riveto Association, the Pro-Tormac Foundation, the Pro-Community Association, the Volunteer Firefighters, as well as the Tormac Reformed Church, being its co-organizers. Its area of activity has been extended, on this occasion its name being completed to that of „Zilele Tormăcene – Întâlnirea localităților înfrățite” (The Days of the Tormac Commune – Meeting of the Twinned Localities). To this celebration of the Tormac locality are also invited delegations from the twinned localities: Cahuzac-sur-Vere (France), Röszke (Hungary). The first evening ends with an open-air ball in the square at the centre of the commune. The marathon of activities also includes the festive mass held at the Tormac Reformed Church.
Every year, the organizers try their best to offer diversified programmes for those who wish to take part in our celebration.