Sânnicolau Mare (-Romanian, Hungarian: Nagyszentmiklós, German: Groß Sankt Nikolaus) is the westernmost town in Romania.
Located in the Banat region, it has a population of 13,000.
It became part of Romania in 1919.
Sânnicolau Mare is known for 23 gold objects discovered in 1799.
They are currently on display in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
It is also the birthplace of Béla Bartók.
My father also born and was brought up here, while it was still part of the 1000 years old Kingdom of Hungary.
Romanians 9,951 (76.9%)
Hungarians 1,224 (9.5%)
Bulgarians 462 (3.6%)
Serbs 452 (3.5%)
Germans 397 (3.1%)
Other 452 (3.5%)
Total: 12,938 (100%)
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Sannicolau Mare is a quiet, little town near the Hungarian border.
It was known as Nagyszentmiklós when my father was born and brought up there, it was still part of a thousand years old Hungary.
(I would't like to be caught out ignorant, but the more I went to check the present spelling, the more versions I found, Sannicolau Mare, Sinnicolau Mare and also Sennicolau Mare.)
I visited Sannicolau Mare for the first time with my daughter, Sarolta in 1978.
I think many of my photos from that trip must be on slides, which I still have to scan, when I manage to equire a suitable scanner.
We did have some memorable experiences on thiat trip.
It started in Timisoara, where we had to stand on the bottom step of the train and hang on to our siutcases and for our life to the train's hand rail.
This lasted for the first half a hour of our trip, when we had a chance to get inside and sit down.
Later on it got dark and some time later the lights went off the whole train.
There were few people, I think about four or could be six or more people sitting front of us playing cards and talking in Hungarian.
Not conciously listening to them, but understanding their language, I went over to them to enquire about the black out, they vehemently denied understanding or speaking Hungarian.
Similar thing happenned earlier to us in Timisoara, when I ran out of film and asked a young couple front of us - also heard them talking in Hungarian until than - about the nearest shop to buy some more films, they told me that they do not speak Hungarian, but told me about a departmental store, the only place in the city selling colour films - in English.
By the way, the black-out was, so I was told later in English, because the train was going along the border.
I have looked at many maps looking for that strech of railway, near or on the border, without ever finding it.
We spent most of the remaining part of the night at the station, sleeping reasonably well.
We didn't get a very good recption in the town and we catched one of the earlier trains out of the place.
I understand there was a law or something that, although the locals could speak Hungarian and German between themselves but not with strangers.
Hui Chin and I visited Sannicolau Mare again in 2005, but unfortunately I do not have any of my photos of this place left, although we had four cameras between us and we have taken many, many photos wherever we went, two of my most favoured cameras: a JVC video camera I favoured because of the quality of photos it produced, ease of use and its excellent compression rate, and my Panasonic camera for its miniature size. Both had large, 512 MB SD Cards and many thousands of photos on them were stolen from my bag, later into our trip, by some 'lowlife', with my wallet and money.
You'll see this message a few times, because my JVC and Panasonic cameras' cards had many-many pictures stored.
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
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