“I Left My Paradise Alone:” British Notes on Oraviţa and its Neighbourhood Cover Image
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“I Left My Paradise Alone:” British Notes on Oraviţa and its Neighbourhood
“I Left My Paradise Alone:” British Notes on Oraviţa and its Neighbourhood

Author(s): Marius Crişan
Subject(s): Cultural Essay, Political Essay, Societal Essay
Published by: Institutul de Cercetări Socio-Umane Gheorghe Şincai al Academiei Române
Keywords: Oraviţa; British travel literature; cultural borders; the image of Romania; the Banat in the 19th Century.

Summary/Abstract: 19th century Oraviţa is reflected in British travellers’ books as the centre of the mining activity in the Banat. The accounts focus on the industrial aspects of the mountainous exploitations and on their influence on the fast development of the region. The connection of the town with the other places based on mining activities is emphasised. The routes to the place are precisely presented and special attention is paid to the railway line Baziaş - Oraviţa (the oldest railway in the territory of contemporary Romania). Oraviţa is depicted as a border multiethnic place, characterised by peaceful cohabitation. The British travellers pay attention to the architecture of the place, and write enthusiastically about the beauty of the landscape. The cultural activity of the town also draws the attention of the foreign visitors. The hospitality of the inhabitants, the charming atmosphere of the summer theatre, the passionate notes of the gypsy music, and not least the beauty of the young ladies make the English writer Andrew F. Crosse consider Oraviţa a paradisal place on Earth, the location where he would prefer to spend his afterlife if he was not accepted in Heaven.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 14
  • Page Range: 137-149
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: English