Bulgarian minority in Banat

Eliznik home > Romania > ethnographical history > Banat > Bulgarians in Banat

Banat Bulgarian villages
Saxon miners
Migration to Oltenia
Expansion of Banat villages

There have been a number of migrations of Bulgarians to regions north of the Danube during the 17th to 18th centuries. Many later returned to Bulgaria or were assimilated into Romania. A few villages in Banat maintained their Bulgarian identity and some having returned to Bulgaria have also maintained their Banat-Bulgarian identity.

Chiprovtsi Bulgarian Catholics

Migration of Bulgarians to Banat

Banat Bulgarians return to Bulgaria

Main villages in Câmpia Banatului inhabited by Bulgarians


1741 The village of Vinga was first recorded in 1231. It was destroyed by the Turks around 1737 and was subsequently resettled by around 125 families of Bulgarians from Chiprovitsi in 1741. Vinga was given the status of town on 1st August 1744 . After the 1st World War many of the Bulgarian families moved to the towns of Arad or Timişoara, and since the 2nd world war there were more migration to the nearby towns, while others emigrated to the US, and Vinga lost its town status.
Dudeşti Veche (formerly Beşenova Veche)  - Stár Bišnov 1738

The comuna of Dudeştii Vechi comprises three villages: Dudeştii-Vechi, Cheglevici şi Colonia Bulgară. The village of Cheglevic was first mentioned in documents dating from around 1000, and by 1238 this area  belonged to the citadel of Cenad. Dudeştii-Vechi (Stár Bišnov) was founded in 1738 and was inhabited by 3,200 Bulgarians. Dudeştii Vechi, is the modern cultural centre of Banat Bulgarians.

Colonia Bulgară (formaly Telepa) 1845 Colonia Bulgară was first settled in 1845.
Sânnicolau Mare - Smikluš  

The village of Sânnicolau Mare has been inhabited since the Bronze age. Sânnicolau Mare was part of the feudal area of Cenad. It is mentiond in documents dating from 1217 and 1256 by the name Sân-Nicolau, from the name of the local monastery. It became part of the catholic episcopi of Cenad in 1334.

An Ottoman  fortress was built there around the 16th century, which was destroyed in 1701 by the Hapsburgs.

It became an administrative area in 1724, and was settled by Germans (Swabians), Banat Bulgarians, and Hungarians.

Bela Bartok was born in Sânnicolau Mare in 1881.

Breştea  - Bréšca 1842

The village of Brestea was founded in 1842, It was inhabited by around 110 families of Bulgarians, who moved from the village of Dudeşti Veche. Many returned to Bulgaria in the 1880s to found the village of Bardanski Geren in northern Bulgaria.

Denta - Denta


The village of Denta was fist mentioned in documents dating from 1322. In 16th century the Ottomans built a citadel. The Ottomans withdrew from Denta in 1716, and the village came under the Austro-Hungarians. The first German (Swabian) colonists arrived in 1720, and the Banat Bulgarians in 1842.

Villages in Serbia inhabited by Banat Bulgarians



Konak (Kanak)


Jaša Tomić  - Modoš


Skorenovac (Gjurgevo)


Blato - Belo Blato


Stari Lec


Banatski Dvor

Gjurgevo 1866

Villages in Bulgaria occupied by Banat Bulgarians

Pleven region

Asenovo, Nikopol district



The village of Asenovo, Nikopol district, Pleven region was founded in 1892. It was settled by 203 households of Bulgarians who moved back to Bulgaria from the Romanian villages of Vinga, Dudeşti Vechi, Konak and Brestea. The houses they built were in the style found on the Banat Plain.

Dragomirovo, Svistov Municipality



The village of Dragomirovo, Svistov Municipality, was founded in 1878. It was settled by  141 households of Catholoic Bulgarians from the village of Stár Bišnov and one from Brešćа. They were joined by a further group of Catholic Bulgarians known as "Bucharesters" who moved from the villages of Cioplea and Popeşti-Leordeni close to Bucharest. The village was divided into three sectors called the "Banatian", the "Bucharestian" (both Catholic) and the "Vlach" (Orthodox).

Gostilya Dolna Mitropolia Municipality



Gostilya Dolna Mitropolia Municipality, Pleven district, (133 families)  - also joined by several families of Banat Swabians


Bregare  Dolna,  Mitropolia Municipality



Bregare  Dolna Mitropolia Municipality, Pleven district, (83 families).



Bardarski Geran, Byala Slatina muncipality



The village of Bardarski Geran, in the municipality of Byala Slatina, Vratsa region was founded in 1887. It was settled by 185 families who moved from the Romanian village of Dudeşti Veche. They were joined in 1893 by 7 families of Banat Swabians, then later by 83 more Swabian families.


Voyvodovo, Mizia district



The village of Voyvodovo, Mizia district, Vratsa region, was founded in 1900. It was settled by a mix of Banat Bulgarians, Banat Swabians, Slovaks and Evangelical Czechs.

Following the 1st world war, conditions in Bulgaria led to some of these people returning to live in Banat.



Koinova, M. (1999) Minorities in Southeast Europe - Catholics of Bulgaria  www.greekhelsinki.gr/pdf/cedime-se-bulgaria-catholics.doc

Lunchev D.M. (2005) To the Problem of the Ethnographic Investigations of the Internet Communities (Bulgarians from Banat_Worldwide Case Study)  http://www.ecsocman.edu.ru/db/msg/184746/print.html
Telbizov, M. T. K. (1958), Narodnata Nosiya na Banatskite Bulgari, Akademiya

© Eliznik2008, Last updated Mar-08