Charlottenburg, the only circular village in Romania
Located approximately 50 km away from the western city of Timisoara, Charlottenburg is the only round village in the country. Due to its uniqueness, the round shaped village has been declared a historical monument by The Ministry of Culture.
The village was established around 1770 by 32 families of Swabians who came to the region as part of the second wave of German colonization from Baden Wurttenberg, from Lorraine and South Tyrol. Historians say these families brought with them the plans to build their round village. The beautiful village plans from the baroque era have been preserved.
‘In the middle of the village there is a covered well with very good water. Around the well one can find a perfect circle of mulberry trees behind which there are houses with stables and barns. Then there are the gardens where people plant vine. Every house is just as tall as the next and all of them have the same distance one from another, following a lovely symmetric style; the same symmetry applies to the four entrances of the village’, Johann Kaspar Steube described Charlottenburg on the 5th of March 1779.
The villagers used to be mainly farmers, only few of them worked in the forest or in the city. One of the traditions specific to the area is hunting, the property near the village used to be exploited for this purpose by the Romanian Royal Court in the first place, then by the members of the Communist Party and in the end by the amateur hunters all over Europe. This village’s population reached its climax in 1880, today counting only 300 inhabitants and only two of them still have Swabian roots, Peter Trimper and Maria Ana Backin, the last Swabian people of the village.