Pannonnia-Carpathian Basin-Hungarian Plain


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  1. My wife and I have been going to Romania since 1973. One interest was the German population of southern Transylvania. It was like a time warp with very neat, distinctive German rural architecture, some amazing fortified churches (look up Viscri on Google Earth or Google maps for photos). and preservation of a German folk culture that had largely disappeared in Germany. They had been there since the 12th century, invited in to create a middle class (the Romanian peasants they conquered didn’t have anything to tax) and to guard the borders. After WWII the Germans were not popular with the new Communist government, so they went from the top of the social heap to the bottom. In 1990 the German government offered automatic citizenship, an apartment, a job, and free health care to any Germans who wished to move to Germany. An astounding 98% left, and Villages were abandoned to disintegration. The story of how Prince Charles set up a fund for their restoration is interesting in itself, but now Romanians have moved into many villages, restored the houses, and opened bed and breakfasts in them. My wife and I stayed in one of them in June (look up La Hansi in Crit).


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