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Rural heritage of the Danube Swabians

Institutions in Germany and Eastern Europe are dealing with rural heritage of the former settlers from Oberschwaben to these regions. 2018 is the anniversary year of the settlers origin region village museum in Kürnbach. The Danube Swabian Central Museum in Ulm is opening an exhibition on the Germans of Romania, featuring counterparts of monuments in Eastern Europe and the typical rural landscape.

Danube Swabian rural architecture
Maria Bostenaru 2014 / CC BY
Danube Swabian rural architecture
The Danube served as connection for migration in the past also from the West to the East and in today's situation it is worth to see the migration from Germany to Eastern Europe which was followed in post WWII time by a migration back.
More than 300 years ago, on an initiative of Maria Theresia to fight the church reformation (which had the 500 years anniversary in 2017) roman catholic dwelllers were brought from Oberschwaben, a south-west region of Germany, to eastern parts of Austria-Hungary. These included regions in Sathmar and also in Banat in Romania and the related regions in Serbia and Hungary. In Sathmar 2012 it was the 300th anniversary of the first dwellers. The count of Károlyi, one of the mightest in Hungary compared also to those of Budapest (we wrote about the castle garden in the news) facilitated a row of localities around, including also museum houses today.
The dwellers dealt with agriculture and the rich land where they came was good for this. A special type of house developped, which is today conserved by the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania, but which is equally found in the Danube Swabian regions of Hungary (see image). The house is now also the logo of a specific Schwaben Wein manufactured in Banat.
In Germany, the village museum near Bad Schussenried (one of the regions from where the settlers came) is conserving the housing tradition before the migration, and is at its 50th anniversary in 2018. It is not the oldest museum of this type, the oldest being that of Schwarzwald, also in South-West Germany.
Apart of this the Central Danube Swabian Museum in Ulm is dedicating an exhibition starting 19th of February to the Germans of Romania, featuring also Sathmar paintings. It is Ulm where the boats on the Danube started, and models are available in the museum. Also, Ulm features a monument to the migration, as its counterparts in Eastern Europe.
The central museum is not the only one, and there are centres of research in Tübingen and Sindelfingen.
On the 19th of April 2018 there will be a lecture about this heritage in the Schiller house in Bucharest.
The Le Notre Erasmus action Landscape for Democracy will deal in 2018 in Törökbálint also with a former Danube Swabian settlement, Großturwald, check the news to see what you can learn about it!

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20. Jan 2018
Reported by Maria BOSTENARU DAN


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