Vinga is a commune in Arad county, documented around the 1300s and located just 32 km from Timişoara (see map). The main attraction of this place is the Roman-Catholic Church, built by the Bulgarian community of Vinga in just two years. It is practically impossible to pass through Vinga without noticing it (especially if you are traveling towards Arad). Built on one of the highest ground points of the entire parish, her two towers keep a careful watch over the entire area.
Vinga, a spot for Bulgarians
As a short history, after the fail of the Kripoveţ uprising (1688) against the Turkish, the Bulgarians of the catholic faith fled to the Romanian grounds. At the beginning, they settled into the region of Oltenia. After a short period, a part of them migrated towards the south-west of Transylvania where they were privileged with civil rights and exemption from taxes by the Habsburg Empire. Around 1741, the Bulgarians of the catholic faith receive the land between Timişoara and Arad from Maria Theresa and start building Tereziopolis-Vinga there.
A hundred years later, in Vinga were almost 4000 Bulgarians and 300 Romanians – numbers that today have been reversed. As a consequence, in 1880, the Vingans (people from Vinga) reached the conclusion that the one and only church of the village wasn’t enough and they requested permission to build another one. For 10 years they made donations from their own pockets for the necessary construction materials and they have molded by hand around 3 millions bricks in a few specially arranged ovens at the edge of the village.
The Roman-Catholic Church of Vinga was built between 1890 and 1892. It is said that a number of 200 local volunteers have worked every day during the construction of the church, which today is considered to be the biggest one in the Arad – Timiş – Caraş-Severin area. The construction has a height of 36 meters, a length of 32 meters and the towers rise up to a total of 65 meters. The interior is made out of 9 altars, 43 wood sculptures, a pneumatic organ, 52 walnut wood benches and two hardwood chandeliers.
On the right side of the grand altar is the statue of Saint Florian, the protector of firefighters. About two years ago, the priest told us that the firefighters come to the Roman-Catholic Church every year on the 4th of May and celebrate Saint Florian through a special ceremony. He is also the one who told us that this custom has been kept for hundreds of years in Vinga and that the firemen take part in the ceremony no matter what religion they belong to.
Besides the Roman-Catholic Church, inside the Vinga commune there are also the old city council building, the house with saint or the park, located in front of the church, which can be visited along with the statues that are located there. If you wish to have a meal inside the Vinga village, at the entrance, on the right side, there is a restaurant with delicious Romanian dishes.
The road until Vinga is very good especially since the A1 Arad-Timisoara freeway has been opened and this road has become less traveled.
Written by Alexandra Palconi. Translated by Doiniţa Spuză.
Photo credit: Flavius Neamciuc