Anina

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This article is about the Romanian city. For the fashion model, see Anina (model). For the 2013 film, see Anina (film).
Anina
Town
Coat of arms of Anina
Coat of arms
Location of Anina
Location of Anina
Coordinates: 45°5′30″N 21°51′12″E / 45.09167°N 21.85333°E / 45.09167; 21.85333Coordinates: 45°5′30″N 21°51′12″E / 45.09167°N 21.85333°E / 45.09167; 21.85333
Country  Romania
County Caraș-Severin County
Status Town
Government
 • Mayor Gheorghe Neicu (Democratic Party)
Area
 • Total 145.53 km2 (56.19 sq mi)
Population (2000)
 • Total 10,886
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Anina (Romanian pronunciation: [aˈnina] ( ); German: Steierdorf; Hungarian: Stájerlakanina) is a town in southwestern Romania, in Caraş-Severin County, with a population of 10,886 in 2000. The town administers one village, Steierdorf (German: Steierdorf, Hungarian: Stájerlak).

Geology[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1956 11,837 —    
1966 14,063 +18.8%
1977 11,478 −18.4%
1992 11,329 −1.3%
2002 10,594 −6.5%
2011 7,010 −33.8%
Source: Census data

In 2002, the oldest modern human remains in Europe were discovered in a cave near Anina. Nicknamed "Ion din Anina" (John of Anina), the remains (the lower jaw) are some 40,000 years old.

Anina represents one of the most important localities in the South Carpathians for Jurassic fossils, both plants and animals, as the geological heritage here is particularly diverse and well preserved (Popa, 2001, 2005). Anina is a fossile-Lagerstatte for Early Jurassic biota, the Hettangian-Sinemurian terrestrial Steierdorf Formation recording an extremely rich floral association, vertebrate and invertebrate tracks, traces and burrows. This paleontological heritage was uncovered also by significant mining works, such as underground mines and open cast mines, such works permitting the three-dimensional studies of the continental deposits, a unique opportunity in Europe and in the world, until the unfortunate closing of the last major mine in 2006. Still, the sterile dumps of the former mines and the former open cast mines of Ponor and Colonia Ceha very are rich in plant material, and they represent the subject of local conservation, as preserved sites or Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

View from Oravița - Anina mountain railway in 2010.
Houses close to the Oraviţa - Anina mountain railway.

The Early Jurassic (Hettangian - Sinemurian) flora is represented by Bryophytes (Hepaticae), Pteridophytes (Filicopsida, Sphenopsida, Lycopsida) and Gymnosperms (Pteridospermopsida, Ginkgopsida, Cycadopsida, Coniferopsida), with numerous coal generators (Givulescu, 1998, Popa and Van Konijnenburg - Van Cittert, 2005). Very rare vertebrate tunnels were recently described (Popa and Kedzior, 2006), such burrows being formerly reported only from three occurrences in the world (South Africa, Arizona and Argentina), tetrapod tracks such as Batrachopus cf. deweyi (Popa, 2000), and sauropod tracks of Parabrontopodus sp. type (Pienkowski et al., 2009).

The Middle Jurassic marine formations are also extremely rich in marine invertebrates and drifted floral remains, while the Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous units display basinal and carbonate platform features (Bucur, 1997).

The coal mining industrial heritage is also very significant, with Austrian industrial architecture and pits still preserved, such as the Northern Pit (Anina Pit I), Pit II, Pit IV (next to the Terezia Valley). Coal mining activities began in 1792, after the first coal outcrop was discovered by Matthew Hammer.

The Anina-Oravita railway was the first on the territory of modern-day Romania, built in 1863, it is still in use today for touristic purposes. It is one of the most beautiful railways in Europe due to very picturesque landscapes, viaducts and long tunnels. The railway preserves many aspects of the original design and, as such, it does not comply with many UIC standards and it needs special, more powerful locomotives and shorter rail coaches to operate.

Anina occurs between Cheile Nerei - Beusnita National Park and Semenic - Cheile Carasului National Park, and due to its natural and industrial heritage deserves the status of a geopark, a much needed status for such an important geological and historical area.

See also[edit]

References[edit]