|• Mayor||Danut Groza|
|• Total||136.77 km2 (52.81 sq mi)|
|Population (April 1, 2004)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
Sânnicolau Mare (also spelled Sînnicolau Mare, Romanian pronunciation: [sɨnnikoˌla.u ˈmare]) is a town in Timiş County, Romania and the westernmost of the country. Located in the Banat region, along the borders with Serbia and Hungary, it has a population of just under 13,000.
In German, it is known as Groß Sankt Nikolaus, in Hungarian as Nagyszentmiklós, in Banat Bulgarian as Smikluš, and in Serbian as Сент Николаш / Sent Nikolaš. It is translated as "Great St. Nicholas" in English.
After the Treaty of Passarowitz (1718) until 1918, Sânnicolau Mare (and the Banat) was part of the Austrian monarchy, Temes District; in Transleithania after the compromise of 1867 in the Kingdom of Hungary.
In the late 18th century, the Habsburg dynasty of Austria recruited German farmers and artisans to resettle areas along the Danube that had been depopulated during the Ottoman reign and the plague. They were allowed to keep their own religion, language and culture, and many German villages were founded in the Banat. The descendants of the ethnic Germans became known as Danube Swabians (Danauswaben) and spoke a distinct form of German that became different from what evolved in the principal states. This is one reason for the high proportion of ethnic Germans in the town before World War II. After the war, many left the area to escape Soviet dominance; others were expelled because of anti-German sentiment throughout eastern Europe.
The town was a district center in Torontal County during Habsburg rule. The town served as the county seat between 1807 and 1820 due to a great fire in Großbetschkerek, the county seat. Occupied by Serbian troops in 1918 during World War I, the town became part of Romania in 1919 during the realignment after the war.
Sânnicolau Mare is known for the Treasure of Nagy Szent Miklos, a treasure of 23 gold objects discovered here in 1799 (it was then called Nagy Szent Miklos / Groß-Sankt-Niklaus in the Habsburg Monarchy). The pieces are on display in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna and the National Museum of History, Sofia. The town is the birthplace of Béla Bartók, the notable 20th-century Hungarian composer. The town is 64 kilometers away from Timişoara, the biggest city in the region.
|Historical population of Sânnicolau Mare|
At the 2011 census, the town counted with 11,540 inhabitants. 79.03% Romanians, 7.66% Hungarians, 3.21% Roms, 2.2% Germans, 0.12% Ukrainians
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