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Beltiug (in Hungarian: Krasznabéltek, in German: Bildegg) is a commune in the county of Satu Mare, Romania. It is made up of 6 villages: Beltiug (commune seat), Bolda, Ghirisa, Giungi, Ratesti and Sandra. The commune of Beltiug lies at the South of Satu Mare county, in the contact area of Crasna Plane with the Western slopes of the Codrului Hills, 35 kms from the town of Satu Mare along Route E81, which connects the town of Satu Mare, going through the town of Zalau, to Cluj-Napoca. The commune of Beltiug borders: in the North the town of Ardud, in the East and South-East the commune of Supur, in the West the commune of Craidorolt and the commune of Acas. The total surface of the commune is of 11703 ha, 897 ha land within incorporated area and 10806 ha unincorporated area.

History . . .

The commune of Beltiug has a centennial existence, and the Oradea register, a church document, attests to the existence of Beltiug as early as 1216. The above register stipulates all judgements at the time from North-Western Transylvania. In 1216, a certain Paul from the Beltiug estate accused all Flandrese of Batar, who belonged to the shire of Ugocsa, for the murder of Benedict’s brother. The Flandrese did not deny this fact, but they asserted they had killed him for having committed a murder. The Count of Batarch, reading the case by order of the Hungarian king, sent Paul to Oradea to the hot iron ordeal, where it was proven that his accusation was not legitimate. The Hungarian historian Turoczi shows that these Flandrese came to these lands from the Rhine at the end of the 12th centuryArchaeological diggings on the territory of the commune brought out traces pointing to the passage of the Tatars on the territory of the commune. In the year 1241, during their migration through the territory of the Beltiug commune, conflicts occurred with the local population, fact proven by the tombs remaining from that time and known as the tombs of Batum hill, after the name of the Tatar convoy leader who passes through this land. This hill lies at the South of Beltiug commune, 300 meters from the stables of the zootechnical area of the former C.A.P. (Agricultural Production Cooperative) Beltiug.In the year 1412, the son of king Bela the 4th of Hungary Akos, together with his entourage, roaming the hills of Satu Mare on the road to Carei, in summertime, in burning heat, while passing through the commune, asked to be served with water from the Crasna river, which ran through the centre of today’s commune. No one was able to serve him water, as they had no jar. Seeing pumpkins in the cornfield, he advised them to cut up a pumpkin with the knife, to remove its core, and then serve him water. His travel records register the name of the place as “Beltok”, which name evolves under several different forms, being subsequently set to Beltiug.

The oldest construction in the commune of Beltiug is the Roman Catholic church, the construction dating from 1481 and being declared a historical monument. The church of Beltiug was built at the same time with the church of Ardud. This is certified by an inscription from the former knights’ room in the citadel of Ardud, which entails that in 1482, in the 8th day after the day of St. George, Bartholomew Dragfii ordered the construction of the church to begin. In 1482, the same Dragfii, vaivode of Transylvania in Matei Corvin’s time, on St. Mary’s Day (August 15th), completed the construction of the church of Beltiug. Both the church of Beltiug, and the one from Ardud were built during the same period, had the same size, the same style, and the same master workman. The Beltiug Commune was the property of the Czudar family from the bloodline of Balchui and Dragfii. There was a fortress around the church. Witnessing the existence of this fortress are the events of the 16th century. In the year 1565, Ioan Sigismund, the king of Hungary, together with the Turks, attacked the fortress of Ardud. The siege of the fortress lasted over 40 days. Not being able to hold before the siege, the citadel surrendered, and the population was partly enslaved, partly killed, and the fortress was destroyed to the ground. There is a clue saying that Beltiug also had a fortress similar to the one in Ardud. The same Ioan Sigismund, allied with the Turks, attacked and destroyed the fortress of Beltiug which, unlike the one in Ardud, was never rebuilt, although the fortress of Beltiug, due to the fact that the river Crasna flowed through the position of the present market of Beltiug, provided excellent natural shelter.After the Dragfii family, the new owners of the commune were the ones from the Prepostvary family. This is certified by the existence of a marble monument which endures to this day, found within the Roman-Catholic church, the monument dating back to the year 1597, on the occasion of the funerals of a Prepostvary family member, by the name of Valentin. The tomb of the owner of Beltiug was destroyed during the fire of September 6th, 1862, the only thing left being the marble monument. In the 17th century, Beltiug, together with Ardud, became the possession of the Rakoczi family. Around mid 17th century, the Tatars enter Transylvania to punish Gheorghe Rakoczi, who attempted to convert the Romanians to Calvinism (the Hungarian were of Unitarian faith). In the year 1703, a descendant of the prince, a certain Francisc Rakoczi the 2nd caused a war against the Austrian. During the fights with the Austrian, Beltiug is taken over by the army of Rakoczi. In 1711 the war ends with the victory of the Austrian. Peace was made at Satu Mare, Rakoczi runs to France, and then to Turkey. His fortune, among which Beltiug and Ardud, go to the ownership of consul Karoly.Due to the fact that, following the events which took place in these lands, the population became scarce, Karoly brought inhabitants from other areas as well, namely from Germany, along the Danube. In the year 1724, Karoly colonized the commune with German-origin inhabitants (Swabians), who settled here and live in this land to this day. Karoly evicted the other nationalities, by telling them: “Go and settle North-East of my folds”. The Romanians settled at Stana and at Bolda, and the Hungarian to the South at Dobra and a part of them to the North, at Ghirisa. With the coming of the Germans, the church became Catholic, and the ornaments necessary to the church were brought from Muenchen and are Baroque style.Around 1837 there was in the locality a denominational school, which has two classes with two teachers, as the church had the obligation to have a school attached to it. In 1862, the commune had 7 nationally-renowned fairs. According to a census taken in 1864, the population of Beltiug counted: 1240 Roman-Catholic inhabitants, 180 Greek-Catholic inhabitants, 25 Reformed inhabitants, 30 Jewish inhabitants, the number of inhabitants being 1475. Between 1870 and 1880, over 100 inhabitants died every year, in spite of the absence of any epidemic. Due to this high rate of mortality, new inhabitants came to the commune between these years. In 1873 the building of the Local Council was erected.

In the year 1876, the entire continent was seized by tremendous frost around May 19th-20th, destroying the entire crop for the year. In the fall of 1862, the children of Beltiug, playing with fire, set a barn on Dobrei Street on fire, and a fire burst which spread to the entire commune, and only two houses were left unharmed, the house of Hetenyi and the house of Bencze, state-owned. The fire was so great that the school and the church burned down, and, due to the high temperature, the church bells melted. From the melted material a bell was cast with a weight of 800 kilograms, which is preserved to this day. During wintertime, the population lodged in the cellars from the East of the commune, at the foot of the Hagau hill. After the fire, the commune was rebuilt and it blossomed.With the Austrian-Hungarian dualist regime, a terrible wave of persecution came on the Transylvanian Romanian people. In the year 1868 the Law of Nationalities was enforced, which only acknowledged a single official language in the state, namely the Hungarian language. The Law of education of 1868 enforced teaching of the Hungarian language in all schools, even though in Transylvania, the Banate, Crisana, and Maramures, the Romanian formed the majority. This law was, evidently, applied within the Beltiug commune as well. Starting on September 28th 1869, the school no longer held the name of denominational school, but that of an elementary state school. This policy for the denationalization of Romanian working masses was ended in the document of 1 December 1918, when Transylvania and the other provinces inhabited by Romanians re-entered the natural borders of Romania.

Relief . . .

From a geological point of view, the Beltiug commune is part of the borderline tectonic unit of the Pannonic Basin, which unit became individualized following the geological events from the upper territory in the Quaternary. The relief of the commune is characterized by the landscape given by the contact between the Codru Piedmont and Crasna’s field area.Crasna field is part of a larger geographical unit, which is the field of Somes. It is crossed by the river bearing the same name, Crasna, and it takes up the Central and Northern part of the region situated at the border of the commune. The present lowland relief took shape after the retreat of the Pannonic Sea waters, which, like a gulf, ran to the foot of the Codru Peak and to the edge of Silvania’s Hills. Following the retreat of sea waters, a shore remained at the surface of the earth, which was lifted up by the winds and deposited as loess (yellowish clay). This layer can be found to this day and it can be noticed upon drilling wells, at a depth of 0,5 – 1 meters, placed over layers of sand and gravel, which determines the difficulty in the cultivation of these soils. The field takes up the Western and Southern part of the commune.The Codru Range extends to the Eastern side of the Acas commune boundary, and it is known as the Hills of Beltiug or the Hills of Dobra. The hilly surface is an area in which the mountains crashed and they lie drowned under thick sediment, except for the shallow crest of crystalline schist – the Codru Range, with the Western part passing quite suddenly into the field of Crasna. At the foot of the crystalline massif of the Codru Range lies an area of piedmont hills, made up of a very complex material of sand mixed with gravel, clay, and marl. One part of these hills is forested, another part is taken up by natural meadows, agricultural crops, and plantations of fruit trees and grapevine. In the hilly area there have been shallow landslides, and measures to fight erosion have been taken by means of planting trees.

Climate . . .

The area of Beltiug Commune is situated in the climatic area of the Western field. This is characterized by a relative territorial uniformity. The climate corresponds to the mild climate type – moderate continental, with a warm temperature regime (warm summers and winter somewhat gentler than the rest of the country). Summers are moderate, 19-20 °C, and winters are long and dry (-1̊… -2̊ °C), the average annual temperature being 1,2̊ to 1,3̊ smaller than in the South. The number of winter frost days is of only 50-60 per year, but sometimes late spring frost occurs, usually at the end of April. The absolute maximum temperatures do not exceed 40̊ °C, and the minimum temperatures do not go below – 30̊ °C. The climate provides convenient conditions for agricultural crops.Rainfall. Nebulosity, which is rather small, 5,5, creates the conditions for a significant number of sunny days (70-75), adding up to approximately 2000 hours per year. The annual rainfall varies around the value of 600 mm, of which almost half (45,6%) falls at the end of spring and in the summer. The maximum period takes place in May and June. The annual number of days with rainfall is of 120-130 per year, of which 20 represent snowfall. Usually, the first snow falls in the first decade of December, but it does not last.The atmospheric pressure and the regime of winds. Given the small altitude (approx. 200 m), the atmospheric pressure registers high values, around 1000 mb, with small oscillations from one season to another. The eolian regime indicates a predominant from the North-Western sector (75-80%), in spring and summer, the Western winds being more frequent, with the maximum in July, and in fall and winter the Eastern and North-Eastern ones. The winds largely affect the rainfall regime, in particular the ones from the West, which generate spring and summer rains. Usually the winds in the North-Western sector are predominant, favouring the frequent cold and humid air invasions, drawn by cyclones from the Atlantic area. The Beltiug area has a relatively homogeneous climatic regime, with a small difference between the field climate and the hill climate.The climate of Beltiug commune is characterized as mild continental, with a warmer temperature regime, with early spring comings and relatively reduced rainfall, being a climate favourable to most agricultural crops, as well as for fruit trees and grapevine cultivation.

Hydrography . . .

South-West of Beltiug flows the Crasna river, which springs from the Apuseni Mountains and flows into Tisa, and North-East of this locality the Bolda river flows. 2.8 km from the locality of Beltiug lies the thermal water drilling (FB drill 1), with mineral water which contains iodine, bicarbonate, chloride, sodium, it is hypermetal, hypotonic, with a temperature of 65̊ °C. Water supply for the commune of Beltiug is achieved from the population’s own fountains.

The flora . . .

The spread of vegetation is closely connected to the climate and relief. Vegetation is arborescent and the forests are represented by the oak (Quercus robur), hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), ash (Fraxinus), poplar (Populus), field maple (Acer campestre) and others. The meadows from grazing grounds and grass lands have characteristic plants such as the fescue (Festuca porcii), drooping broome (Bromus tectorium), bluegrass (Poa bulbosa), birds’s foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), and, in swampy areas, species of bulrush, scouring rush, and rush.

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