Pâncota (Hungarian: Pankota, German: Pankota) is a town in Arad County, western Transylvania, Romania. The town is situated at a 37 km distance from the county capital (Arad), in the central zone of the county, at the contact zone of the Aradului Plateau and Zărandului Mountains. The administrative territory of the town is 70.9 square km. The town also administers the village of Măderat (Magyarád).
The city of Pâncota, Arad County, is located in the south-western part of Zărandului Depression, in the northern extremity of the Aradului Vineyard. The town is crossed by the Sodom river, which springs from Highiș Mountains, 25 km from Pâncota. The Plains of Tisa, part of the Plains of Arad, is interrupted by vulcanic areas in the NE part of town.
Surrounding settlements are: Zărandul and Seleușul in the north, Târnova in the east, Șiria in the south, and Sântana in the west.
According to local tradition, the old town center used to be at the bottom of Pelegului Hill, at „The Old Grounds”. A roman-catholic priest, Serban from Ineu, writes in one of his notes, that the name „Pâncota” derives from latin words „stipan cubitum”, which mean „corner of the hill ” or „the hill’s ending”.
THE BENEDICTINE PERIOD
Pancota is first mentioned in a document from 1177, “the village of Pâncota’s abbot". A seal of the town is known since 1363, with the following inscription "Sigillum Hospitum of Pancota", the town having the rank of a borough.
The abbey is located in a place that is now known to locals as " The Turkish fortress".
It comprises four towers in the corners of the fortress’ fence, a convent, a church and several storage buildings, stables, a barn and homes for the Roman Catholic priests. For a more effective defense of the fortress, it was surrounded by deep ditches filled with water.
The abbey was destroyed completely by the Turks in 1565.
THE DIETRICH SZULKOWSZKY PERIOD
The settlers founded New Pincota, the current location of the city. The first inhabited street was current Mărăşescu Street, known today by the village elders as Luxembourg Street. In 1806 the construction of the Roman Catholic church began, using stone from the former abbey. From the city ruins they also built a school (1809), the shed next to the current City Hall, basements, house foundations.
The Pâncota domain and its surrounding villages were bought by Baron Jozsef Dietrich in 1805. He built the Baroque castle, which was his summer residence. The castle has a huge park with ornamental trees, flowers and fountains stretching over the current area of the park and school. During the 1848-1849 revolution Dietrich traveled to America, from where he brought four Gigantera Sequoia trees, trees that live over 4000 years. Shrubs were planted in Măderat and two of them can still be admired. Baron Dietrich had a daughter who married the Polish Prince József Szulkowszki. The Prince inherited all his wealth after the baron’s death in 1855.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CITY
„Ora et labora”, latin for „Pray and work”, is the motto of the Order of Saint Benedict. The Order was founded by a monk, Benedict of Nursia, in 529, at Montecassino, Italy. It is the oldest religious order in the world, their principles being godliness, obedience, pray and work. By building churches and abbeys, schools and public institutions, the monks of the Order of Saint Benedict were true educators and pioneers in Middle Age Europe.
Benedictine monks settled in Pâncota as well, by order of Hungarian king Bella the Third, in 1177. They built an abbey, worked the land, planted vine, as this roman-catholic order allowed the consumption of wine during mass.
THE TURKISH PERIOD
In 1565 the Turks besieged and demolished Pâncota city. Ottoman occupation lasted 130 years. They left the town 1695, destroying all that was left standing. Legend says that upon departure, they took eight boys with them, in order to turn them into feared soldiers of the Turkish army. In an act of donation – a document dating from 1651 and belonging to Hungarian King George Rakoczy II, it is stated that Pincota is a deserted village. In 1726 King Charles III donates the village to Raynald, Prince of Modena. It fails because the territory was uninhabited. During the Turkish period, a Turkish bath had been built at the foothill of Pelegu Hill, because there was a spring of hot water there. Upon departure, they covered the spring.
- Arad-Pâncota county road DJ709 (39,6KM). (View the route on Google Map)
- Paulis DJ708B (E68) - Pâncota (27,3KM) county road - Wine Road (Route View on Google Map)
- Arad-Pâncota (39,6KM) (see the list of public transport operators and tariffs / program)
- Arad, Pâncota (41,0KM) (consult timetables - schedule and prices) (Note: write Pincota on the searchform (instead of Pîincota / Pâncota)).
The city of Pâncota is located in an area that has a moderate continental climate with oceanic influences, with winters that are not very cold, and with hot summers.
The average annual air temperature in Pâncota is maintained at about 10.8°C. Looking at the temperatures in January, the coldest month of the year, it is observed that annual thermal values range between 0.3 and 1.5°C, being higher than in the Romanian Plains or the Moldavian Plateau, an indication of the mild winters.
The fact that winters are milder in this part of the coutry is also proven by thermal values recorded during the other months of the cold season (0,9 ° C in December and 2,5 ° C in February). The average air temperature calculated for the entire winter season is 0.9 ° C.
The month of July, regarded as the hottest month of the year, is characterized by high thermal values, between 28 ° C and 31 ° C. The average temperature this month is maintained around 20.3 ° C.
The first frost was recorded in the last decade of September (September 29th) and the last in the third decade of May (May 21st). The possible frost period reaches 134 days per year. Most days of frost are recorded in January (27-28 days in 1975) and December (17 to 18 days in 1975). The number of days without frost averages 215-220 annually, compared to 172 in the Central Moldavian Plateau, or 182 in Ialomiţa, placing Pâncota among the places with the most days with positive thermal values in the country. The study allows us to appreciate the thermal regime: not too cold winters, that are quite short, the transition from spring to summer being often abupt. The autumns are usually long and warm, favoring the maturation process and the harvest of the crops.
The movement of air masses in our region presents different directions and intensities depending on the season. Characteristic winds have a south-eastern and north-western dominance, with a frequency varying between 45% and 60%.
Winds situation seasons after beating direction:
During winter, there is a SE wind coming from the Mureş Corridor that usually brings dry weather. When the north wind blows, it brings snow and bad weather.
Spring winds are commonly NW and SE. The NW bring frost and late spring frosts, accompanied by rains and hail storms.
Summer winds come from the E and SE. The E winds typically bring abundant rain. The presence of a mountain mass near the condensation process intensifies rainfall, characteristic to the end of spring and early summer. More rarely, during summer, northwestern winds bring rain showers and hail storms.
Autumn winds are commonly SV winds that bring sunshine and little rain,as well as drizzle. When the northwest wind blows, it brings frost and freezing. From the study of the frequency and wind regime it result that most crop damage is done by NW winds affecting young seedlings, usually fruit trees, vines and immature crops.
Dependending on the general circulation of the atmosphere, the configuration of the landforms, air cloudiness has different characteristics. Thus, on the western slopes of the Zarand Mountains exposed to humid air masses driven by the movement of western origin, a higher degree of cloudiness is recorded towards the lower parts of the plains, where it is much lower. By late spring and early summer, as a result of humid air ascent, the cloud cover increases, rainfall intensifies and it is more abundant.
Few of Arad county towns have landforms so harmoniously constituted as the city of Pâncota. From the wooded crests of the Highis-Drocea massif with its Cioaca Hill that can reach up to 342m in the SE of Măderat village, to the Matca channel in the west, the landscape descends continuously, steeply at first, then more gentle, reaching, near this channel, altitudes between 80 and 100 m.
Located in the south-west part of Zarand depression, our town’s territory has a similar genesis: a sunken Hercynian massif.
The geological structure of the area is made up mostly of quaternary deposits (sand, gravel, clay). The thickness of these deposits varies between 50 and 100 m.
The existence of well-developed clay deposits, systematically and rationally exploited, allowed the development of the manufacturing industry, represented by the brick factory. The existence of this enterprise explains the fact that most of Pancota’s constructions are made of burnt brick.
The presence of volcanic rocks facilitated the opening of quarries that have worked for a long time, providing material for a large amount of street paving and stone foundations necessary for many constructions.
In terms of geomorphology, the locality is a well-defined structural and morphological unit.
Within this unit, altitude differences are not too great (342 m Cioaca Măderatului hill, 80 m in the low area in the northwestern part of town).
The smoothness of the landforms and the shallow aquifers cause water to pool for long periods during wet springs, preventing agricultural work or pasture degradation.
The valleys here are poorly sketched, and the shallow drainage slope gives the impression that water rather stays still than flowing. For a better management of these lands, vast hydro-amelioration work has been conducted since the second half of the last century, in order to eliminate excess water.
Pâncota’s official coat of arms
Pâncota’s official coat of arms was adopted by Government Decision no. 128/2012. It consists of a triangular shield with rounded edges. In its upper side, on a red background, there is a silver citadel with black walls and battlements, with two rectangular lateral towers that have two windows. At the top of the open gate lays a golden cross, which oppresses a silver crescent. On top of the shield in the blue field, there is a silver pole with a black caduceus, flanked to the left and to the right by vine, vine leaves and grapes entwined on a pole, all made of gold. The shield is stamped by a mural crown with three silver towers with battlements.
The significance of the elements:
The city gate symbolizes the city of Pâncota, built in the 14th century. The cross and the crescent represent the battles fought against the Ottomans, which took place in this area, in the 16th century. The caduceus represents the town’s commercial activities. The vine stands for the inhabitants’ main occupation, which is viticulture. The mural crown with its three towers means that the settlement has the rank of “city” .