Dumbrăviţa Commune

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Dumbrăviţa (old name, before 1924, Sânteşti, Újszentes in Hungarian, Neussentesch in German) is a commune in the Timiş county, Banat, Romania, consisting only of the seat village with the same name. According to a study that was carried out in 2013 by the Consultative Council for Regionalization, the Dumbrăviţa commune was declared the most developed locality in Romania.

It was founded in 1891 by settlers from the Szentes locality (hence the Hungarian name Újszentes, Senteşul Nou in Romanian), under the colonization policy of the Hungarian government of those times.

The Timișoara area was depopulated after the 1552 event. In the 17th -18th centuries, Romanians and Serbs from other areas settled here. In 1778 this area of Timiş was taken over and administered by Hungary and thus began its popularization with the Hungarians from the Szeged area and the area beyond Tisza. The Hungarian settlements in Banat appeared at the end of the 19th century as a result of the action of the Hungarian government. In 1889, the inhabitants of Szentes were informed through the local newspaper that the government was setting up several villages around the Timișoara town.

In 1889, 127 people from Szentes decided to buy land 6 km north of Timișoara. Under the contract, the equivalent of the land was paid in 20 years. The land is located in the deforested area of a part of Pădurea Verde (the green forest). Thus the locality was called Vadaszerdokozseg (commune of Pădurea Verde).

In the autumn of 1891, 133 families, a total of 768 people from Szentes, began to build their homes on the land they bought. In 1892 the commune already had a few streets. At the request of the inhabitants, the commune was named Ujszentes (the new Szentes). Most of the inhabitants were of reformed religion, so the reformed church in the locality was sanctified in 1901 (its construction started in 1897). After 1920, several families from the Serbian Banat (Toracul Mic, Toracul Mare), as well as Hungarian and Romanian families from various parts of Romania settled in the locality. Towards 1924, the locality was named Sânteşti, and three years later 42 Romanian families started owning land (7 yokes of arable land, places for homes and gardens).

After 1950, the name of Ujszentes was changed to Dumbrăviţa, the name that the locality still has today. The first documentary attestation appears to exist in the monography of Bodor Antal from 1907, in the local newspaper of the Szentes town from September 1889 to April 1890 and in documents in the Csongrad County archive (Hungary). Immediately after 1918, the Romanian authorities introduced the name Sânteşti, which was later abandoned. At the 1930 census, the locality was listed under the name Uisenteş.

According to the census that was carried out in 2011, the population of the Dumbrăviţa commune amounts to 7,522 inhabitants, having increased from the previous census in 2002 when there were 2,693 inhabitants. Most of the inhabitants are Romanians (76.07%). The main minorities are Hungarians (14.05%) and Germans (1.16%). For 6.37% of the population, the ethnicity is unknown. From the confessional point of view, most of the inhabitants are Orthodox (67.34%), but there are also Roman Catholic (10.5%), reformed (7.25%), Pentecostal (1.78%), Greek- Catholic (1.75%) and Baptist (1.62%) minorities. For 6.99% of the population, the confessional membership is unknown.