Săcălaz Commune

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Săcălaz (Sackelhausen in German, Szakálháza in Hungarian) is a commune in the Timiș county, Banat, Romania, consisting of the villages of Beregsău Mare, Beregsău Mic and Săcălaz (seat village).

The locality was documented for the first time in a diploma from December 29th, 1392, which delimited the border of the village of Zakalhaza, a name that was kept until 1520. However, the villages belonging to it were documentarily mentioned in 1332.

In 1765 the first wave of Swabian German settlers arrived here, at the order of Maria Theresa. She issued the “Colonization Patent” of February 25th, 1763, and then the Decree which she submitted to the “Colonization Office of Banat” in 1765, through which the movement of the Romanian population to the south of Torontal was ordered, to make way for the Swabian settlers. Thus, the Romanian population of about 60 families had to abandon Săcălaz and move to Torac (nowadays in Serbia), where they established a new settlement. In turn, the Beregsău Mic village was colonized with Serbian population.

The following waves of German colonizers (1744-1772, 1782-1787) definitively established the German predominance of the locality. The Săcălaz development plans were drafted on paper in Vienna, in the form of a chessboard, with the Catholic Church in the centre.

According to the census carried out in 2011, the population of the Săcălaz commune amounts to 7,204 inhabitants, increasing from the previous census in 2002, when there were 6,273 inhabitants. Most of the inhabitants are Romanians (83.91%), with a minority of Serbs (1.99%). For 11.9% of the population, the ethnicity is unknown. From a confessional point of view, most of the inhabitants are Orthodox (78.87%), but there are also Pentecostal (7.38%), Roman Catholic (2.42%) and Serbian Orthodox (1.78%) minorities. For 7.12% of the population, the confessional membership is unknown.