Town of Pecica

Situated 25 km away from the Municipality of Arad, the town of Pecica has recently joined the urban network of Romania. The administrative territory of the town lies in the western part of the Arad Plain, the town also administering the rural places of Bodrogu Vechi (Old Bodrogu), Sederhat and Turnu.

The population of the town is of 13,024 inhabitants, as found by the 2002 census.

The rich archeological findings in the area have given the name of an important historical period, known as the Pecica- Periam Culture. The history of the settlements at Pecica, Bodrogu Vechi, Sederhat and Turnu has been closely related to the events that, through their great significance, have marked the entire area of the Arad Plain.

The first documentary attestation of the place dates back to 1335, when it was known under the name of Petk. Sederhat was mentioned only in 1913, Turnu, in 1333, under the name of Mok, while Bodrogu Vechi was mentioned in 1422 as Bodruch.

Although the town’s economy is predominantly agricultural, lately, the secondary and tertiary economic sectors have been on the rise. Beside agriculture, the oil and gas industry has been well represented here. The opening of the Turnu border- crossing point and the possible future turning to account of the thermal waters could be the most important pillars for the economic development of the town.

Pecica may become a tourist attraction point through a good use of the urban aggregate around the Roman-Catholic Church, through the advertising of the “Muresh Meadow” Natural Park, and through channeling investment toward this sector of activity.

In the middle of the 18 th century, a shabby, light material church existed in Pecica, having St. Nicholas as its patron saint. Because of its advanced dilapidated condition, on November 13, 1757, Bishop Sinesie Jivanovics submitted the Orthodox community’s petition to the land owner for the necessary material support, in the shape of either bricks and wood, or wood only, to be cut down in the forest by themselves, in order to erect a church, the old one being about to fall down upon them. The Bishop used as argument for the Pecica inhabitants’ petition the fact that, after settling down in the place, which had remained empty after the disbanding of the Serbian militia, although still poor, the year before they had helped with the erection of the Pecica Chamber building and that this support would determine them to stay on here forever and other people to settle here, too.

Around the year 1774, the old church was replaced by a new, brick one, built where today’s church stands. The iconostasis of the church was achieved by the famous Arad painter Stefan Tenetchi, in 1776- 1777. Following a hurricane and a fire, in 1863, the church suffered great damage and had to be rebuilt almost entirely. Its present shape is due to the repairs of 1929-1931, the restoration project belonging to the Timisoara architect Konrad Richter.

A building stands in the town, at No.183, where once stood the house of Petru Seghedinat, the organizer of the 1735 uprising. Here, the leaders of the Romanian, Hungarian and Serbian uprisen masses of people conducted negotiations in preparation of the revolt. Betrayed and arrested in Arad, Petru Seghedinat was executed by wheel thrashing, his body being then torn into four pieces, one of which was displayed before his house in Pecica.

The Old Town Hall (at No.34) witnessed significant events. In 1848, the masses of people appointed here a Mayor coming from the lower classes. In 1862, the citizens decided to introduce the Romanian language in the administration. In 1922, 400 peasants demonstrated against the abuses during the agrarian reform campaign.

7 km away from Pecica lies the nice place called Shantzu Mare( The Big Ditch). Archeological researches carried out here have led to finding several layers of culture, starting with the Neolithic and ending with the Feudal Age, since which a cemetery has existed (12 th century). The most important layers belong to the Bronze Age (the Periam-Pecica Culture) and the Dacian Age. According to some researchers, this area included the fortified Dacian center of Ziridava, which flourished during the age of the incipient slave-owning Dacian State (1 st century B.C. – 1 st century A.D.) The houses of the wealthy( tarabostes) stood on a hillock, while the hovels of the free men( comati) lay in the surrounding areas. During the Daco- Roman wars, the settlement was destroyed.

Folklore traditions are deeply respected in Pecica, and the folklore dance ensembles, wearing nice, specific costumes, have participated in many contests. The local costume for young ladies consists of  a ”spatoi”, representing the female shirt, usually made of flax, ornamented ,on the sleeves only, with floral motifs sewn with metallic thread. Over it, at waist level, there is the waist band, ”spacel”, ornamented with floral motifs with metallic thread, too. Similarly ornamented are the head-kerchief,”carpa”, the apron, “zadia”. The skirts,”poalele”, are made of white or flower-embroidered materials. The male costume consists of high boots, woolen tight, peasant trousers,” cioareci”, provided with bands ,” bragle”, with the three- color flag, and black material at the pockets, shaped as a” peacock tail”. As in the female costume, the shirt, made of flax, too, is embroidered, on the chest area, with “white on white”. The short, close-fitting sleeveless jacket, “laibarul” or “zobonul” is usually made of shining material. In cold weather, the male costume also includes a coarse peasant coat,” suman”.