Our dream was born in Timisoara, a city in western Romania, situated at a considerable distance from the seas and oceans. But Timisoara, a city of world and European firsts, is also a pioneer in the field of navigation.

In the not-too-distant past, the port of Timișoara was linked to Europe by the Bega Cannal, the Tisa River and the Danube, as far as Regensburg and further on the Rhine to the North Sea.

THE BEGA CANAL WAS THE MAIN COMMERCIAL ROUTE OF TIMIȘOARA. At the beginning of the 20th century, more than 500 merchant ships sailed the canal for more than 300 days a year.

The history of the Bega Canal began in 1728 when Count Claudius Mercy ordered the digging of a canal to help drain the flooded land around Timișoara. Four years later, in 1732, the first ship sailed on the new canal to Pancevo.

  • In 1752 the Port of Timișoara is mentioned in the Iosefin district. The quantity of goods transported on the Bega was 20,000 tons.
  • In 1756, the first regulation of navigation and trade on the Bega was drawn up.
  • In 1775 the Timișoara Navigation Office was established.
  • In 1869, the first passenger races are made. Timișoara thus becomes the first city in present-day Romania to use this means for public transport.
  • Between 1900 and 1916 the lock system on the Bega Canal is built. As a result, navigation increases considerably.
  • In 1912, 415,000 quintals of cargo were loaded in the Port of Timisoara, of which 310,000 quintals were wheat and flour, and unloaded about 200,000 quintals of cargo.
  • In 1917 there were 563 registered merchant vessels on the Bega Canal, sailing 305 days a year.
  • In 1937 the Otelec harbour office is established.
  • Between 1937 and 1938 the volume of goods transported reaches a maximum of 250,000 tonnes/year.
  • Passenger transport on the Bega reached a peak of around 500,000 passengers in 1944.
  • Traffic suffers severely due to the Second World War and freight transport ceases in 1958.
  • In 1967, passenger ships were also withdrawn. The epic of the Bega waterway comes to an end for the time being.

However, in the records of the Timișoara Port Captaincy in 1986, 20 ships were registered as operating on the Bega Cannal.

In 2018, in Timișoara, passenger navigation on the Bega is reopened. It is the only city in Romania where there is public transport on water.

This is where we want to start the adventure that marks Timișoara’s re-establishment among European ports.

#circumeuropa #Bega #wildwatch #TimișoaraînEuropa