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Caraşova ( , Serbian Karašova or Karaševo, ) is a commune in Caraş-Severin County, Romaniamarker. It is known especially for its geographical placement and for the origin of its Serbain inhabitants, the Krashovani. Population of the commune numbering 3,260 people (2002 census).


Caraşova is located in the Caraş-Severin County, in the historical region of Banat, at a distance of 15 kilometers of Reşiţamarker. It is found in a mountainous area, near the entering to the Semenic-Cheile Caraşului National Parkmarker.


Location of Caraşova commune
According to the 2002 census in Romania, the population of Caraşova municipality comprises 84.60% Serbs, 4.96% others (presumably declared Krashovani), 4.47% Roma, 4.41% Romanians, etc. [126749]

Most of the ethnic Krashovani declared themselves as Serbs in this census, although in the past they mostly were declaring themselves as Krashovani.


The commune is officially bilingual, with both Romanian and Serbain being used as working languages on public signage and in administration, education and justice.


Most of the inhabitants of the commune (92.54%) are Roman Catholics.


The first time attested in 1333 under the name of Karasow. Other similar names were later used, depending on which administration used them (Nog Carassou and Kyskarassou - 1358, led by the knyaz Bozorad, Krassowcz - 1535, Crassowcz - 1550, Crasso - 1597, Karasevo - 1690-1700, Karasova - 1717, etc).

Due to the citadel built nearby, Caraşova was in the past an important administrative, political and religious centre. In 1333, Caraşova was the headquarters of a Roman Catholic diocese which appears to have existed since 1285, but ceased to exist after the events of 1537, and was restored only in 1860, to be disbanded again in 1913.

In various documents of early 18th century, such as the census of 1690-1700 and the conscription of 1717, Caraşova was mentioned as having 400 houses, being one of the largest settlements in the area between the Tisa, Mureş and the Danube, being surpassed only by Timişoaramarker and Caransebeşmarker.

In the mid-18th century, according to the administrative organization prior to the Military Frontier of 1768, Caraşova was part of the Vršacmarker county and it was the capital of the administrative circle with the same name which included 32 towns, including Reşiţamarker, Dogneceamarker, Bocşamarker, and here were located an administrative office, an Eastern Orthodox church, and Roman Catholic church.


Most of the people of Caraşova are Krashovani, which are named by the Banat Romanians cârşoveni, caraşoveni, cotcoreţi and cocoşi, while the Serbs call themselves Krašovani, Karašovani, Karaševci.

Until 1989, most of the people called themselves caraşoveni and their language caraşoveană and considered themselves a people distinct to the other Slavic peoples around the area, such as Serbian or Bulgarian.

After 1989, due to some political, economic, social and cultural factors, the vast majority started identifying themselves as Serbs, while a few still continued to call themselves Krašovani. Today, many Krashovani chose the Serbain ethnicity, partly due to the attention given to them by the Serbain statemarker (which also awards them the Serbian citizenship).

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