Snagovian People's Republic
Snagovian People's Republic
Рєспублика Народнъ Снаговєанъ
Respublika Narodnŭ Snagoveanŭ
Republica Populară Snagoveană
|Anthem: Драгъ Родинъ|
|Official languages||Snagovian, Romanian|
|Recognised national languages||English, Russian, Bulgarian|
|Ethnic groups |
(Estimated as of 2023)
|82% Snagovians |
|Religion||Snagovian Orthodox Church|
Romanian Orthodox Church
|Government||One party semi-presidential federal republic|
|Štefan Marius Snagoveanu|
|David Robert Mihnevič|
|Albert Henri Žinga|
|Legislature||Supreme People's Assembly|
|Independence from Romania|
|18 June 2020|
|254.68 km2 (98.33 sq mi)|
• Water (%)
• 2022 estimate
|92.27/km2 (239.0/sq mi)|
|HDI (2021)||▲ 0.963|
|Currency||Snagovian Ruble (₽)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
• Summer (DST)
Snagov (Snagovian: Снагов) ([/snaˈɡov/] (Listen) (help·info)), officially the Snagovian People's Republic (Snagovian: Рєспублика Народнъ Снаговєанъ) is a self-proclaimed state and separatist movement located in Eastern Europe. Snagov claims the entirety of the Romanian communes of Snagov, Gruiu, Ciolpani and Balta Doamnei along with the village of Balta Neagră from Nuci commune as its de jure territory. The territory that the state has complete sovereignity over is the Cernograd Sovereign Raion. The de jure territorial claims of the Republic roughly match the local definition of the Snagov region, the homeland of the Snagovian people, a south slavic peoples group who are an unrecognized minority in Romania, which share a common ethnicity, culture, history, and language. This region is located in the Snagovian plain, a subdivision of the larger Vlăsia plain and is centered around Lake Snagov. Snagov is comprised of rural settlements and thus has no cities. The constitution calls all settlements "villages". The capital village is Silištea. The Snagovian People's Army is mostly ceremonial, as Snagov wishes to be a peaceful movement.
The Snagovian Declaration of National Rebirth, the document that founded the state officially, was signed on 18 June 2020. As a federal state, the five communes that make up the Republic have a high level of autonomy and representation. Snagovism is the official state ideology, being developed by Štefan Marius Snagoveanu in his writings, "Snagovul, Snagovenii, Snagovismul" and "Idea Național Snagovistă". Snagov runs on a one-party system, with the National Snagovist Front existing as a political party in both the Republic, and as a local party in Romania.
The name "Snagov" comes from the Proto-Slavic sněgъ, itself coming from the Proto-Balto-Slavic snáigas, meaning "snow". The "-ov" suffix is slavic and is commonly used for place names. The modern Snagovian word for "snow" is снєагъ. All Slavic languages' word for snow is similar. The first attested use of this name is from 23 March 1408, in a deed of Mircea the Elder, which referred to the Snagov Monastery.
It's theorized that the name has been used to refer to the region since the Slavic migrations to the Balkans in the 6th century. The Slavs probably named the region after the first thing they saw there, which was the frozen Lake Snagov, which resembled a sheet of snow.
- 18 June 2020 - 18 June 2021: Snagovian Federal Republic
- 18 June 2021 – 12 October 2022: Snagovian Federation
- 12 October 2022 - 1 June 2023: Republic of Snagov
- 1 June 2023 - Present: Snagovian People's Republic
The shores of Lake Snagov and its surroundings have been inhabited since the Neolithic Age. The first people to live here were the Proto-Indo-Europeans, which by the 8th century BC became the Thracian people. The Thracian tribe that lived around the Lower Danube and surroundings in today's Northern Bulgaria and Southern Romania were the Getae. We know that the first settlement of people in the Snagov region was on the Vlad Țepeș Island. For a very long time, people lived in groups that kept moving (every 7–20 years) from one place to another, usually choosing the higher banks of the waters. From the 7th century BC onwards, the Getae came into economic and cultural contact with the Greeks, who were establishing colonies on the western side of Pontus Euxinus, nowadays the Black Sea.
According to Herodotus, the Getae were "the noblest as well as the most just of all the Thracian tribes". When the Persians, led by Darius the Great, campaigned against the Scythians, the Thracian tribes in the Balkans surrendered to Darius on his way to Scythia, and only the Getae offered resistance. The Getae were subjected to Scythian influence and were known as expert mounted archers. Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BC, the Getae were mostly under the rule of the flourishing Odrysian Kingdom. During this time, the Getae provided military services and became famous for their cavalry. After the disintegration of the Odrysian Kingdom, smaller Getic principalities began to consolidate themselves. Getic technology was influenced by that of the invading Celts in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC. In the mid-first century BC Burebista organized a kingdom consisting of descendants of those whom the Greeks had called Getae, as well as Dacians, the name applied to the people of the region by the Romans. When the Romans had gained control over the Lower Danube region, thousands of Getae were displaced, and, not long thereafter, references to the Getae disappeared from history.
Archeology suggests that the area (although deep in the middle of the old woods) had continuity with flourishing moments about 4000 years ago and about 2000 years ago, when there was even a group of furnaces for metalworking and so the area was integrated at least into larger economic circuits. Even so, the approximately 30 archeological sites around Lake Snagov can't tell us much about the life, achievements and hopes of the first people in the area, nor about the later Getae.
The Snagovian ethnogenesis period lasts from when the migrating Slavs arrived in Snagov, in the 6th century AD, until the founding of Wallachia in 1330. Once Slavs made their way through the Codrii Vlăsiei and eventually towards Lake Snagov and the Snagov region, they gave it said name. The newly-arrived Slavic population quickly assimilated the already present Romanized Getae, and thus the Snagovian ethnogenesis started. The Seven Slavic tribes, a union of Slavic tribes that was established around the middle of the 7th century, took part in the formation of the First Bulgarian Empire together with the Bulgars around 680.
The Getae's romanized language (mainly consisting of Vulgar Latin with Thracian roots) served as a base upon which the new slavic vocabulary rested. Thus, the Proto-Snagovian language came into existence, as a Slavic language on the South Slavic branch. Unique was, and still is, the latin influence on this language, especially in grammar. The Slavs being peaceful, tolerant people with a preference for agriculture - they managed to collaborate and then even integrate into existing communities, contributing consistently to population growth and then to the promotion of their values and customs. So even in the Snagov region, we find names, place names, customs, mentalities - with obvious Slavic roots.
Not much else is known about the Snagovian ethnogenesis period. What we can assume, though, is that the slavs remained in the Snagov region and permanently established there. Their culture flourished, they cooperated with the other slavic tribes and states in the area, they adopted the Cyrillic script once it was created, they practiced agriculture, they fished, they converted to Christianity, by the 1300's, they became, Snagovians.
Integration into the Wallachian and eventual Romanian state
Foundation of Wallachia
The Snagovian lands were under the control of the First Bulgarian Empire from its establishment in 681, until the Hungarians' conquest of Transylvania at the end of the tenth century. With the decline and subsequent Byzantine conquest of Bulgaria (from the second half of the tenth century up to 1018), The Snagovian lands came under the control of the Pechenegs, Turkic peoples who extended their rule west through the tenth and 11th century, until they were defeated around 1091, when the Cumans of southern Ruthenia took control. In 1241, during the Mongol invasion of Europe, Cuman domination was ended. A direct Mongol rule over Snagov was not attested, but it remains probable.
Wallachia's creation, held by local traditions to have been the work of one Radu Negru (Black Radu), is historically connected with Basarab I of Wallachia (1310–1352), who rebelled against Charles I of Hungary and took up rule on either side of the Olt, establishing his residence in Câmpulung as the first ruler of the House of Basarab. Basarab refused to grant Hungary the lands of Făgăraș, Almaș and the Banate of Severin. Eventually defeating Charles in the Battle of Posada (1330).
There is evidence that the Second Bulgarian Empire ruled the Wallachian lands up to the Rucăr–Bran corridor as late as the late 14th century. In a charter by Radu I, the Wallachian voivode requests that tsar Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria order his customs officers at Rucăr and the Dâmboviţa River bridge to collect tax following the law. The presence of Bulgarian customs officers at the Carpathians indicates a Bulgarian suzerainty over those lands, though Radu's imperative tone hints at a strong and increasing Wallachian autonomy.
As the entire Balkans became an integral part of the growing Ottoman Empire (a process that concluded with the fall of Constantinople to Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1453), Wallachia became engaged in frequent confrontations in the final years of the reign of Mircea the Elder (1386–1418). Mircea defeated the Ottomans in several battles, including the Battle of Rovine in 1394, driving them away from Dobruja.
Establishment of the Snagov Monastery
From Mircea's deed in 1408 and so on, the history of the entire Snagov region is linked in one way or another to the Snagov Monastery. From 1428 to 1429 the monastery received donations from Dan II, Vlad Dracul's cousin. In 1441, the monastery received donations from Vlad Dracul and in 1464 from his third son, Radu the Handsome. During the time of Vlad Țepeș (1448, 1456–1462 and 1476) it is considered the richest and most important monastery in all of Wallachia. This is probably one of the reasons why, at the end of the century, the Cantacuzin Chronicle claims Vlad Țepeș as the builder of the Snagov Monastery: "Vlad-Voivode Țepeș, he built the monastery from Poenari and built the holy monastery from Snagov".
On 28 October 1464 there was a document made by Vlad Țepeș, through which Vlad's younger brother, Radu the Handsome, gained more control of the Snagov Monastery. Around 1475, Vlad Țepeș orders the construction of a defensive wall, a bridge, a prison for traitors and robbers, and a tunnel under Lake Snagov. In 1476 Vlad Țepeș is killed in a battle with the Turks near Bucharest. In 1486, a document, written in Old Church Slavonic, then translated into Russian, said that when Țepeș's army drove the Turks away, he left the army alone and climbed a hill, so that he could watch how the Turks were impaled, thinking there were no enemies left there. This led to his death, as the Turks were able to catch him alone on the hill. The decapitated head of the voivode was sent to Istanbul, and the body was buried in the Snagov Monastery.
In 1512 the first church of the monastery is demolished and rebuilt from the ground up by Neagoe Basarab (1512-1521), on the site of the first construction, in the first four months of his reign. The church dedicated to the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple is built of brick, in Byzantine style. It is the church that can be seen today, on Vlad Țepeș Island, in the middle of Lake Snagov. Later, at the church of Neagoe, work was carried out by Mircea Ciobanul (1545–1552; 1553–1554; 1558–1559), the interior paintings, which present these last founders and their families.
On 3 April 1534 a royal deed of Vlad Vintilă from Slatina was granted to the monastery, stating that “I found out in my holy monastery, the above-mentioned monastery, the book of the great voivode Vlad Țepeș, who died in the village of Bălteni and the book of Neagoe Basarab”. This text is the origin and the proof that Vlad Țepeș was killed near Snagov, in Bălteni, in December 1476. After his beheading his body was buried in the Snagov Monastery by the monks of the monastery. In 1563, Dobromir the Young paints the church, inside are portraits of Neagoe Basarab, with his son Theodosius, and Mircea the Shepherd with his family.
In 1643, Matei Basarab (1632–1654) installs a printing press in Snagov. In 1669 the monastery becomes a political prison for boyars. Between 1696 and 1704, Anthim the Iberian, of Georgian origin, is abbot of the monastery, later metropolitan of the whole of Wallachia. Around 1700, Greek, Slavonic, Georgian, and Arabic church books are printed in Snagov and are circulated in Greece, Asia Minor, and Egypt. In 1704 the monastery passes, at the beginning of the Phanariot era, into the hands of the Greeks; being dedicated to the settlements on Mount Athos. The monastery's money was sent to Greece.
The wooden bridge built by Vlad Țepeș that connected Vlad Țepeș Island to the mainland was set on fire in 1821, and a floating bridge was built soon after. In 1847, all the Romani slaves were released, their descendants representing the Romani minority in present-day Snagov. In 1853, the floating bridge, overloaded with prisoners in chains, collapses into the water, leaving its prisoners and guards to drown in the lake. In 1863, secularization of monastic fortunes causes Greek monks to abandon the Snagov Monastery. This puts an end to the regional monopoly on religious events (especially the high fees) and allows for the beginning of church building in most communities around Lake Snagov. From this point onward, the monastery started being repaired. From 1888 to 1907, protests happen in the entire region, due to Romanian involvement in local affairs. In the 1880's, nearly a thousand Russian Lipovans migrated to the villages of Dobrosești, Siliștea and Ghermănești. It's probable that a plurality of people from those villages have Russian ancestry. It's important to note that the people that contributed to the Snagov Monastery were indeed not Snagovians, but because of their hard work and the respect they had for the locals, they are honored and respected.
Modern pre-rebirth history
Between 1914 and 1918 the First World War took place. The locals' involvement resulted in hundreds of deaths, and the plots of land promised to be distributed by the Romanians were late or not given at all. There are monuments in a lot of villages dedicated to those that died. In 1918 the first industrial fishing net was introduced, but it ceased to exist in 1996 for unknown reasons (it's believed that the Romanian government did not want the region to be economically independent, because the proximity of this economic indepence relatively close to Bucharest would be intimidating). Between 1928 and 1930, the Snagovian People's House (Snagov Palace) was built by Henrieta Delavrancea-Gibory for prince Nicholas of Romania, brother of King Carol II. Nowadays it stands as the de jure meeting place of the Supreme People's Assembly. Even though it is a symbol of Romanian occupation, it is appreciated for its architectural beauty.
In 1933, an official holiday celebrating Lake Snagov was established, because of the “Water Day” celebrated at Lake Snagov by King Carol II, Michael I, Nicolae Iorga, and many other top officials, plus representatives of the local community. Every year, locals celebrate "Lake Snagov Day" on 25 June. The assassinations of November 1938, took place in the night towards the morning of November 30, 1938, in Tâncăbești. 14 people were assassinated, prominent fascists, members of the Iron Guard, respectively, Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, the absolute leader of the movement. This is seen as an important symbol of Snagovian Anti-Fascism.
Just like in the First, in the Second World War (1939-1945) many locals took part, with hundreds of deaths all around. On 23 August 1945, Ion Antonescu left Snagov Palace to go to Bucharest, at the request of King Michael I, when and where he was arrested. Manfred von Killinger (who lived in a nearby villa in Dobrosești) soon committed suicide because he failed to keep Romania on the side of Germany, as Hitler demanded.
With the establishment of the People's Republic of Romania in 1948, some plots of land were given to the local peasants (as promised during the wars). In 1956, Imre Nagy, a former Prime Minister of Hungary, is brought and detained in Snagov. He was taken back to Hungary in June 1958 and was eventually sentenced to death. Between 1962 and 1972, an international rowing competition called Regata Snagov took place.
Between 1986 and 1989 over 400 homes in Dobrosești, Ghermănești, Ciofliceni, and Vlădiceasca were destroyed as a part of the Romanian systematization process. The villages of Ciofliceni and Vlădiceasca became nearly empty, they started being rebuilt only after the fall of Communism in Romania. From 1990 forward, nothing good happened to Snagov, other than illegal deforestation, privatization of once public places, pollution, and mafia culture. Snagov lost its spirit and it became a simple sattelite of Bucharest, just like other communes in Ilfov. Though, what makes Snagov different is that the people know they are special, and they know things are going wrong.
Beginning of the Snagovian Federal Republic
The Snagovian Declaration of National Rebirth was written collectively by a group of 25 Snagovians (its first citizens), and it was later signed by Ștefan Marius Snagoveanu and David Robert Mihnevici, on 18 June 2020. The declaration talks about the Snagovians' historical struggle and its present day strive towards cultural and political liberty. The document instructs Snagovians to be proud of their nationality, of their culture, to relearn their old language, etc. The first constitution was adopted shortly after. According to this first constitution, the state was to be called the Snagovian Federal Republic. It was first divided into oblasts with land claims around every village. The first Snagovian currency, the Snagovian Krona was introduced. The first constitution also set up the bases for the Snagovian People's Army. The state defined by the first constitution was a presidential federal republic, which meant that a prime minister role did not exist at that time, thus the President was both the head of state and the head of government. Snagov's most important reason for existence at that time was to promote the protection of the environment, to condemn those that the government classified as enemies, and to praise the ones that do real work for the Snagovian local community. A huge feeling of patriotism later turned into nationalism by August 2020, and the government decided to expand their presence on the internet, mainly through MicroWiki, Twitter, and Discord, to attract people to hear Snagov’s story, to learn about its history and struggle, and to present its beautiful lands that are in danger, to the outside world. This decision turned out to be a double-edged sword.
Discord era during the COVID-19 pandemic
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions, the state had to function exclusively online for a long period of time. The government decided to expand its presence on Discord, to interact with people all over the world and to educate them about Snagov and the Snagovians. During this period foreigners could apply for a honorary citizenship in a village of their choosing. The state applied for organizations like the Grand Unified Micronational and the Cupertino Alliance, and ultimately got accepted in both. Awards like the Order of the 18th of June and the Order of the Federation were created and given to friends of the state, until all things related to this online era, including honorary citizenships, were removed.
Transition from the Federal Republic to the Federation
The transition from the Snagovian Federal Republic to the Snagovian Federation began on 18 June 2021 with the adoption of the second constitution. This constitution set the bases to an actual real state, for the first time. Snagov's first land claim did not include the Ialomița commune, because of geographical reasons. This was later overturned. The state transitioned from a presidential republic to a semi-presidential one, with the prime minister role being established. Albert Henry Jinga was appointed as prime minister shortly after. The Snagovian Workers' Party and the Supreme People's Assembly were established. The Army got redone, with the White Guard being created. De facto work started to outvalue de jure work. The first meeting between officials was held on 26 June 2021, when the bases for Snagovism were established. It was decided that an official meeting shall happen atleast once every month. At the end of every session environmental work was done in Siliștea and surroundings. Things such as planting trees, picking up trash, feeding stray animals, cleaning the forest, etc. In September the government began calling its enemies "vrăjmași". The government began the process of re-slavicization shortly after, by reviving the long dead Snagovian language, and by presenting the people, their history. The Snagovian Ruble was established in November and unveiled in June 2022. The government celebrated New Years by marching with the Snagovian flag on the main street of Siliștea. At the beggining of 2022, the government began supporting Russia in their military operation in Ukraine, a move that sparked controversy. In the rest of the first half of 2022 the government has found itself in an awkward position. Plans for the latter half of the year are to increase Snagovian citizenship in other villages other than Siliștea. On 12 October 2022, the name of the state was changed to the Republic of Snagov.
The Snagovian People's Republic is composed of 19 villages, split into 5 communes, except for Siliștea which don't belong to any commune.