Dobrogea is the only area from Romania, located between the Danube and the Black Sea. This region, placed in the southeastern part of the country, is an amazing land with ancient ruins, beaches and vineyards, an unique destination, a dream place for any visitor. No matter if we talk about Constanţa or Tulcea, in this area there are one of a kind landscapes in Europe, countless traces of ancient civilization “spiced” with a strong religious spirit and an ethnic diversity worthy of envy.
1. Constanța, the oldest city on the current Romanian map, inhabited uninterruptedly
Constanța is the oldest city with continuous dwelling on the Romanian territory. The historians would say some kind of palimpsest (a parchment or papyrus from which the initial writing has been deleted or erased so as to be used again and on which you can still see the traces of that initial writing). The first documentation on this place goes back to the 657 BC, when, on the territory of the current peninsula the Greek colony of Tomis was formed. The place was conquered by the Romans in the year 71 BC and renamed Constantiana after the sister of the Emperor Constantin the Great. Constanța suffered a big decline during the Ottoman administration and became a simple village of Greek fishermen and Tatar breeders of horse and sheep. After the Independence War between 1877 and 1878, when Dobrogea became part of Romania once again, the King Carol the First of Romania developed a real country project in this region.
2.Histria Fortress, the oldest urban settlement in the country
The current Istria village was in antiquity the prosperous city of Histria, founded by the Greek colonists coming from the famous Milet and had a continuous development for almost 1300 years, from the Greek period up to the Byzantine one. The city of Histria was abandoned in the VII-th century AC because of the clogging of the old golf from the Black Sea in which the Port was set up and eventually became the lagoon complex Razelm-Sinoe. The historians say that the first silver coins on the current Romanian territory were made in Histria. The oldest urban settlement in the country, Histria, was discovered as a result of the archeological excavations started in 1914 by the historian and archeologist Vasile Pârvan. These excavations had as a result, aside from the walls inside, a series of important monuments dating from different periods of the fortress life.
3.The Danube Delta, the most divers ecosystem in Europe
The Danube Delta’s ecosystem is unique in Europe. Over 300 species of birds, 130 species of fish and 1150 species of plants can be found in this fabulous land of water. The Delta is alive and it’s three canals: Chilia, Sulina and Sf. Gheorghe, surrounded by reed and rush and decorated with white and yellow waterlilies, create a world of story for all who visit it.
4.In Dobrogea is the biggest ancient architectural monument in the country, Tropaeum Traiani
The monument Tropaeum Traiani, was built between 106 and 109 AC, in honor of the emperor Traian, to commemorate the 3800 roman soldiers which lost their lives in the Battle of Adamclisi. It is the most important and the most imposing ancient architectural construction from Romania and was built to represent a symbol of Traian‘s victory in the wars for conquering Dacia. The height of the monument is 40 meters and it’s approximately equal to the diameter of the base.
5.Port of Constanța and Cernavodă Bridge, the country project of King Carol I for Dobrogea
Kiustenge, today’s Constanța was a sleepy village deep into oblivion in 1878 when Dobrogea became once again part of the country. In that year Constanța had only a couple of houses and the rest were huts. There were intense discussions, that year, between the liberals in power and the conservatives who where in opposition to establish if we should take Dobrogea, which was annexed to us according to the Peace Treaty from Berlin. King Carol I, Mihail Kogălniceanu and Ion C. Brătianu understood the great benefit that Romania could have from the exit to the Black Sea and have capitalized on this opportunity. Kogălniceanu was saying: “The sea represents the lungs of a country”, I.C. Brătianu was convinced that we would connect with the whole world and Carol I was thinking that: “without the sea, our country has less commercial, economical and even spiritual and cultural opportunities.” King Carol I had for Dobrogea a real country project, which has materialized through unprecedented constructions including: Port of Constanța and Cernavodă Bridge, designed by Anghel Saligny.
6.Constanța Casino, the oldest building in the Art Nouveau style from Romania
The last but not least attraction from Dobrogea, is the Casino, a piece of art whose rehabilitation is awaited by the whole country, and even by foreign tourists for over a decade. Casino, the symbol of the city of Constanta is one of my favorite objectives for wich Dobrogea deserves to be visited. This eclectic piece of architecture is the only building in the world with three foundations, so it cannot be competed by any other building from this point of view. The three foundations were designed by two architects Daniel Renard and Petre Antonescu, being projected under different governments. Daniel Renard was supported by the liberals and Petre Antonescu by the conservatives. This two having different point of views, each of them demolished the other’s foundation, so that in the end the construction we know today is the one that, at last, Daniel Renard designed.
The Casino is original, unique in the world because of a multitude of reasons. One of this reasons is that it has been built on a large part of land extracted from the sea. No other construction in the world can compete from this point of view with the jewel of Constanța. Anghel Saligny was the one which had the guts to put it in practice, starting with the year 1903. At those times he was the one coordinated the works for the Port of Constanța and to realize the cliff in front of the Casino it took both his genius and the experience of the port engineers, as well as the machinery brought from the port on this occasion.
There are much more wonderful attractions in Dobrogea, but for sure you will find all those in the articles to follow.