Tulcea is the name of the county situated between the Danube and the Black Sea, being laid on the Northern part of Dobrogea. Tulcea is also the name of the county capital city. Calling Tulcea capital it seems to fancy to start with, considering that it is a little town spread on seven hills just as Rome is. Nevertheless, this town possesses a huge history, an indefinite rustic charm and spectacular sites, all those added to the fact that this is the gateway to the Danube Delta. From here you can take a boat to any destination on the three branches that form the Danube Delta: Chilia, Sulina and Sfantu-Gheorghe.
A Little History Lesson
A very wise man called Ion Ionescu de la Brad wrote back in 1850 that “Dobrogea is more than any other region of Romania a deposit of history inadequately researched so far” and “the Romanian steps in Dobrogea on the ruins of his ancestors.” Here was found one of the oldest civilisation in the world, the Hanangia civilisation was dated in the sixth millennium BC. The archaeological evidence of the Hamangia and Gumelnita culture amazed the specialists by the symbolism and artistical value of the artefacts. The most known representations of this culture are the stone figurines “the Thinker and his Wife”, which you can admire below.
Dobrogea was the cradle of many civilisations as the Gets, Thracians, Dacians. On the sea side were found many vestiges of ancient greek cities such as Histria, Callatis and Tomis, where the famous Roman poet Ovidius was banished to, and in his stay wrote amazing poems about the beauty of the scenery and people hospitality and lives.
The Place where Old meets New
In this particular county old land meets new land. The North-Western part of Tulcea county is occupied by the oldest mountains in Romania, called Macin Mountains (muntii macinati = the grounded mountains), which are not higher than 500 meters. Although given their uncommon altitude the climate is very diverse giving birth to unique flora and fauna specimens which need to be protected in a National Park. The new land is still forms in the National Park Danube Delta as well as the newest and most beautiful land in the world called Sacalin Island. This island was declared a biosphere reservation and is prohibited to the visitors and even less to be inhabited. The unprecedented advancement of the Danube Delta into the Black Sea created the breathtaking beauty of the newest land of Romania, which could only be seen from the air.
The City and the Neighboring Areas
The city Tulcea it has the air of a small town which I think is given by the old architecture and the unparalleled tranquility of the inhabitants. In this city, you can find a mosaic of cultures and minorities, each of them with its own religion or rites, as well as the harmony that Tulcea breaths. Here can be found Turkish, Greek, Tartar, Lipovan, Russian, Ukranian communities which bring their own share and particular art and abilities to the development of the city, having their roots deep into their traditions.
The houses are quite lovely, most of them built on slopes due to the rocky hills that are the basis of the town itself. Being situated on the bank of Danube, the soil is very fertile and is hard to find a house in the city that doesn’t have vineyard and couple of fruit trees. The climate is Mediterranean dry good for a variety of fruits and vegetables. Although are not few the years when the Danube overflows destroying most of the crops, damaging public and private properties alike. Is a fact that people who live in Tulcea are already used to due to their proximity to the water.
Tulcea used to be a very busy industrial city, having factories for processing fish, meat, vegetables, aluminium factory, non-ferrous metal factory, clothing factories and a couple of shipyards. During the economical-financial crisis, a few years ago almost all the industry died in town, making most young people to immigrate or just to leave to work abroad. Now the things seem to improve by creating more working places in ship construction and clothing manufacturers, as well as different craftsmanship.
There are places that you should not miss when travelling to Tulcea: “Faleza” and “Monumentul Independentei”. The first one is a meeting place, as well as the local park. Is a unique space since is a walk on the shore of the Danube. Here you can find most hotels, cafe shops and confectioners since is the favorite spot for walking, talking, meeting and spending a good time in the company of friends and acquaintances.
The Independence Monument should be the other place that cannot be missed by a respected traveler. It offers the most beautiful view over the city and the neighboring places since is the highest point of the city. It takes some time and a lot of energy to get there. The excruciating part I found to be the stairs to the top of the hill. But the view worth the whole effort and even more. On the other side of the hill, in a great looking park, adorned with many amphorae and ancient vestiges lays the Archeological Museum of Tulcea.
The second biggest river in Europe, Danube ends its sinuous trail throughout seven Europeans country in Romania, forming the most beautiful delta in the world. The Natural Reservation Danube Delta is home to a huge number of fishes and birds, also wild horses, boars, deer and many other creatures, some unique in the whole world. Every branch of the delta is beautiful and most villages and towns in there can be reached solely by boat. No other form of transportation is available in the area, that’s how the scenery remains unspoiled and savage.
Whenever visiting Romania do not forget to pass through Tulcea. Not only the city is picturesque, but the whole region is worthwhile. If you are a history lover, here is the place with so much history gathered that you will not have the time to see it all in one single visit. If your hobby is natural life, what better place than Danube Delta for its population of egrets and pelicans as well as the pink water lilies. If you lean more to the folk art there is a great variety you can choose from since Tulcea is the home of so many minorities.