The south-eastern part of Romania bordered to the Black Sea coast in the east and the Danube in the west, by Ukraine in the north and Bulgaria in the south comprises the Romanian historical region called Dobrogea.
Within this area one can find tracks going back to long forgotten times. Ancient and medieval trade routes between Europe and the Orient crossed this land. The former harbor of Histria, dating back to the 7th century BC, is maybe the oldest town on Romanian territory and its ruins can be visited even today. In the central square of the Old Town of Constanta, today's largest Romanian harbor (known as Tomis in ancient times), we can find the statue of the Roman poet Ovidius who was exiled here at the end of his life. And in the harbor of Braila there was decided in medieval times the price of grains for entire Europe. Today, the southern part of Dobrogea which borders to the Black Sea is heavily used for harbor activities. In the northern part, almost half the coastline is bordered to the Danube of the Delta and stands under international protection as Biosphere Reservation. Interesting enough, the Danube Delta is the youngest territory in Europe and borders in the north to Dobrogea Mountains, which are considered to be the eldest mountains on the globe.
For those who just want to have fun at the sea side, starting from Constanta and Mamaia southwards until Vama Veche, several amusement parks, long and fine beaches, open-air theatres, fine restaurants and numerous bazaars invite every year millions of people from Romania and abroad to a relaxing holiday on the Black Sea coast.
The third largest city in Romania with its 350,000 inhabitants, was founded by the Greeks as a port on the Black Sea Coast for trading with inland people and called Tomis the city was renamed later after Constantina, niece of Constantine the Great. It was still a flourishing port city in the Xth and XIth centuries trading with the Byzantine Empire and the city of Genoa.
It has been continuously inhabited for 2500 years so there is a lot to see:
The old Casino at the harbor, built in the Art Nouveau style, was opened in 1911.
The statue of Ovid. The statue by Ettore Ferrari was erected in 1887 after a public subscription (the same statue can be seen in Sulmona). In AD 09 Ovid was sent in exile by Augustus for obscure reasons. He wrote his Tristia in Tomis.
The history museum is an interesting place with foreign language guides available. It houses a great deal of unique Greek and Roman statues and glassware which is very rare; also outside the museum there are some marble tombs and artifacts.
The Archaeological Park right in the center of the city is a nice place for a walk if you're in the area.
Adamclisi is one of Romania’s biggest archaeological sites, placed in the Constanta country, near the seaside. At the north of Adamclisi, in a place of wooded hills lies the triumphal monument Tropaeum Traiani, built by the roman emperor Traian as an homage for the victory against the Dacians.
In its original form the monument would have been composed of a huge cylindrical structure, superposed by a coned roof made of stone slates laid like scales and on the roof there were two hexagonal bases having decreasing size: they served as a socle for a large statue - the well-known Tropaeum - the symbol of the Roman victories won at the borders of the empire.
The trophy consists of five superposed tambours of about 4 m height, to whom there is added the Trophy of about 5 m height. This is dressed in the costume and the armor of a Roman soldier. The statue as whole was imposing by its nature and intimated the idea of domination. The helmet was lost. To the right and left on the armor the image of Medusa appeared. Behind the breast plates there were spears, now lost, too.
On the cuirass there were carved: a large acanthus flower, a galloping cavalry soldier, an eagle with outstretched wings and a shielded sword. Finally at the base of the trophy there were represented there captives, two sitting women and a standing man having his hands tight up behind. The whole statuary group symbolizes the Geto-Dacian submission, event commemorated by the triumphal monument.
The Danube Delta
Situated in the North-East of Dobrujda and shaped by The Danube as it flows in to the Black Sea, the Danube Delta is quite unique in terms of scenery, landscape and habitat.
The Biosphere Reserve of the Danube Delta is one of the most interesting sites in the world. It is the youngest and least stabile territory of Europe which grows with up to 120 feet every year because of the alluvial deposits of the Danube. Border in the north by the oldest mountains of the world (Dobrogea Mountains) and the Ukraine, and the Black Sea in the east, the Delta of the Danube cover a surface of about 2200 square miles. Only one of the three large branches of the Danube has regular passenger transportation facilities, the rest of the surface being composed by a labyrinth of small channels and lakes. Access routes by car are limited to some dozens of miles. Further on, the only traveling possibility is by boat and on foot.
Because of it's location on the 45th parallel and at the connection between the sweet water of the Danube river and the salted water of the Black Sea, the Danube Delta offers shelter to over 300 species of birds (many of them migrating), over 45 fish species and over 1100 plant species. It is often surnamed "Bird's Paradise" because of the many unique bird colonies, which attract every year tourist, specialists and nature lovers from all over of the world.
Settlements are rare and reduced in number of inhabitants. Access is difficult. Weather can be very hard in winter and summers can be awfully hot.
Maybe that is why deep inside the delta we can find not only one remain of ancient Christian churches and of martyrs buried inside. On the other hand, from ancient times until today, leper colonies were organized within this almost deserted area.
Ceausescu started in the '80 to dry out the delta (over 400 lakes) and use it for agriculture. Those regions were flooded again and authorities try to conserve the natural equilibrium.