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The hinterland of the port-city    EN


Constanţa was the main port of the province of Dobrudja, situated between the Danube and the Black Sea. Constanţa was a small port until the 1860s, when the construction of the British railway was meant to secure its development. However, due to the bad condition of land communications within the province it remained rather small and did not attract the commodities of the rest of the province. In fact, the railway was not meant to secure so much the development of the province itself, but mostly to get to the Black Sea the Romanian grain by avoiding the difficult navigation conditions of the mouths of the Danube.

Things changed after 1878, when the Romanian state acquired Dobrudja and wanted to turn it into a success story of Romanian enlightened politics. The state encouraged the colonisation of the province, mainly with Romanians, and the county of Constanţa witnessed a tremendous growth. In 1900 the county of Constanţa had a surface of 7,150 square km and a population of 136,533 inhabitants [1], which increased a decade later to 168,653 people [2].

The central government continued to invest greatly in the province and Constanţa slowly became the metropolis of Dobrudja. An important moment was 1895 when by the construction of the railway across the Danube the province was united to the Romanian kingdom. The construction of the modern harbour (started in 1896) also secured a favourable condition for Constanţa, which became the port of entire Romania, as from certain areas of the country (Wallachia) it was cheaper to send goods directly to Constanţa, not to the Danubian ports of Brăila and Galaţi. At the same time, Constanţa remained in a rather difficult situation with the province itself, as it lacked proper road and railways (see the templates on road and railways).

[1] I. Nuredin, Comunitatea musulmană din Dobrogea. Repere din viaţa spirituală. Viaţa religioasă şi învăţământ în limba maternă (Constanţa: Ex Ponto, 1998), 51.

[2]Expunerea situaţiei județului Constanța pe anul 1910–1911, prezentată de I. T. Ghyka (Bucharest: Tipografia și Stabilimentul de Arte Grafice George Ionescu, 1910), 18.



Archival sources:

Serviciul Judeţean Constanţa al Arhivelor Naţionale (The National Archives, Constanţa Branch), Primăria municipiului Constanţa (The Municipality of Constanţa), files starting with 1878.


Expunerea situaţiei judeţului Constanţa pe anul 1910–1911, prezentată de I. T. Ghyka [The Exposition of the Situation of the Constanţa County in 1910–1911, Presented by I. T. Ghyka] (Bucharest: Tip. Şi Stabilimentul de Arte Grafice George Ionescu, 1910).

Ionescu, M. D., Dobrogia în pragul veacului al XX-lea. Geografia matematică, fisică, politică, economică şi militară [Dobrudja at the Beginning of the 20th Century. The Mathematical, Physical, Political, Economic and Military Geography] (Bucharest: Ateliere Grafice I. V. Socec, 1904).

Nuredin, Ibram, Comunitatea musulmană din Dobrogea. Repere de viaţă spiritual. Viaţa religioasă şi învăţământ în limba maternă [The Muslim Community in Dobrudja. Marks of Spiritual Life. Religious Life and Education in the Mother Tongue (Constanţa: Ex Ponto, 1998).