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Constantza


Portworks    EN

Author: ARDELEANU KONSTANTIN
Customhouses
Warehouses
Wharves
Dredgers
Cranes
Lighthouses
Quarantines, hospitals

List:

Type of the public service

Name of the port work

Date of establishment

Customhouses

1879

Warehouses

1909

Wharves

After 1860, after 1896

Dredgers

Cranes

After 1896

Lighthouses [1]

The “Genoese” Lighthouse

1860–1913

The English Lighthouse (on the dyke)

1905

Charles I Lighthouse

1902–1904

The Tuzla Lighthouse

1900

In August 1878, according to the description of Navy Colonel Ioan Murgescu, the harbour of Constanţa consisted of a 250 meters northern dyke and a 50 meters southern one, and on the coast there was a 400 meters quay, fitted with a railway. The harbour could accommodate about 20 ships that anchored in the few places where the water was 20 feet deep. The officer also drafted the first Romanian project to modernise the harbour, with dykes of 600 meters and a depth of 24 feet secured by dredging. Another report of Ştefan Fălcoianu mentioned the difficult condition of the harbour, with the northern dyke badly built, but with good railway and transport appendixes [2]. The Romanian state and the leadership of the British railway company negotiated the sale of the British investment, and the Romanian Parliament voted in May 1882 the law for buying the Cernavodă – Constanţa railway and the works in Constanţa harbour for the amount of 16.8 million lei [3].

During the following decades, Constanţa was the object of a special interest from Romanian authorities. Already in 1881 the Ministry of Public Works required Charles Hartley, the consulting engineer of the European Commission of the Danube, to draft a technical plan for modernising the harbour. Hartley completed his project in November 1881, with estimated expenses of 21.5 million lei. For delimitating the port water area, he proposed two dykes of a curved shape, 1,220 and 1,168 meters long respectively; they closed in a basin of 110 hectares, protected by an outer port of 13 hectares, necessary to defend the harbour proper from the waves and the danger of sanding. The project was rejected as such a technical solution impeded the subsequent development of the port [4].

In May 1885 the Romanian Parliament voted the law for modernising the port of Constanţa and for better connecting it to the Romanian Kingdom, works for which there was to be used a credit of 21 million lei [5]. Hartley’s plan was revised by engineer Oscar Franzius, the director of the port of Bremen, who eliminated the outer port but preserved the same curbed shape of the dykes. As it had similar problems, Franzius’ project was also rejected. A new project was drafted in 1886 by Voisin Bey, former director of the works of the Suez Canal and general inspector of French waterways. He proposed to build a dyke on a north south direction, along which there were to be aligned the quays; the basin was closed by a moll built perpendicularly on the seawall. The project was rejected by the Ministry of Public Works, as it did not provide full safety for ships entering the port and as it did not allow the proper development and fitting of the quays [6]. Another project was drafted in 1893 by A. Guerard, the director of port of Marseille, who proposed a smaller plan, so as to correspond to the immediate needs of the maritime traffic [7].

In 1888, already unhappy with all these proposals, the Romanian Government founded, within the Romanian Hydraulic System, a special direction, led by engineer I. B. Cantacuzino, with the aim to study, project and execute the works for developing Constanţa harbour. In 1890 this service became autonomous, with the headquarters at Constanţa. Under the coordination of Cantacuzino, Romanian specialists made scientific analyses, studied the maritime currents, the wind direction, the force of the waves etc. The engineers wanted a solution to both satisfy the immediate needs of the traffic, but to also allow a subsequent development of the harbour. They proposed to construct on a north south direction a seawall measuring 1,220 meters, from which to built new dykes, thus creating several basins. The harbour could be further extended by works executed parallel to the southern dyke and the prolongation of the seawall. The Cantacuzino project aimed to have two dykes and 2,840 meters of quays, divided for different uses. The northern quay, for example, on a section of 250 meters was to host the administrative buildings, workshops, the dry dock and the slipway. In other areas there were planned four silo magazines, hangars for grain, the oil basin. The total cost of the works was estimated at 42 million lei, and the project was to be completed in seven years [8].

The technical works started according to this project, later modified by engineers Gh. Duca and Anghel Saligny. Duca corrected several elements in the harbour infrastructure, such as designing a quay exclusively for the use of the military navy, relocating the silos etc. From 1889 the works were coordinated by Anghel Saligny, who also made several adjustments to the general plan, projecting two new dykes for basins destined for products such as wood, cattle, coal. The final project covered a water area of 60 hectares, a fenced platform of 67 hectares and the platforms of private magazines and deposits of 30 hectares. The seawall was 1,377.56 meters, the south dyke 653.07 meters, the defence platform dyke 853 meters, and the entrance dyke 119.27 meters. The total length of the quays was 7,010 meters, out of which 1,512 for the grain and cattle section and 1,048 for wood and other goods [9].

There were designed two projects: a general one, with all works, from the hydrotechnical ones to the construction of all necessary magazines, silos etc; the limited project only contained the main infrastructure works, extremely important, such as the dykes and quays, the defense of the platforms, the railway to Canara etc.

For executing the works included in the limited project, the Romanian state organised in 1895 an auction where seven companies from France, the Netherlands and Italy took part. The enterprise Hallier and Dietz-Monnier won, undertaking to do the harbour works and the railway to the stone quarry of Canara (Ovidiu) in four years (until July 1899) for the sum of 9,731,240 lei, i.e. 21% under the estimate of the authorities. With the agreement of the central government and the support of important foreign banks, Hallier also wanted to complete the general project for the amount of 19,354,900 lei, or 23% less than the estimate of the Romanian state – 25,000,000 lei. The contract for the general project was signed on 18 March 1896, and the Romanian state offered the French investor a credit of 18.2 million lei [10].

The works were inaugurated in October 1896 in the presence of King Charles I of Romania and of the representatives of the local and central authorities. Hallier started the works decidedly, but it soon became clear that the tools and staff employed were insufficient for completing the project on time. Several arguments ensued between the Romanian officials and the French enterprise related to the quality of the works and their calendar.

In 1897 the new director of the port, engineer Duca, required the constructor to modify the direction and profile of the dykes and quays, as well as to include the construction of an oil basin. Hallier rejected this requirement, considering that such modifications imposed a new agreement, whereas the Romanian part thought that it was not beyond the initial contractual terms. At the same time, the authorities referred to the large difference between the amounts spent and the works executed, whereas the enterpriser blamed the disparity between real costs and those ante-calculated. In March 1899 after consuming the funds given by the Romanian state, Hallier announced from Paris the cessation of works [11]. In three and a half years, the French investors had done only a small part of contracted works, although they spent half of the money given: 454 meters of the seawall (out of 878 meters), nothing from the southern dyke (out of 209 meters), 600 meters at the defence of the platforms (out of 919), nothing of the quays (out of 919), 192,000 cubic meters of dredging (out of 634,000), 435,000 cubic meters embankments (out of 625.000), 787 cubic meters de-rocking at Canara (out of 43,000 mc) [12]. The disputes between the Romanian authorities and Hallier got to court, and made the object of a famous trial. The French company requested 18.4 million lei for the works already done, whereas the Ministry of Public Works only recognised 3.5 million lei, and requested 15.6 million lei as penalties and damages. By a sentence from April 1900, Hallier received 6.2 million lei, an amount which included the estimated value of the technical inventory that remained in the property of the Romanian state (5 million lei) [13].

In the second phase of construction (1900–1910), the works were done by the Romanian state, under the supervision of Anghel Saligny, the new general director of the harbour construction. Saligny was very interested in the construction of the magazine silos, each one with a capacity of 30,000 tons, but also to complete the oil station, the quays with platforms and the electrical plant. The mechanical installations were provided by the company Luther from Braunschweig, the electrical equipment from the silos and the plant by A.E.G., and the metallic constructions and electrical installations from the petrol station were done by the Wolf Company from Bucharest. Until 1910 the works executed cost the amount of 49.1 million lei [14].

Since 1908, the port of Constanţa was administered by the Direction of the Maritime Ports, subordinated to the General Direction of Ports and Waterways [15]. The official inauguration of the harbour was celebrated on 27 September 1909 in the presence of the royal family, when the installations of the first magazine silo were inaugurated and the steamer “Iaşi” was loaded with grain [16].

In the third phase, the works were coordinated by engineer Mihail Râmniceanu (1914–1916), and then by Grigore Casimir. They continued to build the quays and to do the embankments of the platforms, completed the third magazine silo, consolidated the banks from the north-west, completed the railway network and increased the capacity of the oil station, built residences for the staff etc. The total price of the works done during this period was 10.6 million lei [17].

In total, between 1896 and 1916 the Romanian state invested in the constructions and installations from Constanţa the amount of 69,778,940 lei gold [18], but the works from the general plan were still not completed. The balance of the two decades of works were: the construction of the defence dykes of the harbour in length of 2,913.83 meters; 4,312 meters of quays (from a total length of 7,010 meters); port basin on a surface of 60 ha, with a depth of 8–8.5 meters, and an outer port of 13 ha; the construction and the fitting of two silo magazines, the starting of the work for two more magazines; the construction of the oil installation of six lines with six reservoirs of 700 cubic meters, and at the station of depositing of 39 reservoirs of 5,000 cubic meters and one of 1,250 cubic meters; the construction of the system of signalling; the emplacement of modern communication means; railways totalling 39 kilometres, to which we should add the Constanţa – Canara line, of 20 kilometres; in the harbour and towards the city there were built roads in total of 6.5 km; the building of 40 pavilions with 192 flats for the staff and the administrative services that worked in the port (customs, Romanian Maritime Service etc.) [19].

 

Picture 2.3.2_1 Constanţa Harbour (1910)

Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8a/Constan%C5%A3a_Portul_generala_1910.jpg

Picture 2.3.2_2 Constanţa Harbour (1920)

Picture 2.3.2_3 Constanţa Harbour

Source:www.biblioteca.ct.ro

Picture 2.3.2_4 Constanţa Harbour

Source:www.biblioteca.ct.ro

Picture 2.3.2_5 The Lighthouse

Source: www.biblioteca.ct.ro

 


[1] Petre Covacef, “Construcţiile executate în portul Constanţa până la Primul Război Mondial”, Analele Dobrogei, new series, 5:2 (1999), 154–155.

[2] Valentin Ciorbea, Portul Constanţa de la antichitate la mileniul III (Constanţa: Europolis, 1994), 85–86.

[3]Ibid., 86–87; sources in Din tezaurul documentar dobrogean, edited by Marin Stanciu (Bucharest: Direcţia Generală a Arhivelor Statului din RSR, 1988), 89.

[4] Ciorbea, Portul, 90–91.

[5] Mariana Cojoc, Constanţa – port internaţional. Comerţul exterior al României prin portul Constanţa 1878–1939 (Bucharest: Cartea Universitară, 2006), 87.

[6] Ciorbea, Portul, 91–92.

[7]Ibid., 93–94.

[8]Ibid., 92–93.

[9]Ibid., 94–95.

[10]Ibid., 99–100.

[11]Ibid., 100–101.

[12]E. B. Lazarovici, “Construcţia şi exploatarea portului Constanţa”, Analele Dobrogei, 1 (1920), 46; D.S.P.M., “Evoluţia portului Constanţa”, in vol. 1878–1928. Dobrogea. Cincizeci de ani de vieaţă românească (Constanţa: Cultura Naţională, 1928), 456; G. Lungu, “Dezvoltarea portului Constanţa de la 1860 la primul război mondial”, in vol. Comunicări de istorie a Dobrogei (Constanţa: Muzeul de Istorie Naţională şi Arheologie, 1983), 207–234; Mihai Lupu, “Portul Constanţa, 1896–1914”, in vol. Portul Constanţa între tradiţie, actualitate şi perspective (Constanţa: Editura Companiei Naţionale APM, 2007), 35–36.

[13] Ciorbea, Portul, 101–102; also see Idem, “‘Afacerea Hallier’” în dezbaterile parlamentare şi presa vremii”, in vol. Istoria – o meditaţie asupra trecutului. Profesorului Vasile Cristian la a 65-a aniversare (Iaşi: Tipografia Moldova, 2001), 341–350.

[14] DSPM; “Evoluţia”, 464; Ciorbea, Portul, 103–104; Lupu, “Portul”, 36–37.

[15] Ciorbea, Portul, 107–108.

[16] M. Roşculeţ, Evoluţia portului Constanţa, construcţia şi exploatarea lui (Bucharest: Cartea Românească, 1939), 160; Ileana Stanca Desa, “Inaugurarea portului Constanţa – 27 septembrie 1909 – spicuiri din presă”, Analele Dobrogei, new series, 8 (2005), 191–197; Valentin Ciorbea, “Portul Constanţa – Retrospectivă istorică la 110 ani de la inaugurarea oficială a lucrărilor de modernizare”, Anuarul Muzeului Marinei Române, 9 (2006), 145–167; Stoica Lascu, “Importanţa şi rolul portului Constanţa în propăşirea ţării – în lumina unor mărturii de epocă”, in vol. Portul Constanţa între tradiţie, actualitate şi perspective (Constanţa: Editura Companiei Naţionale APM, 2007), 49–70; Virgil Coman, “100 de ani de la inaugurarea portului modern Constanţa. 27 septembrie 1909 – 27 septembrie 2009”, în vol. Convergenţe istorice şi geopolitice. Omagiu Profesorului Horia Dumitrescu, edited by Stela Cheptea and Gheorghe Buzatu (Iaşi: Demiurg, 2009), 88–95.

[17] Lupu, “Portul”, 37–38.

[18] Roşculeţ, Evoluţia, 60.

[19]Ibid., 60–62; Lupu, “Portul”, 38–39.


References

Archival sources:

Serviciul Judeţean Constanţa al Arhivelor Naţionale (The National Archives, Constanţa Branch), Căpitănia Portului Constanţa (Constanţa Habour Master’s Office), files starting with 1892.

Bibliography:

Ciorbea, Valentin, “‘Afacerea Hallier’” în dezbaterile parlamentare şi presa vremii” [‘The Hallier Affair’ in the Parliamentary Debates and the Contemporary Press], in vol. Istoria – o meditaţie asupra trecutului. Profesorului Vasile Cristian la a 65-a aniversare [History – A Meditation on the Past. To Professor Vasile Cristian at his 65th Birthday] (Iaşi: Tipografia Moldova, 2001), 341–350.

Ciorbea, Valentin, “Portul Constanţa – Retrospectivă istorică la 110 ani de la inaugurarea oficială a lucrărilor de modernizare” [Constanţa Harbour – Historical Retrospective at 110 Years Since the Official Inauguration of the Modernisation Works], Anuarul Muzeului Marinei Române, 9 (2006), 145–167.

Ciorbea, Valentin, Portul Constanţa 1896–1996 [The Port of Constanţa 1896–1996] (Constanţa: Editura Fundaţiei „Andrei Şaguna", 1996).

Ciorbea, Valentin, Portul Constanţa de la antichitate la mileniul III [Constanţa Harbour from the Antiquity to the Third Millennium] (Constanţa: Europolis, 1994).

Cojoc, Mariana, Constanţa – port internaţional. Comerţ exterior al României prin portul Constanţa 1878–1939 [Constanţa – International Port. Romania’s Foreign Trade through the Port of Constanţa 1878–1939] (Bucharest: Cartea Universitară, 2006).

Coman, Virgil, “100 de ani de la inaugurarea portului modern Constanţa. 27 septembrie 1909 – 27 septembrie 2009” [100 Years since the Inauguration of the Modern Harbour of Constanţa. 27 September 1909 – 27 September 2009], in vol. Convergenţe istorice şi geopolitice. Omagiu Profesorului Horia Dumitrescu [Historical and Geopolitical Convergences. Homage to Professor Horia Dumitrescu], edited by Stela Cheptea and Gheorghe Buzatu (Iaşi: Demiurg, 2009), 88–95.

Coman, Virgil, “Portul Constanţa în arhivele judeţene” [Constanţa Harbour in Local Archives], in vol. Portul Constanţa între tradiţie, actualitate şi perspective [Constanţa Harbour between Tradition, Actuality and Perspective, edited by Valentin Ciorbea (Constanţa: Editura Companiei Naţionale Administraţia Porturilor Maritime, 2007), 363–367.

Covacef, Petre, “Construcţiile executate în portul Constanţa până la Primul Război Mondial” [The Constructions Done in the Harbour of Constanţa until World War One], Analele Dobrogei, new series, 5:2 (1999), 140–183.

Covacef, Petre, Portul Constanţa. Portul lui Anghel Saligny [The Port of Constanţa. The Port of Anghel Saligny] (Constanţa: Editura Companiei Naţionale Administraţia Porturilor Maritime, 2004).

D.S.P.M., “Evoluţia portului Constanţa” [The Evolution of the Harbour of Constanţa], in vol. 1878–1928. Dobrogea. Cincizeci de ani de vieaţă românească [1878–1928. Dobrogea. Fifty Years of Romanian Life] (Constanţa: Cultura Naţională, 1928).

Desa, Ileana Stanca, “Inaugurarea portului Constanţa – 27 septembrie 1909 – spicuiri din presă” [The Inauguration of Constanţa Harbour – 27 September 1909 – Excerpts from the Press], Analele Dobrogei, new series, 8 (2005), 191–197.

Din tezaurul documentar dobrogean, edited by Marin Stanciu [Tresure of Documents on Dobrudja] edited by Marin Stanciu, (Bucharest: Direcţia Generală a Arhivelor Statului din RSR, 1988).

Lascu, Stoica, “Importanţa şi rolul portului Constanţa în propăşirea ţării – în lumina unor mărturii de epocă” [The Importance and the Role of Constanţa Harbour for the Development of the Country – in Light of Contemporary Evidence], in vol. Portul Constanţa între tradiţie, actualitate şi perspective [Constanţa Harbour between Tradition, Actuality and Perspective, edited by Valentin Ciorbea (Constanţa: Editura Companiei Naţionale Administraţia Porturilor Maritime, 2007), 49–70.

Lazarovici, E. B., “Construcţia şi exploatarea portului Constanţa” [The Construction and Exploitation of the Harbour of Constanţa], Analele Dobrogei, 1 (1920), 39–96.

Lungu, G., “Dezvoltarea portului Constanţa de la 1860 la primul război mondial” [The Development of the Port of Constanţa from 1860 to World War One], in vol. Comunicări de istorie a Dobrogei [Papers on the History of Dobrudja] (Constanţa: Muzeul de Istorie Naţională şi Arheologie, 1980), vol. I, 207–234.

Lupu, Mihai, “Portul Constanţa, 1896–1914” [The Constanţa Harbour, 1896–1914], in vol. Portul Constanţa între tradiţie, actualitate şi perspective [Constanţa Harbour between Tradition, Actuality and Perspective, edited by Valentin Ciorbea (Constanţa: Editura Companiei Naţionale Administraţia Porturilor Maritime, 2007), 35–48.

Lupu, Mihai, Evoluţia portului Constanţa între anii 1896 şi 1948 [The Evolution of the Harbour of Constanţa between 1896 and 1948] (Constanţa: Editura Muntenia, 2006).

Portul Constanţa între tradiţie, actualitate şi perspective [Constanţa Harbour between Tradition, Actuality and Perspective, edited by Valentin Ciorbea (Constanţa: Editura Companiei Naţionale Administraţia Porturilor Maritime, 2007).

Roşculeţ, M., Evoluţia portului Constanţa, construcţia şi exploatarea lui [The Evolution of the Constanţa Harbour, Its Construction and Exploitation] (Bucharest: Cartea Românească, 1939).


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