July 24, 2024

Port Short from Constanta, Romania

Martin reports from Constanta on a very cloudy day.

Martin’s cruise of the Black Sea included the fascinating port of Constanta in Romania and once a stronghold of the Byzantine Empire.

Map from Mediterranean By Cruise Ship of portion of the Black Sea.

Constanta, Romania’s main seaport and a popular seaside resort, began as a Greek colony called Tomi, and became Ovid’s place of exile in the 1st century AD. Ovid, wrote his final works at Tomi. In the 4th century, Constantine the Great changed the city’s name to Constantiana. Captured by the Turks in 1413, the port city became part of Romania in 1878. Local sights include an Orthodox cathedral, several museums and extensive Roman and Byzantine remains.
An excursion into Bucharest, Romania’s largest city, takes visitors into the heart of Walachia. The ‘bread basket’ of Romania, the principality of Walachia was founded in the late 13th century when the Mongol wave receded and local inhabitants descended from their mountain refuges. Vlad IV, who ruled Walachia in the mid-15th century, maintained order by sentencing 20,000 people to death in the space of six years. His practise of impaling Turkish prisoners earned him the name Prince Vlad the Impaler and, as the son of Prince Vlad Dracul (Vlad the Devil), he also became known as Dracula or son of the Devil. Bucharest was the residence of the Walachian princes and became the capital of Romania in 1861. Much of the Old City was demolished by President Nicolae Ceaucescu during the 1980s to make room for a model socialist-planned city. Historic landmarks include several churches from the 17th and 18th centuries; the Museum of Romanian History was built during Ceaucescu’s dictatorship.

See Martin’s report: Constanta, Romania Port Short