Medgidia

Medgidia

Medgidia (med.ʤi.'di.a, historical names: Karasu or Carasu, Mecidiye or Megidie) is a city in Constanţa County, Dobruja, south-eastern Romania.

History

Archaeological findings show that Dobruja was inhabited since the Neolithic period. Starting with 46 BC the region was administered by the Roman Empire. A castrum was built in the Carasu Valley, becoming the cradle of the settlement. In 1417, the Turks invaded Dobruja. From the 15th century onwards the region started to be colonized with Muslim population. The settlement named "Karasu" (Turkish for "Black Water") was mentioned on the map of Iehuda ben Zara in 1497, in the notes of Paolo Giorgio (1590) and Evliya Çelebi (1653).

In the 19th century the Ottoman sultan Abdul Mejid repopulated the region. In 1865, the inhabitants of Carasu asked the governor of Dobruja to rename the town "Mecidiye" as a tribute to their benefactor.

After the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878), Northern Dobruja became part of Romania.

Geography

Medgidia is located between the Danube and the Black Sea, 39 km far from Constanţa.

The general aspect of the relief is that of a low plateau with a limestone structure, covered with thick deposits of loess. The natural resources in the area consist of limestone deposits and kaolin sand. The limestone structure of the earth permits a natural filtering of the groundwater.

Climate

The climate is temperate-continental, with short and cold winters and warm summers.

Local administration

Medgidia became a municipality in 1994.

The town infrastructure is continuously developing and offers the inhabitants 4 high schools, 8 primary schools, 12 nurseries, 4 cultural centers with a hall for cultural activities, 2 show and cinema halls, 3 clubs and 5 libraries, a 30,000-seat stadium, a sports hall and a swimming pool. Medgidia also houses a 500-bed hospital.

The following villages are administered by the municipality:

  • Remus Opreanu (historical name: Alibei-Ceair, Alibeyçayır) - renamed after the first Romanian prefect of the Constanţa County (1878 - 1881)
  • Valea Dacilor (historical name: Endecarachioi, Hendek Karaköy or Hendek Kara Kuyusu)

Politics

The current mayor of Medgidia is Iordache Marian (National Liberal Party).

The Medgidia Municipal Council, elected in the 2008 local government elections, is made up of 19 councilors, with the following party composition:

    Party Seats Current Council
  National Liberal Party 10                    
  Democratic Liberal Party 4                    
  Social Democratic Party 4                    
  Democratic Union of Turco-Islamic Tatars of Romania 1                    

Economy

The economic landscape spotlights the existence of a town fully involved in its progress. Out of 1,200 registered enterprises, only 30 are state-owned and 15 are joint ventures.

Beside the agricultural activities (milk-processing, milling, bakery and wine growing), the main industry deals in cement and building materials, agricultural machinery and forgery equipment, wood processing and furniture factories.

Medgidia lies in the center of an agricultural area of several tens of millions hectares, with a fertile soil and provided with irrigation systems.

The area offers:

  • a rich agricultural tradition and trained specialists
  • a road network for the transport of goods
  • relatively short transport distances, especially through the port
  • access to other Romanian or European regions
  • better climate conditions than in other parts of Romania (winter is shorter)
  • an outstanding irrigation potential

Transport

The town is a road and rail node and an inland port to the Danube-Black Sea Canal. The Danube-Black Sea Canal crosses the town for about 6 km of its length.

The canal has a capacity of 11.2 million tons/year and can admit ships of . Provided with road and rail links, the harbor offers storage facilities and cranes able to lift up to 16-ton weights. Beside a SNCFR marshaling yard, along the Canal there is a Free Trade Area in course of being finalized.

A planned highway from Bucharest to Constanţa, partially financed by the EU, will bypass the town, allowing the development of associated services (hotels, petrol stations and a parking yard for trucks) in the area.

Landmarks

The Art Museum "Lucian Grigorescu"

It was opened in 1964 with exhibitions of Romanian contemporary painting, sculpture, and graphics, signed Lucian Grigorescu, Marius Bunescu, Ion Jalea and others. The permanent exhibition takes in classic and modern artworks but also works of contemporary art classics: Lucian Grigorescu, Nicolae Tonitza, Francisc Şirato, Ştefan Dumitrescu, Iosif Iser. The museum also displays a collection of ceramic artworks.

In 1991 the museum was named after Lucian Grigorescu, a town native, who was deemed as the most Latin among the Romanian painters. The city honors the painter every year on the 1st of February, the anniversary of his birthday.

The "Saints Peter and Paul" Orthodox church

The church was built in a Roman-Greek style and it was raised with the contribution of the local Christians on the ruins of a Roman castrum.

The "Abdul Mejid" Mosque

Built in 1860 by the Ottoman Government, the mosque is an historic and architectural monument. It was named after the sultan Abdul Mejid - who reigned between 1839 and 1861.

The mosque is served by an imam and a muezzin. The building respects the traditional form of the Muslim cultural placements, decorated in the interior with oriental ornaments and inscriptions in Arabic.

The Serbian Heroes' Monument

In 1926, Medgidia commemorated the heroism of the Serbian division which fought in Dobruja during the World War I (see the Romanian Campaign (World War I)) by inaugurating a monument in its honor. With this occasion a ceremony was held with the participation of Romanian and Yugoslavian officials; wreaths were laid at the base of the monument by the Serbian and Romanian royal families.

The Medgidia Festival

The festival has been celebrated each year since 1999, at the end of October, and is attended by thousands of locals.

References

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