Sulina, the only city in the Danube Delta. A destination that should not be missed if you reach the Danube Delta.
The visit to Sulina begins on its way to the city, starting from Mila 23. We go on the Old Danube to Crisan and from there on the navigable Danube, to the Black Sea, to the end of the Danube. On the right-hand side we will see the city, we dock at the promenade of the city and continue our excursion by having a walk in the city, with the taxi or minibus (these are not included in the price).
After the walk tour to the city and visiting the tourist attractions you can have a lunch break at one of the local restaurants, then you have free time to go to the beach. Depending on the season, the time allowed for the beach may be different. During Spring and Autumn you can only go to see the sea and after continue the trip on a very spectacular return journey, passing by Letea’s sandisland. During Summer you’ll have 3-4 free hours for the beach and then we return to Mila23 Village on the Danube.
The Danube flow into The Black Sea – through a 16 km artificial stone channel, created to avoid the silting of the Danube mouth. It is only functional, but not esthetic. On this channel are sailing heavy commercial ships that sometimes it generates quite large waves, so it is no pleasure to go here. As you have already guess, we are not going out with the boats to see the sea, but you’ll go to the shore to see it.
With a history suspected of about 2700 years and a written over 1,000 years, Sulina is one of the oldest human settlements in Romania.
From this history rich in events, Sulina, the star city of the Danube Delta, was ranked as a city by the European Commission of the Danube, still keeps today elements reminding us of the multitude of nationalities that have lived here, leaving its mark on the architecture and way of life.
Of the objectives to be visited in Sulina we have on the list:
St. Nicholas’s Greek Church was built between 1862 and 1868 and restored in 1923, is dedicated to St. Nicholas’s, and was holy in 1869. The bell tower has three bells, two of them having the inscription: “Sulina 1933”.
Those who fully contributed to its construction were the Greeks established at that time in Sulina. This church is considered a historic monument, placed in category B, a very important monument.
Iconostasis was brought in the same time with the church building, also by the Greeks. In fact, many things, such as the icons that were brought in 1867 from Greece (some are much older), were bought mainly by Greek navigators, being their gift to the church “St. Nicholas”.
Currently, after restoration, the church image is no longer so “historic”. Restored with modern windows and other modern “improvements”, bringing it an aspect not very suitable for a tourist attraction.
The Orthodox Cathedral of St. Nicholas and Alexandru, built in Byzantine style, was built between 1910-1912 (raised) – 1933-1934 (finished). Carol I set the fundamental stone of the building. In charge of the initiative committee, reunited in 1932 to collect the funds needed to complete the works, was Gala Galaction.
For the moment, the cathedral escaped the rage of modern restoration and kept its original elements, mosaics, metal door, windows and bells.
The Roman Catholic Church St. Nicholas was holy in 1863, the construction being the result of the Italian community’s financial effort in Sulina. It is surrounded by a forged iron fence, which is enclosed in stone columns, on the top in the middle of each column there is a scrap of iron in which, during the holidays, flags were inserted. The construction style is Italian, typical of the second half of the 19th century. Part of the church stained glass windows is original. It is a construction of Malta stone and brick. The three bells in the church bell tower were cast in bronze and dates back to the church’s holy year, that is 1863.
Until 1970, the services were held in Latin, then the services were held in Romanian. As you walk the church threshold, on the right side is a statue embodying St. Nicholas. The balcony of the church was hosting the choir and the singers of the church.
Although restored, the Roman Catholic Church has preserved its original appearance (at least on the outside, because the interior is difficult to see, the church being permanently closed).
One of the interesting tourist attractions is the Sulina Cemetery, the cemetery is hosting the graves of all the humans who lived or crossed here, from sailors to princesses, common people, ship captains, war heroes, Muslims, Christians, Jews all found their peace in this place. It is really worth spending an hour or two visiting the cemetery, feeling the history and cosmopolitanism of this town on the shore of the sea.
The old lighthouse or The Lighthouse of Jean Bart, now a museum of Sulina and wonderful panoramic place over the city (it is the highest point in the city, 17.34 m), the lighthouse hosts Eugeniu Botez’s office, known under the literary pseudonym Jean Bart. The historical monument was built between 1869-1870, and since then it has been restored twice. At that time it was close to the point where the Danube is flowing into The Black Sea. Today it is over 1.5 km away from the shore of the sea.
On the ground floor there is another hall dedicated to the European Commission of the Danube, an international organization set up under the Treaty of Paris on March 30, 1856. The metallic spiral staircase leads us to the dome of the headlamp, the steps and the interior of the building being illuminated by the three circular windows. The headlamp emits a steady white light visible in its clear nights within 36 kilometers. The light is placed in the focal spot of 27 parabolic mirrors made of polished metal.
The old lighthouse in Sulina represents a symbol of the activity carried out by the European Commission of the Danube (we could say the precursor of today’s European Union) at the most eastern point of the country.
The old lighthouse on the left bank – was built by the European Commission of the Danube in 1887, so later on the famous lighthouse on the 2nd Street (Jean Bart).
The new lighthouse – Secular Architecture Objective. The new lighthouse is a modern 59m high construction. It was built in 1982 as a sea-going headlamp.
The European Commission Palace of the Danube (CED) – One of the city’s most imposing buildings was built from 1860 to 1868, hosting among its walls various administrative structures of the European Commission of the Danube. He has had several renovations throughout its existence.
Between 1868 and 1921, it served as the administrative headquarters of the European Commission of the Danube and was later taken over by The Romanian State. It was severely affected by the bombing of The First World War. Since 1948 it has become the headquarters of the river Administration of the Lower Danube , the Sulina branch.
The plant with the water Tower, the “water Castle” at Sulina has a history that has been released from the stories. At the end of the last century, a ship was stopped in Sulina with a guest of attention, the Queen of the Netherlands. When she get down, the queen asked for a glass of water. She did not expect to be offered directly from the Danube. Surprised that in a port with intense activity there is no drinking water, returned home, the queen asked for the water castle construction, with all the distribution network. It was her gift to Sulina. The works began in 1895 and lasted 10 years, ended in 1905. In the second World War, the Germans wanted to blow up the 28 meter high water castle. They didn’t manage because one of the inhabitants of the city cut the fuse. But it burned all the wooden structure from the top part.
The Water castle is still feeding Sulina today and has become the symbol of the city. Unfortunately, by restoration, it was mutilated, the original roof made of handmade copper sheets, was replaced with painted metallic sheet, thus striking its historic value, charm and original appearance.