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Giurgiu County

On the terraces of the Danube archaeologists have discovered traces of pre-historic settlements, that near Giurgiu Customs House, at the Malu Rosu point, being approximately 24,000 years old. At the time of the Dacians, the area was densely populated, the possible residence of the great king Burebista being identified in the locality of Popesti, on the valley of river Arges. Other important archaeological finds were unearthed at Petru Rares, Tangaru, Pietrele (Neolithic), Daia, Mogosesti (Bronze Age), Mihai Bravu, Greaca, Schitu, Valea Ilfovatului (Iron Age), Oinacu, Adunatii Copaceni, Fratesti, Izvoru (the 4th-8th c.). The name the Slav migratory population gave to the region was Vlasca that is “The land of the Romanians”, consecrating thus the first body politic prior to the year 1000.  The town of Giurgiu came to life at the end of the 14th century, as a consequence of the commercial and military pre-eminence granted by Prince Mircea the Old. The settlement became a customs point, an administrative centre, and a princely residence. The city, built on the foundations of a possible Byzantine tower, was attested documentarily by the map in Codex Latinus Parisinus, dated to 1395. Among the deeds issued by Mircea the Old at Giurgiu, the first to be handed down to these days is a treaty of alliance with the king of Poland, dated September 23, 1403. The citadel, the town and the neighbouring territory were conquered by the Turks in 1420 and turned for four centuries into a bridgehead on the Romanian land. All the independence battles waged by Tara Romaneasca (Wallachia) began by attacks on Giurgiu. Numerous great army leaders, like Dan The Second, Vlad Dracul, Vlad Tepes (The Impaler), Radu of Afumati, Michael the Brave, Mihnea The Third scored impressive victories over the Ottoman armies in various localities of this county. The ruins of the Giurgiu fortifications and the monuments of Comana, Heresti, Mironesti, Dobreni, Floresti-Stoenesti and Calugareni bespeak of this legendary past. The citadel was modernised at the time of the Russo-Austrian-Turkish wars in the 18th-19th centuries, being demolished in 1829. The town came again into the limelight of European public opinion at the time of the Crimean War, as well as during the world flares-up of this century. As a matter of fact, the town was bombed in 1853, 1877, 1916 and 1944, in WW1 being the only Romanian town that had the buildings of the central area destroyed in proportion of 80 percent. For this the locality received the titled of heroic town and the French “War Cross”. Owing to its geographical position, the capital of the county hosted several technological premieres (the first telegraph line, the first railway under Romanian administration, the first bridge built on a curve in Europe, the first ferry boat).The most important enterprise here is the shipyard that became state property more than one hundred years ago but whose tradition is older because it was the place where the first commercial sail ship flying the national flag was launched (The Marita, 1834), as well as the first war steam boat (The Romania, 1862). Consequential social movements shook the county, the most outstanding being the cattlemen’s rebellion of Giurgiu (1873) and the 1907 uprising that reached an acme in Vlasca. The most distinguished school in the county was established at Giurgiu in 1869. Meanwhile, it became the Ion Marinescu High School, and its name is related to several teachers and students of nationwide repute. Scholars of European resonance were born here, to name only academicians Miron Nicolescu (mathematics), Nicolae Cartojan (literary history), and Tudor Vianu (philosophy of culture). The tradition of Vlasca education boasts the first vocational school in the provinces, opened at Clejanu, the village schools of Cascioarele and Bulbucata, the first school of fishing, pisciculture and sailing in Romania (1931), and the personalities that propelled these establishments to national fame.

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Geographical Outline

Situated in southern Romania, the territory of Giurgiu county lies in the Romanian Plain, stretching on 3,500 square kilometers. Two thirds of its borders are natural, of which 72 km coincide with the state frontier on the river Danube. Its neighbours are Teleorman county in the west, Dambovita in the north, Ilfov in the north-east and Calarasi in the east. The relief features consist of plains with altitudes varying between 40 and 140 meters and the meadows of the Danube and Arges-Sabar. The climate in temperate-continental, the average yearly temperature being of 11°C. In the Giurgiu area, the Danube exercises a considerable influence on the weather, more than 80 sunny days being recorded yearly, while the average temperatures in summer vary between 20 and 23°C. In the 19th century works began on the hydrographic basin of the Arges to develop a navigable canal and to improve the land. Some rivers are polluted basically because of the petroleum drilling rigs in the north-west of the county, and certain industrial and zootechnical activities. Forests take up more than 10 percent of the county’s surface, some of them being labelled natural reserves: Comana, Manafu, and Alghelesti-Bucsani. The soil is favourable to agriculture, with the exception of some meadow areas. The population recorded a spectacular boom in one century (1831-1930), from 45,000 to nearly 270,000 inhabitants. In the last six decades demographic variations ranged between 300,000 and 325,000 inhabitants, with a decreasing trend of late.  Nearly a quarter of the county’s population is concentrated in the municipality of Giurgiu (approximately 75,000 inhabitants) which in 1835 numbered only 2,000, 16,000 in 1910, and 36,000 inhabitants in 1956. The main international objective at Giurgiu is the Bridge of Friendship, inaugurated in 1954, that assures railway and road connections with the Balkan countries. Besides economic and administrative units, research in irrigation (Baneasa) and viticulture (Greaca) are also worth mentioning. There are six high schools in the county seat and three in the county (Bolintin Vale, Calugareni and Hotarele), plus numerous primary schools, a music and fine arts school, a students’ club and two school museums. The health network features the county hospital, in operation since 1871, while in the rural environment there are some hospitals that have celebrated one hundred years of existence. New institutions for disabled persons were created and others were modernised. The most important cultural establishments in the county are the County Museum Teohari Antonescu (established in 1934), the Valach Theatre, the County Library I. A. Bassarabescu, and the Culture House Ion Vinea. The major religion is the Romanian Orthodox faith, and, along this line we should mention the Comana Monastery, reconstructed in 1992, after having existed for well over four centuries (between 1460 and 1864). Giurgiu boasts six periodicals, a local radio station and a cable television station (Technosat), several cultural magazines as well as two printing houses. This brief review, far from complete, is an invitation to come and see for yourselves and, function of your potential interest, help revive an area with rich traditions and attractive opportunities. The basic economic branch in Giurgiu County is agriculture. The agricultural surface stretches on 277,00 hectares of which 259,000 hectares are arable. We should also note that in the county there are 37,000 hectares of wood and 2,940 hectares of fisheries. The arable land is excellent for cereals, technical plants, vine, poultry and animal raising. The agricultural activities are supported by an institute of agricultural research for irrigation and a viticultural research and production institute. The county of Giurgiu has irrigation facilities with buried pipes and pressure system, with sprinkler and bed irrigation possibilities. The municipality of Giurgiu, situated on the mid course of the Danube, at the crossroads of most important water and land communication ways, only 60 kilometers away from Bucharest, is representative for the county’s industry. Thanks to its geographic position, Giurgiu is an open door to fruitful trade relations with the Balkan Peninsula and the Middle East. Likewise, Giurgiu is the main gate in southern Romania to and from important international traffic corridors, from the north and the south, the south-east, and the south-west to the counties in the east, centre and west of Europe. Lying in the middle of the Romanian sector of the Danube, Giurgiu benefits from the water transportation facilities on this important river that assures the connection with the Black Sea, through the ports of Constanta and Sulina for the eight riparian countries. Starting 1993, when the Danube-Maine-Rhine Canal was commissioned, the connection with the West-European countries and the North Sea, through the Rotterdam port was also achieved. As of 1996, the Giurgiu municipality provides excellent investment opportunities for Romanian and foreign investors. Under Government Resolution 788/1996 the Giurgiu Free Zone was created, which stretches on 153 hectares and is bordered on three sides by water ( the Danube and two navigable canals). The Giurgiu Free Zone benefits from:
    – the existence of infrastructure constructions;
    – the existence of superstructure works both for commercial areas and for industrial productive areas;
    – the existence of infrastructure for communication, fiber optic telephone lines and a digital telephone exchange.
The area includes a petroleum terminal with a 350-m mooring. The storing capacity of the terminal is of 50,999 t of various petroleum products, being the only of this type on the Romanian bank of the Danube.

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Touristic Information

The Giurgiu County is situated in the Southern part of Romania, on the middle course of the Danube River, as a part of the Romanian Plain. The Southern border of the county washed by the Danube on a length of 72 km gives it the possibility to have river connections (including the way to the Black Sea) with the Danubian countries from the Central and Eastern Europe. Since 1993 when the Rhin-Main-Danube was finished, an opening to the West-European countries was created being possible to reach the North Sea via Rotterdam. The Giurgiu-Ruse road and railway bridge, the only permanent cross over the Danube to Bulgaria, offers also connections to the countries of Central Europe, from and to the Balkan Peninsula and Middle Asia. The Giurgiu county has a diversified industrial production, but being situated in a predominant agricol region its main wealth consists in agricultural activities (cereals, vegetables and vine). The opening of the Free Zone of Giurgiu, the short distance to Bucharest and Bulgaria will offer new opportunities in the development of this county. The natural landscape, interesting historic places offer to tourists some points of attraction. For example, in the village of Comana, on the bank of the Neajlov River, there is a monastery built by ruler Vlad Tepes which is documentary dated back from 1461. The Monuments from Calugareni, placed on the road between Bucharest and Giurgiu, are dedicated to the Romanian army led by Mihai the Brave who fought here in 1594-1595 and was admired by the whole Europe after drove away over the Danube the numberless Ottoman army of Sinan Pasha. The capital city of this county is Giurgiu which is documentary dated back from 1395. Among the monuments of Giurgiu the Clock Tower has to be mentioned. Also the "Teohari Antonescu" History Museum is an important and interesting cultural place in Giurgiu.

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Economy Profile



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