Silistra is a port city of northeastern Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, lying on the southern bank of the lower Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 at the country's border with Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

. Silistra is the administrative centre of Silistra Province
Silistra Province
Silistra Province is a province of Bulgaria, named after its main city - Silistra. It is divided into 7 municipalities with a total population, as of December 2009, of 127,659 inhabitants....

 and one of the important cities of the historical region of Southern Dobrudzha. As of February 2011, the town has a population of 35,607 inhabitants.

Silistra is a major cultural, industrial, transportation and educational center of north-eastern Bulgaria. There are many historical landmarks including a Roman tomb, remains of the Medieval fortress, an Ottoman fort, and an art gallery.


Silistra is situated in the north eastern part of Bulgaria on the right bank of the Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 river. It is located in the Bulgarian part of Dobrudzha.

The municipality of Silistra
Silistra Municipality
Silistra Municipality is a municipality in Silistra Province, Northeastern Bulgaria, located along the right bank of Danube river, in the Danubian Plain, bounded by Romania to the northeast and north beyond the river...

 covers an area of 516 km2 and includes the city and 18 villages. The area of the city-proper is 27.159 km2. The total population of the municipality, as of February 2011, is 50,448 of which 35,607 live in the city.

Silistra is some 431 km from the capital of Bulgaria - Sofia, some 141 km from Varna and some 119 km from Ruse.



The Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 built a fortress in 29 AD on the site of an earlier Celt
The Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Roman-era Europe who spoke Celtic languages.The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture , named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria....

ic settlement and kept its name, Durostorum (or Dorostorum). It became an important military center of Moesia
Moesia was an ancient region and later Roman province situated in the Balkans, along the south bank of the Danube River. It included territories of modern-day Southern Serbia , Northern Republic of Macedonia, Northern Bulgaria, Romanian Dobrudja, Southern Moldova, and Budjak .-History:In ancient...

, and grew into a city at the time of Marcus Aurelius. In 388, Durostorum became the seat of a Christian bishopric and a center of Christianity in the region. Roman general Flavius Aëtius
Flavius Aëtius
Flavius Aëtius , dux et patricius, was a Roman general of the closing period of the Western Roman Empire. He was an able military commander and the most influential man in the Western Roman Empire for two decades . He managed policy in regard to the attacks of barbarian peoples pressing on the Empire...

 was born in the town in 396. After the Roman Empire split into the Eastern and Western empires, the town (known as Δουρόστολον, Durostolon in Byzantine Greek) became part of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

. As part of the Bulgarian Empire
Bulgarian Empire
Bulgarian Empire is a term used to describe two periods in the medieval history of Bulgaria, during which it acted as a key regional power in Europe in general and in Southeastern Europe in particular, rivalling Byzantium...

 Durostolon then became known as Drastar by the Bulgarians in Medieval times.
Around the end of the 7th century, the town was incorporated in the First Bulgarian Empire
First Bulgarian Empire
The First Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state founded in the north-eastern Balkans in c. 680 by the Bulgars, uniting with seven South Slavic tribes...

 and the bishop of Drastar was proclaimed the first patriarch of Bulgaria. In 895 during the Bulgarian-Hungarian War
Bulgarian-Hungarian Wars
The Bulgarian–Hungarian wars were a series of conflicts which took place between the Bulgarian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary between the 9th and 14th centuries...

 of (894-896), the Hungarians who acted as Byzantine allies besieged the Bulgarian army under the personal command of Simeon I the Great
Simeon I of Bulgaria
Simeon I the Great ruled over Bulgaria from 893 to 927, during the First Bulgarian Empire. Simeon's successful campaigns against the Byzantines, Magyars and Serbs led Bulgaria to its greatest territorial expansion ever, making it the most powerful state in contemporary Eastern Europe...

 in the fortress of the town but were repulsed. On the next year the Hungarians were decisively defeated in the battle of Southern Buh
Battle of Southern Buh
The Battle of Southern Buh occurred near the banks of the so called river, in modern Ukraine. The result was a great Bulgarian victory which forced the Magyars to leave forever the steppes of southern Ukraine and to establish the Kingdom of Hungary a hundred years later.- Origins of the conflict...


The town was captured by the forces of Sviatoslav I of Kiev
Sviatoslav I of Kiev
Sviatoslav I Igorevich ; , also spelled Svyatoslav, was a prince of Rus...

 in 969, but two years later it was besieged by the Byzantines
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 during the Battle of Dorostolon
Battle of Dorostolon
The Battle of Dorostolon was fought in 971 between the Byzantine Empire and forces of Kievan Rus. The Byzantines, led by John I Tzimisces, were victorious.- Background:...

. Having been ceded to the Byzantines, it was renamed Theodoropolis, after military saint Theodore Stratelates
Theodore Stratelates
Theodore Stratelates , also known as Theodore of Heraclea, is a martyr and Warrior Saint venerated with the title Great-martyr in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Catholic and Roman Catholic Churches....

, who is said to have come to Emperor John I Tzimiskes
John I Tzimiskes
John I Tzimiskes or Tzimisces, was Byzantine Emperor from December 11, 969 to January 10, 976. A brilliant and intuitive general, John's short reign saw the expansion of the empire's borders and the strengthening of Byzantium itself.- Background :...

' aid during the battle. In 976, Tsar Samuil
Samuil of Bulgaria
Samuel was the Emperor of the First Bulgarian Empire from 997 to 6 October 1014. From 980 to 997, he was a general under Roman I of Bulgaria, the second surviving son of Emperor Peter I of Bulgaria, and co-ruled with him, as Roman bestowed upon him the command of the army and the effective royal...

 restored Bulgarian rule in the region until 1001, when it was once again incorporated within the bounds of the Byzantine Empire.

In 1186, after the Rebellion of Asen and Peter
Vlach-Bulgarian Rebellion
The Uprising of Asen and Peter was a revolt of Bulgarians and Vlachs living in the theme of Paristrion of the Byzantine Empire, caused by a tax increase...

, the town became part of the Second Bulgarian Empire
Second Bulgarian Empire
The Second Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state which existed between 1185 and 1396 . A successor of the First Bulgarian Empire, it reached the peak of its power under Kaloyan and Ivan Asen II before gradually being conquered by the Ottomans in the late 14th-early 15th century...


In 1279 Emperor Ivailo was besieged by the Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

 in Drastar but after three-month siege the Bulgarians managed to break through. The town remained part of the Empire until the Ottoman conquest of Bulgaria in 1396. Throughout the Middle Ages, Drastar was among Bulgaria's largest and most important cities.

During Ottoman rule, Silistra (Silistre in Ottoman Turkish
Ottoman Turkish language
The Ottoman Turkish language or Ottoman language is the variety of the Turkish language that was used for administrative and literary purposes in the Ottoman Empire. It borrows extensively from Arabic and Persian, and was written in a variant of the Perso-Arabic script...

) was part of Rumelia Province and was the administrative centre of the Silistra district (sanjak
Sanjaks were administrative divisions of the Ottoman Empire. Sanjak, and the variant spellings sandjak, sanjaq, and sinjaq, are English transliterations of the Turkish word sancak, meaning district, banner, or flag...

). This district was later upgraded to become the Silistra Province
Silistra Province, Ottoman Empire
The Eyalet of Silistra , later known as Özü Eyalet was an eyalet of the Ottoman Empire along the Black Sea littoral and south bank of the Danube River in southeastern Europe. The fortress of Belgrade was under the eyalet's jurisdiction...

 that stretched over most of the western Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

The littoral zone is that part of a sea, lake or river that is close to the shore. In coastal environments the littoral zone extends from the high water mark, which is rarely inundated, to shoreline areas that are permanently submerged. It always includes this intertidal zone and is often used to...


The town was captured by Russian forces numerous times during several Russo-Turkish Wars and was besieged between 14 April and 23 June in 1854 during the Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

. Around that time Namık Kemal
Namık Kemal
Namık Kemal, born as Mehmed Kemal was a Turkish nationalist poet, translator, journalist, and social reformer.-Biography:...

 wrote his most famous play, Vatan Yahut Silistre ("Fatherland; or, Silistra"), a drama evolving around the siege of Silistra
Siege of Silistra
The Siege of Silistra took place during the Crimean War. in this action Russian forces besieged the Ottoman fortress town of Silistra. While initially successful, the Russians were forced, after several weeks, to abandon the siege and retreat.-Background:...

 in 1854, in which he expounded on the ideas of patriotism and liberalism. It was staged first on 1 April 1873 and led to his exile to Famagusta
Famagusta is a city on the east coast of Cyprus and is capital of the Famagusta District. It is located east of Nicosia, and possesses the deepest harbour of the island.-Name:...


The Ottoman Silistra Province was reduced in size, as the districts of Özi and Hocabey
Odessa or Odesa is the administrative center of the Odessa Oblast located in southern Ukraine. The city is a major seaport located on the northwest shore of the Black Sea and the fourth largest city in Ukraine with a population of 1,029,000 .The predecessor of Odessa, a small Tatar settlement,...

 and the region of Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....

 were ceded to the Russian Empire between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, and the Edirne Province was established from its south regions in 1830. Finally, Silistra Province merged with the provinces of Vidin
Vidin is a port town on the southern bank of the Danube in northwestern Bulgaria. It is close to the borders with Serbia and Romania, and is also the administrative centre of Vidin Province, as well as of the Metropolitan of Vidin...

 and Niš
Niš is the largest city of southern Serbia and third-largest city in Serbia . According to the data from 2011, the city of Niš has a population of 177,972 inhabitants, while the city municipality has a population of 257,867. The city covers an area of about 597 km2, including the urban area,...

 in 1864 and became Danube Province
Danube Province, Ottoman Empire
The Vilayet of the Danube or Danubian Vilayet was a vilayet of the Ottoman Empire from 1864 to 1878. In the late 19th century it reportedly had an area of ....

 in 1864. Silistra was downgraded to a kaza centre in Ruse district in this province in the same year.

Between 1819 and 1826, Eliezer Papo
Eliezer Papo
Rabbi Eliezer Papo was the rabbi of the community of Selestria in Bulgaria. He is famous for writing the Pele Yoetz, a work of musar literature which gives advice on how to behave as a Jew in many aspects of life....

 — a renowned Jewish scholar — was the rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

 of the community of Silistra, making this town famous among observant Jews. (Up to the present, his grave is a focus of pilgrimage
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

, some pilgrims flying especially from Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and even from Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

 to Bulgaria for that purpose.)

In 1878, following the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878
Russo-Turkish War, 1877–1878
The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 was a conflict between the Ottoman Empire and the Eastern Orthodox coalition led by the Russian Empire and composed of numerous Balkan...

, Silistra was included in the newly autonomous Principality of Bulgaria
Principality of Bulgaria
The Principality of Bulgaria was a self-governing entity created as a vassal of the Ottoman Empire by the Treaty of Berlin in 1878. The preliminary treaty of San Stefano between the Russian Empire and the Porte , on March 3, had originally proposed a significantly larger Bulgarian territory: its...

, which became the Kingdom of Bulgaria
Kingdom of Bulgaria
The Kingdom of Bulgaria was established as an independent state when the Principality of Bulgaria, an Ottoman vassal, officially proclaimed itself independent on October 5, 1908 . This move also formalised the annexation of the Ottoman province of Eastern Rumelia, which had been under the control...

 in 1908.

In May 1913, after unsuccessful Bulgarian-Romanian negotiations in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, the two countries accepted the mediation of the Great Powers, who awarded Silistra and the area in a 3 km radius around it to Romania at the Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 Conference. Following the Second Balkan War
Second Balkan War
The Second Balkan War was a conflict which broke out when Bulgaria, dissatisfied with its share of the spoils of the First Balkan War, attacked its former allies, Serbia and Greece, on 29 June 1913. Bulgaria had a prewar agreement about the division of region of Macedonia...

, the Treaty of Bucharest
Treaty of Bucharest, 1913
The Treaty of Bucharest was concluded on 10 August 1913, by the delegates of Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro and Greece.As Bulgaria had been completely isolated in the Second Balkan War , and as it was closely invested on its northern boundary by Romania and on its western frontier by the...

 (1913) granted Silistra and the whole of Southern Dobruja
Southern Dobruja
Southern Dobruja is an area of north-eastern Bulgaria comprising the administrative districts named for its two principal cities of Dobrich and Silistra...

 to Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 when the city became called Dârstor by the Romanians. Although Bulgaria regained the town during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 with the Treaty of Bucharest
Treaty of Bucharest, 1918
The Treaty of Bucharest was a peace treaty which the German Empire forced Romania to sign on 7 May 1918 following the Romanian campaign of 1916-1917.-Main terms of the treaty:...

 (1918), in which Romania surrendered to the Central Powers
Central Powers
The Central Powers were one of the two warring factions in World War I , composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria...

 (including Bulgaria), the Treaty of Neuilly
Treaty of Neuilly
The Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine, dealing with Bulgaria for its role as one of the Central Powers in World War I, was signed on 27 November 1919 at Neuilly-sur-Seine, France....

 (1919) following World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 returned it to Romania. Silistra remained a part of Romania until the Axis
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

-sponsored Treaty of Craiova
Treaty of Craiova
The Treaty of Craiova was signed on 7 September 1940 between the Kingdom of Bulgaria and the Kingdom of Romania. Under the terms of this treaty, Romania returned the southern part of Dobruja to Bulgaria and agreed to participate in organizing a population exchange...

 of 1940, when the town once again became part of Bulgaria, a transfer confirmed by the Paris Peace Treaties
Paris Peace Treaties, 1947
The Paris Peace Conference resulted in the Paris Peace Treaties signed on February 10, 1947. The victorious wartime Allied powers negotiated the details of treaties with Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland .The...

 of 1947. Silistra was center of Durostor County
Durostor County
Durostor was a county of Romania, in Southern Dobruja, with the seat at Silistra .The county consisted of 4 districts : Accadânlar, Curtbunar, Silistra and Turtucaia...

 between 1913–1938, except Bulgarian rule between 1916–1918, and part of Ţinutul Mării
Tinutul Marii
Ţinutul Mării was one of the ten ţinuturi of Romania, founded in 1938 after King Carol II initiated an institutional reform by modifying the 1923 Constitution and the law of territorial administration. It comprised part of Wallachia, and included central Dobruja...

 between 1938-1940 during Romanian rule.


Silistra Knoll
Silistra Knoll
Silistra Knoll rises to over in southern Levski Ridge, in the Tangra Mountains of Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica...

 on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands
The South Shetland Islands are a group of Antarctic islands, lying about north of the Antarctic Peninsula, with a total area of . By the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, the Islands' sovereignty is neither recognized nor disputed by the signatories and they are free for use by any signatory for...

, Antarctica is named after Silistra, as is the Dristor
Dristor is a neighborhood located in the southeastern part of Bucharest. Nearby districts include Dudeşti, Vitan, Văcăreşti and Titan. The Dristor metro station is a major node of Bucharest Metro's network....

 neighbourhood of Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....


"Silistra" is also the name of a fictional planet in Janet Morris
Janet Morris
Janet Ellen Morris is an American author of fiction and nonfiction, best known for her fantasy and science fiction and her authorship of a nonlethal weapons concept for the U.S. military.-Writing:...

' book
High Couch of Silistra
High Couch of Silistra
Returning Creation is the first of the High Couch of Silistra series, by Janet Morris. Published in 1977, it was the first title of her writing career. It was one of the first science fiction/fantasy books to include bi-sexual/pan-sexual characters and erotic themes...


External links

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