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Constanta, Romania – A Colorful city by the Black Sea
Constanta, Romania – A Colorful city by the Black Sea

The city of Constanta in Romania was built 2.500 years ago. It is connected with several world-known personalities such as:
-    Jason and the Argonauts who had visited it after they found the Golden Fleece.
-    Emperor Constantine the Great who renamed the ancient Tomis city to Constanta in an attempt to honor his sister Constantiana.
-    The Roman poet Ovidius who was exiled to Tomis by the Emperor Augustus.

Constanta today is the fourth largest port in Europe, but is has been important ever since its foundation by the Greeks from Miletos in the 6th century BC. Lying on the western coast of the Black Sea, the city enjoys an uninterrupted history of Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and European influences.

Walking along the sea promenade, the visitor of Constanta reveals the glorious past of the Blue-blood families. The Casino is a magnificent architectural sample of the art nouveau period in the early 20th century. Its walls have witnessed various scandals like the one with the Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia who refused the pre-arranged marriage to Prince Carol II and married the love of her life instead, the cavalry officer Nikolai Kulikovsky.

The heart of the city beats in the National History & Archaeology Museum and the Roman Mosaics. The collections of the Museum include 430.000 artifacts that date back to the Stone Age until the present days. South of the Museum, a modern construction protects the 600 m. Roman Edifice Mosaic, one of the largest that have been discovered in the entire Ancient Roman Empire.

The Museum is located in Ovid Square, the meeting point of Constanta city. All appointments are arranged under the bronze eyes of the Roman poet who named the square. This is the starting point for exploring the Old City. The frescoes of the Christian churches, the mural paintings of the Muslim Mosques and the elegant 19th century mansions, declare the commercial, economical and industrial development of that period.
  
Black Sea was a hub for the war and commercial fleets since the era of the Greek Mythology. The remains of the ancient port of Constanta are visible around the Casino. Today, it is one of the most favorite European cruise destinations but throughout its history, the port had also hosted the biggest war and civil ships in naval history. An impressive collection of naval objects is exhibited in the Romanian Marine Museum of Constanta.

Following the troubled history of the Balkan cities, Constanta has been a war victim in many cases. The monuments and the military cemeteries of the Crimean War, WWI and WWII, are everlasting keepers of memory.

Being familiar with the cosmopolitan fragrance of the mid-war years, the citizens of Constanta are embracing their past and built their favorite city’s future. You can tell from the free Wi-Fi zones, the cozy little hotels and the traditional restaurants and café, that the city is regaining its formal identity.

Maybe for Ovidius “a poem and a mistake” were the causes of his exile, but nowadays he could probably think of much worst places to be exiled than a city that made him its central figure.

Article & Photos: Sofia Bournatzi

www.pass2europe.com

Sources:
http://romaniatourism.com/constanta.html
http://www.limenproject.net/
http://www.olkas.net/

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