The city of Sulina lies between the Danube Delta and the Black Sea, were the first rays of sunshine meet the Romanian coast. Sulina represents a mixture of cultures, of old and new, which gives it a special charm of its own. The lighthouses, the churches of many confessions, the old houses, the maritime cemetery, all speak of the flourishing times of the past. The beach, far-reaching and wild, offers peace and relaxation away from modern civilization.
In the easternmost corner of Romania, in the Danube Delta you will come across the only city that is found in this water landscape: Sulina. Founded at the meeting point of the Danube with the Black Sea, Sulina is a multicultural town with a current population of approximately 3,500 people. First mentioned in the 10th century in byzantine documents, it experienced its economic boom in the 19th century, when it became a tax free port causing marine traffic to prosper.
The European Commission of the Danube was founded in Sulina and today the building that served as its headquarters is a symbol of the city. The European significance of the port lead to the modernization of the city and a rise in population as well as many countries opening consulates and consular agencies here (Austria, England, Italy, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Greece, Russia, Turkey and Belgium). Sulina’s prosperity ended with the start of the World War II when the economy crashed and some of its beautiful buildings were destroyed.
Today, the architectural heritage, although partially abandoned and greatly deteriorated, tells a remarkable story, the story of a city that developed from a fishing community into an important European port. Walking down its streets you can admire not only the rural architecture dominated by reed and the white, blue and green color palette, but also the urban architecture of the 19th century mostly found on the Danube’s bank.
The cultural blend from that period has left behind numerous valuable religious edifices the likes of the Romanian, Greek and Russian orthodox churches or the Roman-Catholic church that can still be observed today. A unique attraction close to the beach is the Maritime Cemetery where people belonging to no less than 21 nationalities are buried here. Not to be forgotten are the Turkish lighthouse, the Lighthouse of the European Commission (today a museum), the Water Plant, the port, the Naval Site and the Fishery.
About 2 kilometres away from the city stretches a wild fine sandy beach, that entices to peace and quiet away from the city. Each year on the 15th of August, on the National Day of the Marine, the city is filled with lively celebrations and festivities.
Today Sulina is reinventing itself as a tourist destination showcasing its unique cultural identity and the fascinating nature that surrounds it.
- Taste the speciality fish dishes, such as carp or pike caviar, Danube smoked pontic shad, borscht, brine or fish stew.
- You can only get to Sulina by boat. From Tulcea you can take the „Pasagerul“ boat and arrive in about 4 hours, or take faster, but also more expensive alternatives, all of which arrive in the Sulina port.
- The Information Centre of the Danube Delta Biosphere Association can be found at 197 1st Street.
- The Post Office can be found at 188 1st Street. Schedule: Monday-Friday 8:00-19:00.
- There are many great options for accommodation (guesthouses), restaurants, terraces, and also small stores for daily shopping.