Giurgiu

Infobox Settlement
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = ROU
timezone=EET
utc_offset=+2
timezone_DST=EEST
utc_offset_DST=+3
map_caption = Location of Giurgiu

|official_name=Giurgiu


image_shield=Coa Giurgiu GR RO.pngsubdivision_type1=County
subdivision_name1=Giurgiu County
subdivision_type2=Status
subdivision_name2=Autolink|County capital
settlement_type=County capital|
leader_title=Mayor
leader_name=Lucian Iliescu
|leader_party=National Liberal Party
area_total_km2=
population_as_of=2002
population_total=69345|latd=43|latm=54|lats=03|latNS=N|longd=25|longm=58|longs=26|longEW=E|
website=http://www.primaria-giurgiu.ro/

Giurgiu is the capital city of Giurgiu County, Romania, in the Greater Wallachia. It is situated amid mud-flats and marshes on the left bank of the Danube facing the Bulgarian city of Rousse on the opposite bank. Three small islands face the city, and a larger one shelters its port, Smarda. The rich corn-growing land to the north is traversed by a railway to Bucharest, the first line opened in Romania, which was built in 1869 and afterwards extended to Smarda. Giurgiu exports timber, grain, salt and petroleum, and imports coal, iron, and textiles.

The Giurgiu-Ruse Friendship Bridge, the only one in the shared Bulgarian-Romanian section of the Danube, crosses the river nearby.

Population

According to the 2002 census, Giurgiu has a population of 69,345. In 1900 its population was 13,977. In 1930 it had a population of 30,348.

History

The area around Giurgiu was densely populated at the time of the Dacians (first century BC) as archeological evidence shows and even the capital of Burebista was in this area (it is thought to be in Popeşti on the Argeş river). During the Roman times this was the site of Theodorapolis, a city built by the Roman emperor Justinian (483-565).

The city of Giurgiu was probably established in the 14th century as a port on the Danube by the Genoese merchant adventurers, who established a bank, and a trade in silks and velvets. They called the city after the patron saint of Genoa, San Giorgio (St George); and hence comes its present name. It was first mentioned in Codex Latinus Parisinus, in 1395 during the reign of Mircea cel Bătrân and was conquered by the Ottomans in 1420 as a way to control the Danube traffic. Ottomans named the city as "Yergöğü", which means "Earthsky". Most probably, this name was given because of the similarity between the pronunciation sound of the original name of the city "Giurgiu" and "Yergöğü".

As a fortified city, Giurgiu figured often in the wars for the conquest of the lower Danube; especially in the struggle of Mihai Viteazul (1593–1601) against the Turks, and in the later Russo-Turkish Wars. It was burned in 1659. In 1829, its fortifications were finally razed, the only defence left being a castle on the island of Slobozia, united to the shore by a bridge.

In 1952–1954, during the Communist regime, the USSR helped build the bridge between Giurgiu and Ruse, The Bridge of Friendship, the only bridge on the Danube linking Romania and Bulgaria.

External links

* [http://www.patzinakia.ro/wallachiamediaevalis/giurgiu-index.htm Giurgiu Fortress Images, Layouts, and a Reconstruction]


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