image_shield=Coa Giurgiu GR RO.png
|leader_party=National Liberal Party
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 Danubefacing the Bulgarian city of Rousseon 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.
Giurgiu-Ruse Friendship Bridge, the only one in the shared Bulgarian-Romanian section of the Danube, crosses the river nearby.
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.
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 Burebistawas in this area (it is thought to be in Popeştion 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 centuryas a port on the Danubeby 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 Bătrânand 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.
* [http://www.patzinakia.ro/wallachiamediaevalis/giurgiu-index.htm Giurgiu Fortress Images, Layouts, and a Reconstruction]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.