November 5, 2015

1612, 1613, 2010, 2011 ROMANIA (Tulcea) - Sulina

1612 Sulina - Waterfront in winter

Posted on 27.05.2015, 05.11.2015
Located in Danube Delta, at the point where the Sulina branch of the Danube flows in the Black Sea, the town and free port Sulina is the easternmost point of Romania. It is not linked directly to the road network of Romania and can be reached only by water, either via the Danube or via the Black Sea. There is a theory according to which Sulina had been founded in 7th century BC by Cimmerians and developed together with the advent of the first Greek colonies on the shores of Pontus Euxinus.

1613 Sulina - Hotel Camberi
at the beginning of the 20th century (now, the hotel is a ruin)

Anyway, during the mid-Byzantine period Sulina was a small cove and in 14th century a Genoese port inhabited by sailors, pirates and fishermen. In 18th century the Ottomans built a lighthouse there in order to accommodate communication between Istanbul and the Danubian Principalities, the main breadbaskets for the Ottoman capital. In 1800, Sulina have 8722 inhabitants and was a cosmopolitan settlement, being formed in equal measure from Romanians, Turks, Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Russians and Italians, reason why the writer Jean Bart called it "Europolis" in his most important novel.

2010 Sulina - Waterfront

Thanks to the Treaty of Adrianople, since 1829, that unfettered the Danube grain trade, Sulina, by then under Russian control, became important. Great sailing boats couldn't sail fully loaded to Brăila and Galaţi, which were the main export centres of Wallachia and Moldavia, because of the shallow waters of the river; therefore, they had to tranship at least part of their cargoes to smaller riverboats (shleps). The owners and crew of these sleps were almost always Greek.

2011 Sulina - A view of the port

Even greater development would occur after the Treaty of Paris (1856), which ended the Crimean War. One of the treaty’s terms determined the establishment of the Commissions of the Danube River, which has transformed the city from a fishing village into an important city for European river traffic. The real reason for establishing this commission was that none of the great powers did not want to leave the mouth of the Danube in the hands of one of them.

The technical works conducted allowed entrance to the Danube for a great number of larger ships, which boosted the development of the town, as also its declaration as a free port in 1870. After the Romanian War of Independence (1877-1878), Sulina became Romanian, together with whole Dobrudja. In WWII Soviet air raids caused great damage, destroying over 80% of the town's building. During the communist period Sulina lost its importance, and after the Revolution of 1989 its decline has grown, reaching in nowadays to have only a little over 3,000 inhabitants.

About the stamps
On the postcard 1612
The stamp, depicting Common Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis L.), is part of the first series Flora of Romania - Fauna flowers (I), about which I wrote here.

On the postcard 1613
The first stamp is part of the series Romanian Pottery - Peasant dishes (III), issued on August 3, 2007. The peasant dishes illustrated on the postage stamps of the issue are part of the Romanian Peasant Museum’s collection: 
• a peasant dish made in Tg. Lăpuş, Maramureş (0.60 RON)
• a peasant dish made in Luncaviţa, Tulcea (0.80 RON) - It's on the postcard 1613
• a peasant dish made in Horezu, Vâlcea (1.10 RON)
• a peasant dish made in Rădăuţi, Suceava (1.60 RON)

The second stamp is part of the series Trăieşte sănătos (Live Healthy!), about which I wrote here.

Sulina - Wikipedia
Sulina si fenomenul Europolis (rom) - "Friends of Danube Delta" Foundation official website

Sender 1612, 1613: Marius Vasiliu (direct swap)
1612: Sent from Sulina (Tulcea / Romania), on 14.05.2012 
1613: Sent from Sulina (Tulcea / Romania), on 23.07.2012
Sender 2010, 2011: Rodica Nica
2010: Sent from Sulina (Tulcea / Romania), on 04.08.1982
2011: Sent from Sulina (Tulcea / Romania), on 25.07.1981
Photo 2010, 2011: V. Stamate

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