Constanța (Romanian: Constanța, Turkish: Köstence; formerly Tomis, Tomi or Kustendji) is the busiest port city along the Black Sea. According to the data of the 2011 census, it is the fifth most populous city in Romania, the largest settlement in Dobruja, and also the seat of Constanța County.


Things to see

The Great Mosque and Minaret of Constanta, also known as the Károly Mosque, got its name from the Romanian King Károly I, because he ordered its construction in 1910 for the Muslim population living in the city. The constructions were completed in 1912, first by Károly I and then by II. He bore the name of Mahmud. The local Turks still call it Kral camisi (King's Mosque). The building complex was created based on the plans of George Constantinescu, who made his sketches after the mosque of the Konya settlement in Anatolia. The minaret is 47 meters high and 140 steps lead to the top of the tower, from where you can see the panorama of the city, part of the coast and the Black Sea.
Genoese lighthouse - built around 1300 by Genoese merchants and sailors, its height is about 8 meters.
Statue of Publius Ovidius Naso - made by Italian sculptor Ettore Ferrari in 1887.
Ion Borcea Aquarium - the building on the beach was designed by A. Bernovschi and includes 57 pools of different sizes, in which nearly 2,000 specimens of 60 species can be seen. The building was inaugurated in 1958.
Casino - one of the symbols of the city, construction began in 1909, it was handed over in 1910.
National Museum of History and Archeology - the building dates from 1879.
Maritime Museum
Folk Art Museum
Greek church - built between 1863 and 1865, based on the designs of Janis Teodoride, on land donated by the Turkish Sultan Abdul-Aziz.
Fantasio theater - built in 1927.
Port of Tomis
Roman Catholic Basilica - built on 17th century foundations in 1885 according to the plans of Romano de Simon.



The county seat is located in Dobrudja, on the coast of the Black Sea, two hundred and twenty-two kilometers east of the capital, Bucharest. It is bordered by the towns of Năvodari and Ovidiu to the north, the village of Agigea to the south, the town of Murfatlar and the village of Valu lui Traian to the west, and the Black Sea to the east.

Constanța is located in a diverse geographical environment, its eastern districts are dotted with lagoons, its northern and central parts are more hilly, which gradually transition into plains in the western and southern directions. The city has a six-kilometer long beach, to the north of which lies Mamaia, one of the most popular holiday areas on the Romanian coast, which was built on the shore of a lagoon. Its seven-kilometer long beach continues northward with the six-kilometer long beach area of Năvodari.

A significant proportion of its territory is occupied by lagoons, in the north is Lake Siutghiol, and in the northeast is Lake Tăbăcărie. Constanta is almost on an island, as it is bordered to the north and northwest by the Poarta Albă-Midia Năvodari channel, to the east by the sea, and to the south and west by the Danube-Black Sea channel.

There is no natural watercourse on the surface of the city, but underground, according to the tests, a river the size of the Danube flows at a slow speed, from the southwest to the northeast. The city's drinking water needs are covered from here and only water used in industry is transported from the Poarta Albă-Midia Năvodari canal. For this reason, even during the most severe periods of drought, it was not necessary to introduce water restrictions for the population. Konstanz is the only settlement in the country where water purification is done with ultraviolet radiation and not with chlorination processes.



The ancient settlement on the site of today's Constanta was founded by Greek settlers from Miletus, i. e. in the 7th century under the name Tomis, which i. e. By the 3rd century, it had reached the rank of polis. Its name probably comes from the Greek word τομή, which means a watershed, cleft or cleft. According to some assumptions, this refers to a legend, because in Greek mythology, Jason and the Argonauts stopped here after stealing the golden fleece from the king of Colchis, Aietés. The king pursued them, his son, who was captured by the Argonauts, was killed, and his body was torn to pieces and scattered, forcing Aietés to abandon their pursuit while he searched for his son's remains, thereby gaining time to flee from the city of Tomis towards the Bosphorus. According to other assumptions, its name rather refers to the meaning of the word τομή, a wash, thus referring to the geographical location of the former settlement on the coast of the Black Sea. While, according to other opinions, its name refers to the princess Tomuris from the Scythian Massageta tribe.

It became part of the Roman Empire in 46, when it was named Constantiana, after Flavia Iulia Constantia, the sister of Emperor Constantine the Great (274–337). The Roman poet Ovid spent his exile and the last eight years of his life here.

The city survived the turbulent 3rd and 4th centuries, when it experienced numerous sieges launched against it by the Huns, Goths and Scythians. Meanwhile, Scythia Minor became the seat of the Roman province. After the split of the Roman Empire, it became part of the Byzantine Empire and remained so until the 7th century, when it was ravaged by Slavic nomads.

At the beginning of the Middle Ages, the city came under the influence of Genoese merchants. The lighthouse built in this period, at the beginning of the 14th century, has survived to this day. In the 15th century, it became part of the Ottoman Empire, at the same time it lost its importance, as the Turks did not trade with the Genoese.

In 1865, when the English and French fleets stopped in Konstanz to stock up on supplies on their way to the Crimean Peninsula in the war against the Russian Empire, the settlement was still located in a relatively small area.

German families settled between 1873 and 1883, who were forcibly deported to Germany in 1940, as part of the Nazi "Heim in Reich" (Hungarian: Back to the Empire) movement.

After the Berlin decision following the 1877-1878 War of Independence, the city was annexed to Romania, Constanța began a strong urban development. From the mountainous areas of Transylvania. Called the lungs of Romania by the Romanian King Charles I, the settlement emerged as the country's number one port after the Danube Bridge was built near the town of Cernavodă in 1895 based on the plans of Anghel Saligny, establishing a direct connection between Constanța and the rest of the country. The Romanian Maritime Office was founded in this period. They established a permanent trade route to Istanbul, which was later extended to the Egyptian city of Alexandria. Between 1895 and 1909, the harbor was modernized and expanded. The public road and railway network were also developed. Trade continued to develop, expanding the trade network westward to the cities of Marseille and Rotterdam, and along the coast to the Greek ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki.

Its development declined significantly during the First World War, when many buildings of historical importance were destroyed by invading German and Bulgarian troops. After the war, however, it retained its commercial character. In the period between the world wars, 70% of the country's maritime trade took place through Konstanz. At that time, the town's shipyard was built, which became the most important industrial company in the region.

Romania entered World War II on the side of the Axis powers. The port city was of great strategic importance, which is why the Soviet army regularly bombed it. On August 23, 1944, the country switched to the side of the Entente. Nevertheless, when the Red Army advanced, the Soviets ransacked the city, plundered it, and confiscated almost the entire Romanian naval fleet.

In the era of communism, the city continued to be of great importance in the economic life of the country. In the period between 1960 and 1975, Konstanz's infrastructure was developed on the Soviet model, building several panel districts around the city, developing the commercial fleet and installing many factories in the region. At the same time, it was also developed into a tourist center, with the construction of the Mamaia resort.

During the system-changing revolution, there were 32 dead and 116 wounded in the city. More victims than this were only in Timisoara, Brăila, Sibiu and Bucharest.

Currently, it is the most important Romanian port city on the Black Sea, and the most dynamically developing sector of its economy is tourism.

After the regime change in 1989, the mayors of the city were: Gheorghe Trandafir, Tudor Baltă, Corneliu Neagoe, Gheorghe Mihăieș and from 2000, re-elected in 2004 and 2008, Radu Mazăre.



The population of Constanța reached 350,581 in 1992, making it the second largest city in Romania at the time. According to the 2011 census data, the population of Konstanz was 278,742.



The climate is typically continental, which is significantly influenced and varied by the Black Sea. Thanks to the sea and, to a lesser extent, the Danube, the humidity of the air is high, which determines the air temperature. The average temperature is + 11.2 °C. The lowest temperature measured here was -25 °C, recorded on February 10, 1929, while the highest was +38.5 °C, recorded on August 10, 1927. The salty sea breeze at sunrise and sunset is characteristic of the entire city.


City districts

The city consists of 44 districts. Among them are old, traditional neighborhoods (Anadolu, Tăbăcăria, Brotăcei, Faleza Nord, Coiciu, Palas, Medeea, Brătianu, Centru, Peninsula, Agigea or Viile Noi) and there are newer ones that were built mainly during communism (Tomis I, II, III and Nord, Abator, CET, Km 4, 4-5 and 5, Faleza Sud (Poarta 6)). The districts have no administrative or administrative rights, in contrast to, for example, Bucharest city districts, they are officially taken into account during national and local referendums, when electoral districts are formed. Their boundaries are not precisely defined, with one exception: when reaching Mamaia, the road passes under a gate that marks the entrance to the tourist paradise.



There are about five hundred educational institutions in the settlement: day care centers, kindergartens, schools and universities. Constanța is one of Romania's important university cities, home to eight universities.

Ovidius University Universitatea "Ovidius"
Maritime University Universitatea Maritimă
Naval Academy Academia Navală "Mircea cel Bătrân"
Spiru Haret University Universitatea "Spiru Haret"
Dimitrie Cantemir University Universitatea "Dimitrie Cantemir"
Andrei Saguna University Universitatea "Andrei Șaguna"



The city is an important industrial, commercial and tourist center. In the first half of 2008, 3,144 new companies were registered in Constanța and the county, making it the third most dynamically developing region of the country, after Bucharest and Cluj County. The Port of Constanta was the 11th busiest port in Europe in 2008.

Tourism has become one of the important sectors of the city's economy, despite the fact that the port and shipping industry occupy a significant part of the coast, but guests coming to Mamaia and the surrounding resort towns also visit the attractions of the county seat.



The most important sports clubs in the city are:
HCM Constanța (handball)
Farul Constanța (football)
FC Viitorul Constanța (football)
VCM Constanța (volleyball)


Famous people

Simona Amânar (Constanța, October 7, 1979 –): three-time Olympic champion gymnast.
Ion Titoiu (Constanța, August 21, 1949 –): visual artist.
Harry Tavitian (Konstanca, 1952–): pianist and jazz singer.
Cătălina Ponor (Constanța, August 20, 1987 –): three-time Olympic champion gymnast.
Vasile Moldoveanu (Constanța, October 6, 1935 –): opera singer, tenor.
Andrei Pavel (Constanța, January 27, 1974 –): tennis player.
Simona Halep (Constanța, September 27, 1991 –): tennis player.
Sebastian Stan (Konstanca, August 13, 1983 –): actor