Dolj is a county situated in the south-west part of the historical province Oltenia в Romania. The county is in the most fertile territory of the Romanian Plain. Its territory covers a square area of 7414 km. to the south, Dolj county has the river Danube as its natural border to a length of 150 km. as to infrastructure, Dolj has two Danubian ports – Becket and Calafat, a railway network to dimensions of 225 km and a population of 660 000 people.
HISTORY OF THE REGION OF DOLJ
The first documented evidence about the region of Dolj dates back to 1444 where the county is mentioned under the name of Județul de Balta, located in the Danubian Plain, spanning from Blahnitsa Swamp, nowadays in the territory of Mehedinţi county next to present-day rural municipality of Bistrets in Dolj. The name Dolj comes from the Slavonic language – Dole = Lower, to which Jiy is added and we have Doljiy meaning Lower Jiu.
Dolj is a county in the province of Oltenia. It is the historical western border areas of Wallachia (the other one is Muntenia). The tern appeared as a result of the clauses of Pozharevski Peace Treaty by which, this part of Wallachia was separated and given in possession of the Holy Roman Empire (the Austrian Empire). In 1737, together with the Sanjak of Smederevo /that was returned to the Ottoman Empire/, the integrity of Wallachia and the previous status quo between the Sublime Porte and the Austrian Habsburg house were restored.
The province borders Transylvania to the north Banat to the west, to the south, it is limited by Moesia with the Danube and it is conditionally separated from Muntenia by the river Olt. In terms of administration, Oltenia is divided into two counties – Gorj and Dolj with main city Craiova.
Oltenia is said to be the land of haidouks.
In Oltenia (the actual land of haidouts), they appeared earliest, after 1560 and are related to the name of Baba Novak, later on – with the legendary Gruya Novak (one of their sons), with Yoergy Yorgovan. Haidouk movement grew rapidly turning into fashion during the Austrial occupation until the end of the revolution of Tudor Vladimiresku.
NAURE SIGHTS IN DOLJ COUNTY:
- Churumela forest – a forest reserve situated in Poyana Mare municipality. It is formed from an old acacia forest. The forest is precious for the wood it has and the dimensions of the trees unique in Europe. The forest reserve is located on the right side of the Republican road Calafat- Becket – Cherna Voda, 5 km away from the village of Poyana Mare.
- Bukovats fossil deposit – it is found in the province of Bukovats and covers an area of 4 hectares. This is an important fossil deposit with rich fossil fauna of mollusk shells found in 1949. The deposit dates back to Paleolithic era.
- Ornithological reserve of Chupercheni Noi (south of Calafat) near the village of Chupercheniy Noah. It covers an area of 500 hectares from the Danubian riverside forest. It was declared an ornithological reserve in 1971. More than 140 bird species live here, some of them rare, among which, black stork, little egret, gadwall, coot, white wagtail, purple heron, etc. This is the only place on the banks of the river Danube that is left without a dike.
- Nikolae Romanesku park, Craiova – one of the prettiest parks in Europe created between 1900 – 1903 by the French architect Edouard Redont. At the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900, the design of the park was awarded first place and a gold medal. The park has a total area of more than 90 hectares and includes a lake with islands, a hanging bridge and a zoo. The south-east part of the park houses the Race-Course, the largest one in the country at the beginning of the century. In terms of area, Romanesku park is the second largest in Romania after Herastrau park, Bucharest.
- Nuya botanical garden managed by the University of the city of Craiova was created upon initiative and under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Univ. Aleksandru Buya in 1952. It is a scientific, lecturing and educational institution. Its yard has an area of approximately 12.8 hectares.
CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL SIGHTS IN DOLJ COUNTY
- Baniey house – Museum of Oltenia, Craiova, Ethnographic section is situated in the historical center of the city and in the City Garden. The collection had its beginning in 1915 and in 1928, it became Ethnographic section of the Historical Museum of Oltenia.
- Historical Museum of Oltenia, the city of Craiova – The building was designed and constructed by the architect Toma Dobresku in 1905. The Museum of Oltenia has a long and rich history. It was established in 1915 by Prof. Stefanu Siusianu. On 13 May 1928, it was turned into a regional museum of the province of Oltenia. The museum has three sections: history and archeology, ethnography and nature section.
- At present, there are more than 110 000 museum pieces only in the archeological section, stored in the following collections: archeology, numismatics, medals, documents, manuscripts, rare books of Romanian and foreign authors, pictures, memories and war trophies.
- Museum of Art, the city of Craiova – the Museum of Art in Craiova is one of the most prestigious Romanian museums. It is housed in the palace of Zhan Mihail. The palace is a private property and was constructed by the grace of Mihail (Dinu) Konstantin. Mihail Konstantin is one of the richest people in Romania. The palace was constructed in the period 1899 – 1907. In 1908, their owner Mihail Konstantin died and the new building was inherited by his sons Nikolay and Zhan. Nowadays, the palace is an architectural masterpiece build upon the architectural plans of the French Paul Gottero.
- Marin Sorescu National Theater – Marin Sorescu National Theater in Craiova is the only theater in Romania awarded with Order of Cultural Merit as a recognition of the exclusive achievements of the theatrical company. Marin Sorescu Theater in Craiova is one of the most elite theaters not only in Romania but also in Europe. In April each year, the theater is the host of the International Shakespeare Festival, one of the most interesting and recognized cultural events in Romania.
- Dimitar Cathedral, Craiova – a precious architectural and religious monument, a model of Orthodox church architecture and fine art.
- „The Tower” in Chernateshti is a typical building for the region of Oltenia. This type of buildings come from Afghanistan and Iraq. The tower is simultaneously a home and fortification built by small farmers to protect themselves from the multiple attacks of Turkish soldiers who were dislocated at that time /XVIII century/ in Bulgaria and passed the Danube leaving their barracks in the Ottoman Empire. The Tower in Chernateshti was build around XVIII century by the boyar Chernatesky family.
- Museum of Art and Ethnography of Calafat – housed in the impressive Marinku Palace. The building was erected in 1906-1908 upon a project of Konstantin Rogalski in Neo Baroque style, with exquisite decorative elements of travertine and marble, marble columns and walls – painted artistically. The buildings covers an area of 8. 333 sq. m. and was realized by the Italian sculptor Adotti. The building was owned by the landowner Yonitsa Marinku.
- Bukovats – Koshuna Monastery dates back to 1483 according to Bogdan Hashdeu and Nikolae Yorga. The first abbot of the monastery was Eftimiy (1571-1575). Stones and bricks from the old Roman road Peledava – Mofleni were used for the construction of the monastery. The church was the only preserved building of the monastery complex built only for 75 days (20 July to 03 October 1572) by Bana Shtefan and his son Parvu.