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SILISTRA

Bulgarian properties in city of Silistra

general information

Silistra is a town in north-eastern Bulgaria, center of Silistra region and a significant river port, set on the southern bank of teh Danube river. The town is located 442 km to the north-east from the city of Sofia, 122 km to the north-east from the town of Ruse, 113 km to the north from the town of Shumen and 143 km away from the city of Varna. The town is the administrative center of Silistra municipality. The population numbers to 41 000 people. The climate is temperate-continental and is characterized by a cold winter with plenty of snowfalls, a sunny spring, a hot, dry summer and a cool autumn. The relief is predominantly flat.

history

Silistra is considered to be the oldest settlement in Bulgaria, built over 5 000 years BC by the Thracians and restored later on by the Roman Empire. The Roman town of Durostorum was established in 29 year BC and became the capital of the Roman province Moesia. It was initially a bivouac, built over a former Thracian settlement. In 5 year BC it got deserted after being plundered by Goths, Huns, Avars, Slavs, Proto-Bulgarians and other tribes. During the middle ages the name of the town was Drastar. The settlement used to be of great importance during the ages, until it has been occupied by the Turks in 1388. In 1877 it was liberated by the Russian armies and turned over to Bulgaria. After Bulgaria lost the Second Balkan War the Saint-Petersburg treaty was signed in 1913 according to which Silistra has become a part of Romania. Later on, in  1940 Bulgaria has regained its rule over Silistra.

infrastructure

Silistra has an excellent infrastructure. The roads are in a very good condition. Many trees are planted on the streets in the town giving it a unique look, providing coolness in the hot summer and getting covered in beautiful colours during the autumn. There are different quarters in the town with a specific infrastructure. The residential buildings are predominantly one and two-storey houses with small, neat, well-maintained yards in which grow a vine-arbour, fruit-trees and flowers. There are also taller buildings in the outskirts of the town, and 4-5 storey buildings in the central part.
All modern services and conveniences are available in Silistra: a polyclinic, a hospital, a dental clinic, private doctor's and dentist's offices, a church, a mosque, a regional library, post-offices, banks, many cafes, restaurants and hotels. Several internet providers are providing high-quality services including digital TV and telephone. A digital telephone operator is available.
Near the city operates on of the most modern factories for collection and processing of domestic waste in Bulgaria, built in conformity with all European standards and requirements.

economics

Many branches are being developed in Silistra: agriculture, textile, furniture production, production of stainless utensils, production of meat and milk products and brick-making.
Most important for the development of the region is the agriculture, over 80% of the population in the region is occupied in this field.
The trade is developing progressively, as well. The first mall in Silistra was opened in May 2009. It is located in the center of the town, right next to the Danube Park.
There are excellent opportunities for the development of cultural and eco-tourism.

transportation

Most developed are the bus and railway transportation. Regular bus-lines are available to Ruse, Razgrad, Shumen, Dobrich, Varna and to the smaller settlements in the region.
The bus-station and the railway station are situated next to each other in the industrial zone of the town. Silistra is the last station on Sofia-Silistra rail-road.
The port benefits from well developed transportation infrastructure - roads and rail roads are available to connect the port to the main transportation net. Water and electricity supply is available for the vessels at the port.
In the eastern part.
A ferry-boat complex is operating to connect Silistra to the neighbouring Romanian town Kalarash.
A project is being developed for the construction of a bridge over the Danube to connect Silistra and Kalarash.
Some 10 km away from the center of the town, near Lambrinovo village lies Silistra Airport. It is a small airport designed to serve both passenger and cargo planes.

culture and education

The town is a host of many international, national and local cultural events: an international festival of the puppet theatre, the festival of the Bulgarian folklore, a national tournament of dance sports etc.

  • Theatre of Drama and Puppet Theatre Sava Dobroplodni established in 1872.
  • Saint Peter and Paul Church was built after the end of the Crimean War by gifted craftsmen from the famous Dryanovo architectural school. The church is famous for the relics of St. Dassius kept there. They were donated to the town by Pope John Paul II during his visit  to Bulgaria in 2001.
  • The Art Gallery in Silistra was built in the period 1890-1891, the architectural style is "late secession". Today, on display in the gallery there are pieces of art of local, national and foreign artists.

In the town there are 16 kindergartens, 3 primary schools, 10 secondary schools, 8 high schools, a school for children with intellectual disabilities.

landmarks

  • The Medjidi Tabiya Fortress was named after a Turkish Sultan who visited the construction site in 1847. The fortress is set on a southern hill in the town. It has a hexagonal shape and is 8 m high. The construction is surrounded by a moat. The fortress was of great importance during the Russo-Turkish wars in the period 1853-1856; 1877-1878. The legend has it that 300 Bulgarian craftsmen were hired to build the facility. After the construction was completed the craftsmen were banished in Turkey, far away from their homes and the architect who designed it was hanged in Tzarigrad in an attempt to keep the secrets of the fortress. Nowadays the construction is inhabited by a local citizen who takes care of it, looks after the museum collection and guides tourists around the facility.
  • One of the most intriguing landmarks of Silistra is the Roman Tomb dated back to the 4th century AD. It is unique for its exquisite murals which have no equivalent in Bulgaria. The tomb was built for a Roman nobleman of Thracian origin and the mural provide valuable information for the lifestyle in both the Roman and the Thracian cultures.
  • Lake Srebarna is an important stop on Via Pontica - the route which the bird follow when flying south. The lake is located next to Danube River. Theere is a great variety of fauna and flora in the area. The lake and its surroundings are overgrown with reed and other water plants. 67 various kinds of plants, some of which endangere by extinction are present in the lake and its surroundings. The animal world is represented by 39 mammals, 21 species of reptiles and amphibians and over 10 species of fish. Srebarna is most famous for the birds which could be observed on its territory. Over 170 birds species are nesting there: Dalmatian Pelican, Cormorant, Heron, Mute Swan, Graylag Goose, Anas, Western Marsh Harrier, Blue-throat, Bearded Reedling etc. Since 1948 the lake was declared a protected area/reserve. The total area of the reserve is approximately 600 hectars and buffer zone is 540 hectars. The depth of the lake varies from 1 to 3 m . A museum is built near the lake in which on display there is an exposition of stuffed birds and animals. There is an observation platform, as well. Since 1983 the reserve was included in the list UNESCO's monuments of the world's natural and cultural heritage.
  • The Danube Garden was created 140 years ago. It was first mentioned in a local newspaper in 1870. It is a favourite place for the locals to take a walk. The park is artificially created, various kind of deciduous and coniferous trees and bushes, some of which endangered, are planted there. In the central part of the park there are excavations of a settlement dated back to the Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages.
  • The Historical Museum - the first permanent museum exhibition was set on display in 1954. Later on the museum collection has been enriched with valuable artefacts: a helmet mask dated back to 1st century AD, a sun-dial, a Roman chariot, a sarcophagus, two lavishly ornamented swords, a golden ring and a coin hewn during the reign of Emperor Probus (276-282). These artefacts are all included in the National Museum Fund of Bulgaria. Since 1968 the Museum has initiated a rescue archaeological research on the Antique Durostorum and the Middle Age Drastar. The Museum's opening hours are from 9 am to 12 am and from 12.30 am to 17.30 pm. The Museum is closed on Sunday and Monday.

Pictures: Mirela
Sources: http://www.info.portal-silistra.net; http://wikipedia.org/

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