Tulcea County occupies the northern half of the historical province Dobrogea, located in the south-eastern extremity of Romania. Surrounded on three sides by water, it is bordered to the west by the counties Brăila and Galaţi, to the north with Ukraine through the natural border Danube, to the east by the Black Sea, having terrestrial border only to the south with Constanţa County.

The relief of the county also includes the Horst of Dobrogea, remnant of the hercinic creases, which presents itself as a typical plateau, which determines the existence of three biogeographical zones: the steppe, the steppe forest and the forest. The archaeological discoveries on the territory of Tulcea County have put into light traces of habitation with an age of approx. 110,000 years. On the archaeological map of the county, the vestiges of the cultures Hamangia, Gumelniţa and Thracian-Dacian, of the Getic-Dacian fortresses and of the great Roman city buildings offer important documentary evidence of the material and spiritual life on these lands.

The Danube Delta for those who do not know it

The natural paradise of the Danube Delta lies at the flow of the Danube into the Black Sea, where the river ends its long journey of 2 860 km (1 788 miles) from its spring in the Black Forest in Germany. For many centuries, the surface of the Delta has enlarged due to the slime brought by the river, thus being formed a network of canals, lakes, islands covered with reed, tropical woods, pastures and sand dunes which now cover a surface of almost 5640 km2 (2 200 square miles). This incredible land of waters houses over three hundred species of birds and countless fish species, from sturgeons to carps and perches, while the variety of 1150 species of plants range from woven lianas on tree trunks in the oak forests to water lilies. It is no wonder that UNESCO designated the Danube Delta as being “a Biosphere Reservation”.

Exploring the Delta – The starting point for an adventure in the Delta is usually Tulcea, a town almost as old as Rome, located near the place where the Danube divides into the three main arms, thus where the floodplain begins. In Tulcea you will find modern hotels and Museums of Natural Sciences of the Delta. The town is situated at a distance of 71 km (45 miles) from Sulina, a settlement almost as old, located at the other end of Sulina arm. Between these two points can be made cruises during which the tourists can admire, from the comfortable decks of the small ships, the flora, fauna and the villages of the Delta.

The Danube Delta The main arms of the Danube – Chilia, Sulina and Sf. Gheorghe – resulting from the separation of the Danube waters at Ceatal Izmail (Chilia in Chilia arm, Tulcea arm, the latter being divided at Ceatal Sf. Gheorghe in Sulina and Sf. Gheorghe arm).

The Danube Delta The northern arm, Chilia, has the greatest depth 36 m and the richest flow rate (62.6% of the total flow rate of the Danube).

After Chilia Veche village develops its own delta, with numerous divergent arms (Mississippi type).

The Danube Delta The middle arm, Sulina, 62.9 km long and 18 m deep, transporting 17.7% of the total flow rate of the Danube and presents a delta of Tiber type at the mouth of flow, a single flow canal. The arm was rectified and dredged several times, which allows the maritime ships to go to the port of Galati.

The southern canal, Sf. Gheorghe, 109 km long, has the deepest meander. At its mouths it presents a secondary delta of Vistula type with a conical untwist of secondary arms.

Nufăru commune is located in the northern part of Tulcea County, in the West of the Danube Delta. Proximities: to the North, Maliuc commune; to the East the territory of Tulcea municipality; to the West, Beştepe commune; to the South Valea Nucărilor commune. Nufăru can be reached on DJ 222C by car or regular transport trips in 20 minutes from Tulcea.

Nufăru commune is made up of the villages Nufăru, Malcoci, Victoria – on the right bank of the arm Sf. Gheorghe (the Danube River) and Ilganii de jos- on the left bank.

Although Nufăru is located in the Danube floodplain, at the beginning of the delta, the hills are still predominant. In the low area of floodplain the land is flat with a slight slope from west to east. The valley on which develops most of Nufăru locality has the profile of „V” with steep slopes converging towards the valley bottom. Nufăru village has in its subsoil numerous artifacts beginning with the first centuries of our era.

The distances between the villages of the commune, from the locality of residence, are the following:

  • Nufăru and Ilganii de Jos are separated only by the arm Sf Gheorghe.
  • between the village Nufăru and the village Malcoci, on the road -4 Km.
  • between the village Nufăru and the village Victoria on the road – 5 Km.

On the Danube, Nufăru is located 104 km from the mouth.

The villages Nufăru and Ilganii de Jos are located on both sides of the arm Sf. Gheorghe of the Danube River. If about Nufăru one can say that it is a village under the influence of the urban civilization (just 12 km away from Tulcea town), then Ilganii de Jos is influenced by the wonderful landscape composed of marshes, willows, pelicans, fishing boats, quiet, green and blue, reed, wandering and retrieval.

From Nufăru to Ilganii de Jos you can pass by boat or by car-ferry – Nufăru being thus considered entrance gate to the Danube Delta, on water and on land. And this from the most ancient times. In all the central area of the village Nufăru and in its surroundings it can be observed vestiges of a flourishing century X: Prislava fortress.

The Museum of History and Archaeology of Tulcea County pays special attention to this site so that the past to harmoniously coexist with the present – the multitude of guesthouses and holiday houses, the multitude of the daily needs and the future projects to respect the tradition proudly preserved until now: The Danube Delta starts from here!

Each time someone digs, whether for a sewerage system, whether it is for a foundation, the archaeologists are necessarily called. There are found coins, walls, people and animal bones, shards and all kinds of historical sources. Prislava Byzantine fortress prevails in the entire Nufăru. About its past also wrote Vasile Parvan in the Romanian life beginnings at the mouths of the Danube, showing that here „ were found very important buildings with very strong walls, of an unusual thickness for a temporary fortification”. And he also tells us that the beautiful ancient buildings even with paintings on the walls, found on the banks of the Danube Delta show that the flowering of these lands was big and that the population that is moving across the water – very substantial.

Recent investigations made by researchers from Bucharest – Silvia Baraschi and Neculai Moghiar – show that after two years of research was reached the discovery of a bronze statuette, which is believed that it would represent Zeus, as well as of a stamp, whose legend contains the name, positions and titles of a magistrate called Vasile Vestes.

The reconstruction works in Nufăru commune in the dispensary area have also led to the discovery of numerous traces of habitation from the medieval age (centuries XII – XIII): amphorae with overbuilt arms, blue or black glass bracelets, plates, bowls, and pitchers. It is certain that we face some testimonies from which we can conclude that here, at Nufăru there have been strong fortifications, of which the publicist Simion Saveanu quite rightly states, that could impede the passage of ships at any time. (fortifications on both sides of the Danube – in Ilganii de Jos, only from what the elders said one can learn that there were ancient stone dikes that were, unfortunately, in the communist era, used as building materials and spread almost everywhere).

It is located on the left bank of the arm Sfantu Gheorghe. From the researches undertaken and from the information found from the elder inhabitants show that at Ilgani existed stone fortifications. Unfortunately, the materials they were made of were removed and used in the past century for making other constructions. The fact is that we are facing some proofs of which we conclude that here at Nufaru and Ilgani, on both banks of the Danube, existed strong fortifications, of which the publicist Simion Saveanu rightfully said, that they could impede the passage of the ships at any time. It is enough to look from the promontory which is offered to us by the position of the settlement from Nufaru, to understand how well this place was chosen for the purpose stated above. It is the 2nd case that we meet on the route of our Danube. The village was restored at the end of the nineteenth century by the ambitious prefect Ion Nenitescu, in his program of populating the Danube Delta. In 1970 the village was partially covered by waters following the floods, but after their withdrawal the population resettled continuing its life.

The name of Malcoci of the settlement 7 km east of Tulcea, in the vicinity of the arm Sf Gheorghe, is met since the year. The settlement is mentioned also in The Fund of the Ottoman Tapu from 1864. The locality itself is founded at the beginning of the nineteenth century by an Alsatian German colony under the leadership of Ignatiu Hoffart – killed by the Turks during the war in Crimea. Ion Ionescu from Brad found in 1850 at Malcoci 50 German families dealing with the cattle breeding in particular and manufacturing butter. At the beginning of the twentieth century the locality was part of Tulcea and was the residence of the commune of which were part the localities Prislav, Ilganii de Sus and Ilganii de Jos, Romula and Principele Carol. Malcoci was then inhabited by 652 persons, most of them Germans and very few Bulgarians, Russians and Romanians. The church in the locality is Catholic and it is built in 1880. And since 1981, at Malcoci was functioning a private school.

It is located on the right bank of the arm Sf. Gheorghe and unlike the other localities of Nufăru commune (and that were part of the old commune, Malcoci), Victoria was part of Bestepe commune in the nineteenth century – today commune, neighbor. The old name of the village is Parlita. Name originated from a fire of the first households that were set up in that place. The Russian-Turkish war in Crimea led to the destruction of the village in 1829, but this reborn in 1856. This is the reason why it does not appear on the map of Ion Ionescu from Brad of 1850. Those who reestablished the village are Romanians, but in time the population of Russian nationality that arrived in waves will dominate the land. The school in the locality was founded in 1879, it being a mixed school. The believers prayed and are still praying in the church of the village, built since 1869 dedicated to the Saints Voivodes.

Nufaru commune has a very rich history, a long past, presented even before the year 1000 CE, from the Roman and Roman-Byzantine Age, when the name of the commune was Prislava, until the present time.