Giurgiu


Giurgiu

      city, capital of Giurgiu județ (county), southern Romania. It is situated on the left (north) bank of the Danube, 40 miles (65 km) south of Bucharest. Its origins have not been clearly established, though it is probable that Genoese navigators built a citadel named San Giorgio on the island in front of the harbour and that the present name was derived from that. In historical documents, the name appears first in 1394, in a document of Prince Mircea the Old. In 1417 Giurgiu was first conquered by the Turks. In 1829 the Peace of Adrianople returned it to Walachia. The church of St. Nicholas (built in 1830 by Nicholas I, tsar of Russia) commemorates the treaty.

      The earliest railway line in Romania was laid from Bucharest to Giurgiu in 1869. Friendship Bridge, a bilevel highway–railway bridge over the Danube, connecting the city to Ruse, in Bulgaria, was completed in 1954. The city has become an important river port. Giurgiu has a modern shipyard; its industries include a sugar refinery, a cannery, and a rug and carpet factory. Pop. (2007 est.) 68,923.

      județ (county), southeastern Romania, occupying an area of 1,361 square miles (3,526 square km) bounded on the south by the Danube River and Bulgaria. The county, consisting mostly of lowlands, was formed in 1981 from a portion of Ilfov district. Besides the eastward-flowing Danube, the county is also drained southward by the Argeș and Dimobovița rivers. At the junction of the Câlniștea and Neajlov rivers, which are tributaries of the Argeș, is Lake Comana. Giurgiu city, a port on the Danube, is the county capital.

      Livestock raising and cereal growing are the main agricultural activities of the county. Michael the Brave (Mihai Viteazul; 1558–1601) won a battle against the Turkish army near Călugăreni in 1595, and a bronze effigy near the town commemorates the battle. Bucșani, Domnești, and Letca Nouă are other towns in the county. Forest preserves are situated along the Argeș River. Highways and railway connections extend through Giurgiu, and a highway and railway connection between Bucharest and Craiova cross the northern portion of the county. Pop. (2007 est.) 283,408.

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Universalium. 2010.