|Silistra - City and District
Silistra Basic Data
|2,845 square km.
|Places of interest:
|Silistra, Dulovo, Alfatar, Toutrakan
Silistra General Information
Silistra is a lovely, tranquil and picturesque city on the bank terraces where the river leaves Bulgarian territory. The hills afford a lovely view of the city, the river with the islands, the Romanian bank across and the vast Wallachian plain beyond. This small area is a horn of plenty. It is Bulgaria's biggest apricot orchard. The warm current along the river creates a microclimate owing to which cherries ripen earlier than in Plovdiv or Petrich, a town in the south. Silistra borders Rousse, Razgrad, Shoumen and Dobrich districts. The north border of the district, Danube River, allows direct connection with Romania. European transport corridor 7 passes through the district.
Silistra has temperate-continental with cold winters and hot summers. The average annual temperature for the district is 11.5 C, averaging in 0.2 C in January and 22.8 in July. Rainfalls account for 545 liters per square m. The relief is constructed mainly from hills. The soils are black earth, humus soils.
There has been a decrease in the population of Silistra, which is common for the country. Bulgarian ethnic group accounts for 61 % of the population, Turkish – 34%, and the rest of the population falls into the Roma ethnic group – 4 %.
Silistra springs to life from ancient times (1st C.) in the place of a Thracian settlement existing during the 1st millennium B.C. as a town under the name of Durostorum, one of a chain of fortresses along the Danube bank. In the Middle Ages when the name is changed to Drustur, it is an important military, trade and cultural centre and a bishop's and patriarch's seat (during the years of the First Bulgarian Kingdom). Under Tsar Simeon, i.e. the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, the town is a strong fortress. Between 1913 and 1940 it is on Romanian territory. Still standing are Medzhit Tabiya - a fortress dating back to 1841-1853 with an archaeological exposition, and Sts. Peter and Paul Church (1862).
One kilometer south of the Danube and 12 kilometers away from Silistra is the largest Bulgarian riverside lake Sreburna = Silvery. It owes its name to the full moon mirrored in it. Sreburna is a unique place equally attractive for botanists, zoologists and tourists, a world of birds, fish and plants. A total of 170 species migrate and winter here and of these 99 nest in the lake. Ibises, grebes, swamp gulls, sand martins, crakes, spoonbills, 11 duck species, swans hoar over the green carpet lake popcorn.
There is a Roman vaulted tomb dating back to the first half of the 5th century. On the rectangular tomb chamber frescoes of a married couple, servants bearing burial gifts, birds, animals and plant ornaments can be seen.
Agriculture is the most important branch of the economy. There are almost 2,000,000 decares of arable land in the district, 52,056 of which are under irrigation. Wheat, corn and sunflower sowings take up 84% of the cultivated land. Plant-growing and stock-breeding account for the major part of the economy, which is determined to a big extend by the favorable environmental conditions. The bigger part of the region is located in Dobrudja – the “granary” of Bulgaria. The arable land that has not yet been cultivated is 205,000 decares or 12 %. This is the lowest share of uncultivated arable land in the country. Still, the agriculture (12%) takes the third place in revenues for the district after trade (45%) and the light industries (28%). The rest of the industries that provide notable revenues are the transport and the construction industries.
The registered unemployment is disturbing - almost 20 %. This is 1.5 times more than the average for the country.
One of the biggest meat-packing houses is in Silistra. Another important industrial plant is the chrome factory. It produces a big part of the chrome wares spread in Bulgaria. Other products manufactured in the district are: fire extinguishers, parts for farming machinery, electronic cash registers, tailoring products.
The private sector makes up 85% of the manufactured production. The micro companies account for 91% of all the active enterprises on the territory of Silistra. 22 % of the hired people in the district are employed by them.
Silistra Picture Gallery