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Danube Delta

World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Habitat with the largest biodiversity, natural heritage and UNESCO protected area.
Overview  •  Birdwatching  •  People and Settlements  •  Fauna

People and Settlements

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Cultural Heritage

The very long history of trading along the Danube is evident from remains of Greek and Roman settlements (including a lighthouse). Villages surrounding the Delta show a Turkish influence.


The history of the delta is tightly connected to that of Dobrogea and goes back in time a long way. The life traces discovered on this territory are very much alike to those of Hamangia culture, demonstrating that a civilisation lived here even since the Palaeolithic age.

Getto-dac objects and vestiges were found at Enisala and Mahmudia. Many cultures and civilisations (Roman, Greek and Byzantine) left a print on the inhabitants of Chilia Veche, Tulcea, Sulina and Babadag. Ethnic groups of Bulgarians, Ukrainians, Lipoveni, mixed in time with Moldavians and Transilvanian shepherds, formed a special, rural culture and civilisation. Each group established here kept their habits, religion and lifestyle in living together for hundreds of years.

Local Human Population

The Danube Delta is perhaps the least inhabited region of temperate Europe. In the Romanian side live about 15,000 people, of which 4,600 in the port of Sulina. The rest is scattered in 27 villages, of which only three, all situated marginally, have more than 500 people.

The town of Tulcea, at the western edge of the delta, but not included in it, has a population of 92,000. It represents the node of the region and the gate to the delta.The origins of the inhabitants fall within a wide range, as people from the most various places of Romania can be found in the delta. The total population has somewhat remained constant throughout the 20th century.

Romanians count for approximately 80%, and Ukrainians for 10%. Other people living in the delta include Greeks, Turks and Bulgarians. Distinctive for the region, but very vague as an ethnic entity are the Lipovans, descendants of the Orthodox Old Rite followers who fled Russia in the 18th century from religious persecution.

About a third of the employed population is engaged in fishing and pisciculture, while another third is engaged in farming. However, the quasi-totality practice fishing.
Maintained traditions

People were already in the Delta from the days of antiquity, according to archaeological discoveries in Chilia Veche and Letea. Experience the history of Romanian people, their traditions still alive and are affectionately maintained.

Ethnical diversity

The Danube Delta has created a specific mix of populations belonging to different ethnical groups. The local culture is made of common elements of all these groups, but also of individual notes, specific to each individual group. Turks, Greeks, Russians and Lipoveni, Macedonians, Bulgarians and others live together next to Romanians.
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