Braila - General Information
Location: Eastern Romania (County: Braila)
Size: 12.8 sq miles (33.2 sq km)
Elevation: 65 ft. (20 meters)
Population: 210,400
Inhabited since: 4th century BC
First documented: 1300s


The settlement of Braila, located on the banks
of the Danube River, was first mentioned in
several Catalan portolan charts around the
year 1325/1339 and in the 1350 Spanish Libro
de conoscimiento
{Book of knowledge} with
the name of Drinago. In Greek documents the
town was referred to as Proilabum or Proilava,
an adaptation of its Slavic name, Brailov.
From 1538–1540 until 1829 the town and its
surroundings were controlled by the Ottoman
Empire, who changed its name into Ibraila.

During the 19th century, the town became one of the three most important ports on the Danube River in the region of Walachia, the other two being Turnu Magurele and Giurgiu. Most of the goods exported from Romania where loaded and shipped from here.

Braila's Old Town, severely damaged during the Russo-Turkish war of 1828-1829 and rebuilt in the 1830s, retains some of its 19th century grandeur when the city's investors made fortunes in the shipping business and built elegant villas, some of which have been fully restored.

Romanian biologist and physician, Prof. Ana Aslan, founder of the Geriatric Institute in Bucharest  and inventor of the famous anti-aging Gerovital H3 formula, was born in Braila in 1897

Johnny Raducanu, Romania's very own Louis Armstrong, founder of the Romanian Jazz School, was born in Braila in 1931.

Braila features one of Romania's oldest electrical tramlines. Launched at the end of the 19th century the system is still in use.

The Old Town, spread around Traian Square (Piata Traian), features several points of interest: the Romanian Orthodox Church (Sf. Mihail si Gravril), which served as mosque during the Ottoman rule; the Greek Church built between 1862 and 1872, displaying frescoes painted in 1890 by Romanian artist Gheorghe Tattarescu; the 1865 St. Nicholas Church (Biserica Sf. Nicolae), the 19th century Maria Filotti Theatre - named after the Romanian actress, Maria Filotti (1883-1956), the Braila County Museum, and the historical Water Tower.

For a view of the nearby Macin Mountains, stroll through Braila's public park, located above the bank of the Danube River.

Nearby Attractions

Macin Mountains National Park

Where: 15 miles (25 km) east of Braila
Access: car (on DN22 D)

400 million years ago, this mountain range stretched all the way to Western Europe. Its traces can still be found in Bohemia and the French Central Massif. Today, Tutuiatu Peak, the highest peak of the oldest mountain range in Romania, reaches just 1,495 ft.

Sarica Niculitel Vineyards & Niculitel Basilica

The town of Niculitel is well known for its vineyards, but also for a Christian basilica built in 370 AD during the reign of Emperor Valerius. In 1971, a violent storm washed away the ground concealing the church, revealing a unique monument, a crypt housing the bones of four Christian martyrs (Zotikos, Attalos, Kamasis and Phillipos). The four coffins can now be seen at Cocos Monastery.

Day Trips

The city of Tulcea

Location: 48 miles (80 km) east of Braila
Access: car, bus

Exploring the Danube Delta

Location: 48 miles (80 km) east of Braila
Access: car or bus to Tulcea and then ferryboat

The Danube Delta is comprised of an intricate network of waterways and lakes divided between the three main estuary channels of the Danube. The area of floating reed islands, forests, pastures and sand dunes covers 3,000 square miles and is home to a vast array of wildlife. Located at the tip of the three channels, Tulcea makes a great starting point for exploring the Delta.



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