About Braila

Historical Perspective

The city of Braila is the capital of Braila judet (county), southeastern Romania. On the Danube River, 105 mi (170 km) from its mouth, it is the country’s second largest port. First mentioned by the name of Drinago in a Spanish geographical work of 1350, it was referred to as Brayla in 1368 in a transportation and trade license granted to Brasov merchants. It was occupied by the Turks from 1554 until the end of the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–29, when it was returned to Walachia. The scene of much fighting during the war, it was heavily damaged by 1829, and a new street plan was initiated in 1835. Streets radiating from near the port at Braila’s centre are crossed at symmetrical intervals by concentric streets following the geometric design of the old Turkish fortifications. Accessible to small and medium-sized oceangoing ships, it has large grain-handling and warehousing facilities. It is also an important industrial centre, with metalworking, textile, food-processing, and other factories. Historic buildings include the Art Museum in the Palace of Culture, the History Museum, the Greek Church (1863–72), and the Orthodox Church of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel (a mosque until 1831). Pop. (2007 est.) 215,316. Please note that this information was derived from Encyclopedia Britannica Online.

Personal Perspective

Most estimates today project that Braila now has about 300,000 people living in the city. Even though Braila is a large port city, it is currently experiencing deep economic depression. After just a few short weeks here, I can say that Braila is made up of mostly good natured people who have been helpful to us personally and have a desire to live descent respectful lives. Unfortunately the changes which have come through Romania’s entrance into the EU and the recovery from decades of former communism have made settling into a “norm” difficult for most families. So much change and wild swings of influence has made it challenging to develop stable homes and lifestyles. Often I have witnessed a large gap between people who have much and people who have very little. Braila is a good place to live, in my opinion, and I pray that the days ahead will see good changes which will positively impact the citizens here. Just to note, the photo to the left is of a beautiful Orthodox Cathedral which is located in a large round-a-bout on Calea Calarasilor.

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