Sfântu Gheorghe – Informations

General Info

Situated in the eastern part of Danube Delta, Sfântu Gheorghe is located in the east of Tulcea county at 88 km of Tulcea on the Sfântu Gheorghe arm and at 35 km from Sulina city.

The climate is continental with warm summers, cold winters with strong winds, the average annual temperature of 11 ° C, and the average amount of precipitation is 440l/mp year.

Sfântu Gheorghe village lies on the left side of the oldest branch of the Danube - Sfântu Gheorghe, near the mouth of the Danube to the Black Sea. On an administrative area of 60575.87 ha, the village is made up of about 358 households where about 971 people live; they have preserved the traditions and Ukrainian language.

The access to the village is possible only by water. One can take the boat from the port NAVROM Tulcea (Tulcea - Sfântu Gheorghe 4h), port Mahmudia (Mahmudia - Sfântu Gheorghe 2h 30 '). The access to port Mahmudia is from the city of Tulcea, by road, being 30 km far from it. Also, in the summer there are two companies Diana Shipping Nave Rapide and PRODCON with quick vessels that connect Tulcea with Sfântu Gheorghe and back, during around 2 hours trip.

History

The settlement of Sfântu Gheorghe was mentioned in historical documents from the 14th century, when economic development has helped the increase of the role of Italian merchants in the Danube area. In that time, the Genoese established a real monopoly in Black Sea waters, trading the fish caught from the Danube mouth. The maps of that time mentioned San Giorgio, today Sfântu Gheorghe, between the strong economic centers within Dobrogea , as it appears on the map of the Genoese Visconti, since 1318.

In the second half of 18th century Russian-Turkish wars took place also at the mouths of the Danube, due to Russia's desire to occupy these territories. The fighting destroyed Dobrogea and caused economic ruin of the region, and the population was decimated and scattered.

As the elders say, the village is partially formed of the descendants of political refugees from Russia, during the Empress Catherine the Great reign. Colonization of this area with a population of Slavic origin was done in several stages. The first refugees arrived after the Battle of Poltava in 1709, when the Russian Tsar Peter the Great retaliates against those who fought for Ukraine liberation. The second wave of refugees arrive in the area after 1775 when Czarina Catherine II dissolve the Ukrainian army ith headquarters in Zaporijie. About 8,000 residents of this area reach the Danube Delta, resembling as landscape and fish wealth as the native one, of the Dnieper. The name of Zaporozhian Cossacks is hahols and the spoken language is Ukrainian mixed with many words of different origin (Romanian, Turkish, Greek) according to populations that have been in contact.

Hahols are Old Rite Orthodox that follow Russian calendar.

Ukrainians didn’t mix with Lippovans, although their language and customs are similar. Even today the hahols do not like to be confused with Lippovans.

Primary occupation for people in the community is fishing, giving them food and the main source of income. Raising animals is made in a special way in the Danube Delta: animals are left free on the banks where they seek food.

Reed harvesting is a seasonal occupation of the villagers, who use it for building of houses, fences and new roofs and also for export.

Rural tourism had a strong development in recent years, bringing to villagers extra sources of income during the summer. Tourism is performed both local households and in hotels.

Traditions

City celebration - on May 6th 6th a church service is performed, local housewives prepare food and after service a large table is laid in the churchyard where all villagers are present. Boat competitions, contests, horse pulling rope and dance competitions are organized. The evening is spent with music and dance;

Catalaua – on St. Andrew a flour a ring decorated with candy is tight up by a beam and men have to jump and bite of the bread without using their hands; for the young, the person who manages to bite will marry that year;

Vecera- in the evening of January 6th , old style Christmas Eve, villagers go with coils and gifts to close relatives: godchildren, godfathers, older brothers or sisters, to all the people they respect;

Memorial Easter (Easter for the dead) : ) takes place on Monday, the eighth day after Easter; villagers go to the cemetery, bring food to their family graves and remember the dead. After service, villagers share food with their neighbors. It's an important ritual, the symbolic occasion for children to return home, including those abroad, living and working in cities.

Crăciunul in the old style - January 7th : there is service at church and in the evening Christmas carols are sung ;

New Year’s Eve on the old style - January 14th ;

Traditional food

Traditional fishermen food is fish, prepared in a variety of ways:

*Storceag (fish soup, for which preparation sturgeon is used ). " There is only one place in Romania where one can eat Storceag - in Sfântu Gheorghe, Danube Delta. It is is a mixture of Ukrainian and Romanian cuisine, a little mottled recipe - fisherman and mainland in the same time, but loose. "Radu Anton Roman, Food, wines and Romanian customs.
*Scordolea (sheatfish, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes)
*Proboi pie (proboi-fish placenta where caviar is kept)
*Perischie with vezeica (vezeica is the cartilage / spine of the sturgeon)
Attractions

Beach

Nearby the village there is a wild beach with fine sand, which lies along the coast up to Sulina (38 km). As a feature, sea depth increases smoothly, providing a safe area for children while bathing

Fishing

For fishing enthusiasts there is an opportunity for parties of carp, sheatfish, pike, eel, crucian carp, perch, in the Danube, lakes and channels or marine fishing of mullet, turbot, shark. Fishing in the Danube Delta can be performed based on a recreational/ sports fishing permit in the Danube Delta, if paying a fee. It is obtained from the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority Tulcea.

Water journeys

Tourists can enjoy boating on the Danube, channels and lakes with specific crafts: kayak, long fishing boats or fast boats..

Traseul Sulina – Sfântu-Gheorghe on the following route: Sulina city - channels Busurca - Împuţita – sea coast -Tataru Lake - Sfântu Gheorghe
Traseul Sulina – Sfântu Gheorghe on the following route: Sulina city - channel Busurca - Red channel – channel Împuţita - Lake Rosulet - fishery Rosulet - Red Lake - Red touristic base - Puiu Lake – channel Mocansca - Lake Erenciuc - arm Sfântu Gheorghe - Sfântu Gheorghe area
Sfântu Gheorghe area on the following route: : channels: Zaton - Buhaz - Palade - Crasnicol -Sfântu Gheorghe arm - Sacalin Island; this is probably the most spectacular tour that you can do in Sfântu Gheorghe. Here Delta formation continues through other three mini-arms. In the low water area one can enter (thankfully) only by small boats and going very slowly. It is also a very important area for migration, nesting and feeding of many species of shore birds and freshwater birds (pelicans, cormorants, herons, spoonbills, stilts, ducks, geese, swans, etc.); virtually all species of birds in the Danube Delta can be found here