Tulcea County occupies the northern half of the historical province Dobrogea, located in the south-eastern extremity of Romania. Surrounded on three sides by water, it is bordered to the west by the counties Brăila and Galaţi, to the north with Ukraine through the natural border Danube, to the east by the Black Sea, having terrestrial border only to the south with Constanţa County.
The relief of the county also includes the Horst of Dobrogea, remnant of the hercinic creases, which presents itself as a typical plateau, which determines the existence of three biogeographical zones: the steppe, the steppe forest and the forest. The archaeological discoveries on the territory of Tulcea County have put into light traces of habitation with an age of approx. 110,000 years. On the archaeological map of the county, the vestiges of the cultures Hamangia, Gumelniţa and Thracian-Dacian, of the Getic-Dacian fortresses and of the great Roman city buildings offer important documentary evidence of the material and spiritual life on these lands.

Touristic routes

  • Chilia Veche Tatanir village- The Danube Delta – Danube (Chilia), Danube (Tătaru), Tatanir (lake) – unflooded sand bank agriculturally cultivated, Tatanir (lake) linked to Pardina canal through Gotca backwater (Tătaru lake), Tătaru – Danube arm detached from Chilia Arm;
  • Chilia Veche – commune – The Danube Delta /Danube (Chilia) at the confluence with the Danube (Tătaru) – Chilia Fortress- tenth century, unflooded sand bank agriculturally cultivated;
  • Tulcea – Stipoc Canal – Chilia Veche – Tulcea

The route is a variant of the road to the locality Chilia Veche. On departure, the route crosses Tulcea Arm, Mila 36, Sireasa, Şontea, Războiniţa, Stipoc and Pardina canals. On Războiniţa canal, the route is heading to the north of the Danube Delta towards Stipoc Canal and then on Pardina Canal up to Chilia Veche. The way back is made on Chilia arm up to Tulcea.

  • Chilia Veche – Sulimanca Canal – Matiţa Lake- Rădăcinoasele Canal – Chilia Veche.

The route starts from Chilia Veche and follows Chilia arm, continuing on Cernovca arm, approximately 15 km, along the northern boundary of a strictly protected area Roşca – Buhaiova, up to the confluence with Sulimanca canal, through which you enter into the complex. The route follows Sulimanca canal near the eastern boundary of the Strictly Protected Area and enters, successively, in the lakes Merheiul Mic, Merheiul Mare, Matiţa and Babina. The exit from the complex is made through the north – west of Babina Lake through Rădăcinoasele canal continuing on Pardina canal through the field of Chilia, the highest “plain” of the Danube Delta and Pardina agricultural facility, the largest dammed and drained area of the Reservation, up to Chilia Veche.

  • The touristic route Tulcea – Chilia Veche on the route: Tulcea municipality- the canals: Mila 36 – Sireasa – Sontea – Razboinita – Stipoc – Pardina –Chilia Veche locality.

Chilia Veche commune is located in the north of Tulcea County, in the northern extremity of the Danube Delta on the right bank of Chilia Arm at the border with Ukraine. The distance Tulcea-Chilia Veche is of 66 km. The connection with the commune is made on water by means of a ferry or by land, along the arm Chilia.

Chilia Veche commune comprises four localities: Chilia Veche – commune center, Tatanir, Câşliţa and Ostrovul Tătaru.

Chilia Veche commune has a history that gets lost in the mists of time. Here, about 2500 years ago, the Greek merchants had their community called Achilea. The archaeological investigations have revealed two burial tumuli in the point “Ciorticut”, alignment located southeast of Chilia Veche. Due to its strategic location and its commercial importance, Chilia Veche fortress has played an important role in the Middle Ages, being fortified by Mircea cel Batran, Iancu of Hunedoara and by Stephen the Great.

Chilia Veche commune is bounded by the following communal territories:

  • To the North – Chilia arm, the limit of the state border with Ukraine,
  • To the West – the administrative territory of Pardina commune;
  • To the South – the administrative territories of the communes Crişan and Maliuc;
  • To the East – the administrative territory of Rosetti

The connection with the commune is made:

– on the water – by means of a ferry

– by land – along Chilia arm.

Currently, as occupations, alongside pisciculture, agriculture, with the two main branches: plant cultivation and livestock farming, is another field in which develop their activity a fairly large number of the inhabitants of Chilia Veche commune. There are bred: sheep, pigs, and poultry. The agricultural activities are carried out mainly in the households of the inhabitants, in individual system. Tourism and agrotourism are two opportunities still in development.


On its territory or near the commune are found natural reservations (16 in number) with specific morphohydrographic features and original flora and fauna:

Roşca-Buhaiova-Hrecisca Reservation has 15,400 hectares and is located around Matiţa Lake, between the sandbanks Letea and Chilia. Also here there is Letea Forest, unique in Europe, with mixed foliage forests of forest steppe, with gray oak, pedunculate oak, ash, aspen and climbing plants.

Perişăr-Zătoanele Reservation has 14,200 hectares and is situated in the east of Dranov Lake, south of Sf. Gheorghe. Here are nesting the most numerous swans and Dalmatian pelicans.

Periteaca-Leahovam Reservation has 3900 hectares and is located in Razehu-Sinoe lagoon complex, on sandy grinds. It is the most populated region with coastal birds. Equally interesting are also the other reservations: Caraorman, Popina, Uzlina, Grindul Lupilor and others.


The commune has a continental climate:

  • hot summers with poor precipitations;
  • mild winters with strong snowstorms;
  • average annual temperature 12 ° C;
  • the average annual quantity of precipitations being of 367 mm.


The old fortress at the country edge – Chilia – had a flourishing life in the distant past. The name of Licostomo that is “the mouth of the wolf” seems to be coming from the place where Tătaru canal unites with Chilia arm. The entrance in the harbor on this canal was quite dangerous for the Greek merchants and for their ships. The Romanians named it Achilea, sign that it was a pretty large settlement, and by the time of the Turkish occupation, the locality was called ESKIL-KALE.

On the place called Selesce were found pipes made of burnt clay, pots, shards of plates and bowls, various coins, burnt pits where there were stored the cereals and others. These prove that, at its inception, Chilia Veche locality was not on the place where it is today, but much more to the south on the bank of the canal Chilia – Batag.

Selesce is therefore the old hearth of this locality. The traces that can be observed in these places discuss about the existence of a Genoese fortress. We can only notice the defense moats of the fortress and the entrance from the bifurcation of the canal Chilia– Batag and Tătaru. About the fact that there existed a Genoese fortress talk also the documents during the reign of Dobratici (fourteenth century) and his battles with the Genoese. At Chilia Veche we meet the Genoese in 1359, mastering with their garrisons, prohibiting the Venetians to participate in the grain trade.

In the second half of the fourteenth century, Wallachia is in full expansion in Dobrogea. Mircea cel Bătrân (1306-1387) ruled the country of the despot Dobratici, conquering among others the Genoese harbour Chilia (Licostomo), as well as the entire region from the mouth of Chilia. This was to have exit to the sea and to protect the country from the Ottoman encirclement. Until 1465, Chilia Veche becomes part of the feudal state Wallachia, when due to its strategic location and its commercial importance is conquered by the ruler of Moldova Stephen the Great. Since 1484 Chilia Veche as well as Chilia Nouă stayed under the rule of the Turks until 1812 when Chilia Nouă and Bessarabia passed under the Russian rule. On September 12, 1818 Chilia Veche returns in Turkish rule. By the Treaty of Adrianople from 1823, the Russians stretch their borders over the Delta up to Tulcea. The Russian rule over Chilia Veche lasts until the Treaty of Paris of 1856. Since then the south of Bessarabia and Chilia Nouă pass to Moldova and Chilia Veche falls under the rule of the Turks. Chilia, whose name first appears in the writings of Constantin Porfirogenetul, has played an important commercial role throughout the Middle Ages. Mircea Cel Bătrân, Iancu of Hunedoara, Stephen the Great have paid particular attention to strengthening and defending this fortress conquered in 1484 by the Turks, who will call it ESKIL KILI and that will develop its piscicultural function (as it results from the information of Evlia Celebi from the seventeenth century). Following the 1877-1878 war, when Romania conquered its state independence it is restored the authority of the Romanian state over Dobrogea and therefore also over the Danube Delta. After this period the commercial town of yesteryear looks more like a village.