Braila History, Romania
Braila, History – Early Times
Studies regarding Braila history show that the surroundings have been inhabited since time immemorial, fact also demonstrated by the numerous archeological vestiges dating from the year 5000 B.C., living proof of the continuity of life and civilization on this side of the Danube. On the high terrace of the Danube, archeologists have found a strong Geti settlement dating from the IV-III centuries B.C., which had good connections with the Greeks from Pont Euxin, generally with the Elada. The main activities of the inhabitants were agriculture, livestock and fishing on the western banks of Danube. The emblem of the city was a boat, symbol of commerce, the main occupation of the locals. They were actively trading fish caught in the nearby ponds, sending it with carts in other regions from Romania and further in Poland. In this way the locals had more and more income and attracted others to come and work here transforming the small fisherman village into an urban settlement. An important role to this transformation had the port, the numerous ships arriving here, bringing foreign products and goods, selling them to the locals and buying other local goods.
On the lands of nowadays Braila, numerous discoveries attest the presence of the Santana de Mures civilization representatives (III-IV centuries A.C.). The oldest Romanian population lived on the site of the future medieval fortress dating from the X-XI centuries.
The first documentary attestation was made 630 years ago, when Vlaicu I, offered the inhabitants of Brasov the privilege of selling their goods in Braila. In the same period, in 1426, a Polish army gathered here and prepared for war against the ottomans and foreign chronicles mention that the Dacian city trades more than any other city in the country.
Every time Braila was mentioned in the Moldavian chronicles it is never mentioned as a fortress. A document dating from 1540 mentions that after occupying the city and its surroundings, the Turks, began rising a fortress, dominating the port and the river. After taking over Braila, the Turks did not change its name, like it happened in other cases but only adding an “I” and pronounced Ibrail.
Braila, History - Modern Times
After centuries of fighting the ottomans, when Braila has been burnt down and destroyed repeatedly, in 1828 the war ends and the city starts recovering. In 1832 the Public School begins its activity with teachers paid by the state.
In 1832 the city gets a new look, street lights are present on every street and alley, the central square is paved with stone, the Military Hospital is founded as well as the first pharmacy.
In 1836, Braila was declared a free port and housed the Commercial Arbitration Chamber, The Goods and Cereals Stock Exchange, the Commercial Court and the Commercial Bank. Due to the flourishing economic life of the city, it became one of the most important commercial centers in Romania. The developing commerce and the growing industry throughout the eighteen century and the beginning of the nineteen century marked the history of Braila. This development meant steam mills, pasta factory and dockyard in 1864, beer factory in 1872, docks in 1883. By the end if the nineteenth century Braila already had a permanent theatre, a public summer garden, a typography, a commercial newspaper, telegraph, photogene public lighting, railway and a beer factory. In 1888 for the first time in Romania steel concrete was used in Braila and in the first year of the new century the electric lighting and the tram were introduced. Education and the banking system culture develop steadily, sustained by the flourishing commerce and the population reached in 1930 a number of 68310 inhabitants. The first foreign investment in Braila was made in 1924 – the Franco –Romanian Society.
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