Măcin – brief history
Far from the hustle and bustle of big cities, hidden from the intense pollution of the world’s metropolises, with a rich tourist potential and a beautiful history, the city of Măcin is slowly but surely making its place in the vacations of Romanians who want to enjoy relaxing and interesting days, but it also attracts foreigners who want to discover a different Romania than the one presented by the international media.
It is known about the town of Măcin that it is an ancient settlement, dating back to the 3rd century, recognized with the status of an urban commune in Ottoman documents from the 16th century.
According to historical documents, the city of Măcin was established near the Roman fort Arrubium, a name it apparently received from the Celts in the 3rd century BC. It is said that, since Antiquity, this settlement has played a special role in the life of the people in this area. Historical sources mention the fact that the fortress of Arrubium was a place of worship of the god Jupiter Arrubianus, from whom, moreover, it would have received the name – Arrubium.
Currently, it is mentioned that the fortress was included in the tribal union led by the Get king Rhemaxos, who ruled a territory to the left of the Danube in the 3rd century BC. and who was the protector of the Greek colonies on the Black Sea coast, or in that of Zyraxes, king of the Getae in the 1st century BC, ruling the north and northwest of Dobrogea.
Once Dobrogea was conquered by the Romans, Arrubium became the residence of a Roman cavalry unit, attested between 99-241 CE. of two military diplomas issued to veterans. The first dates from August 14, 99, and the second, from April 2, 241.
Among the important moments that occurred after Dobrogea was conquered by the Ottoman Empire are the attack of the mountain cavalry in the 1462 campaign against the Turkish army, when Vlad Ţepes restored Romanian control over the northern half of Dobrogea, and the armed incursion in the autumn 1594 – spring 1595, concerted by rulers Aron Voda and Mihai Viteazul, in the context of the anti-Ottoman uprising of the Romanian Lands, on which occasion the fortresses of Măcin, Silistra, Sistov, Nicopol and Rahova were the target of lightning attacks, crowned with success.
The Măcin Fortress went through many conflicting moments, being involved in the Russian-Turkish wars several times. Thus, on October 11, 1771, the Russian general Miloradovici expelled the Ottoman army under the leadership of Abdi Pasha from Măcin.
The fortifications at Măcin and Tulcea were also looted and destroyed in the years 1771, 1773, 1790, 1791, in the context of the tsarist campaigns. As a result, in the 19th century, the fortifications at Măcin were strengthened.
When the Russian-Romanian-Turkish war of 1877-1878 began, the Turks had, in Măcin, military forces comprising six battalions, four squadrons and three batteries. In this context, Măcin and the bordering area once again entered the map of military operations, some of the significant moments being the sinking of the Turkish battleship Lufti Djelil, one of the most important warships of the Ottoman fleet in the area, after intense artillery fire Russian from Brăila, and the “Măcin attack”, on May 14, 1877, when the sloop “Rîndunica” sank, on the Măcin channel, the Turkish battleship monitor Duba Seifi.
The date of June 9 is marked by historical sources as the day when the troops of the 14th Corps of the Russian army, commanded by General Zimmerman, began crossing the Danube in Dobrogea, from Galati and Reni to Măcin, which was occupied on June 11, 1877.
At that time, the population of the city was approximately 6,000 inhabitants and it welcomed the Russian army with the gospel and the cross.
Pursuant to the provisions of the Treaty of Berlin (1878), which stipulated the reunification of Dobrogea with Romania, on November 14, 1878, a column of the Romanian army and high-ranking officials of the government from Bucharest passed under a triumphal arch erected in Măcin, marking here as well the fulfillment of a moment of national reunification.
In the northwestern part of the city of Măcin, the ruins of the Arrubium fortress are still visible today. Although the name is of Celtic origin, so far no document has been discovered that attests to Celtic presence in this area.
However, the discovery of some Getic coins, as well as the presence of autochthonous ceramic traces from the 1st century CE, prove the Geto-Dacian rule in this settlement on the Danube.
However, the city developed on the ruins of the Arrubium fortress, becoming, over time, an important settlement in the economic and administrative life of the Danube area.
Also, historical sources mention a possible location of Vicina in Măcin, where the first metropolitan of Wallachia (1359), Iachint din Vicina, came from.
Over the years, the city of Măcin has seen moments of economic development, but also moments of decline.
Currently, the main economic activities of the city’s inhabitants are handicrafts, agriculture, and the textile industry.
The names of prominent personalities are connected to the city of Măcin, among them Gheorghe Munteanu Murgoci (1872 – 1925), Romanian geologist, mineralogist and pedologist, Gheorghe Banea (1891 – 1967), writer and man of culture, Grigore Kiazim (1913 – 1989), violinist, cobza and mandolin player, Gabriel Caramarin (1977), football player.
The history of the city does not stop here, however, and with each passing day, a new page is added to the historical sources about Măcin.