A scenic coastal drive along the Black Sea brings you to Histria, the oldest and largest archaeological site in Romania. Discovered in 1914 on the shores of Sinoe Lake, and named after the ancient Greek name for the Danube River - Istros, the site is believed to date back to 657-656 B.C. Greek merchants who had traveled here to trade with the Getae people found an abundance of fisheries along with vast fertile fields that yielded impressive amounts of grain. This seemingly ideal location inspired them to build an imposing citadel and establish the city as an active trading post. The archaeological history tells us that during the course of many centuries, the city fell under the conquest of both the Roman Empire, and the Dacian tribes, as well as suffering through numerous barbarian attacks. These various assaults led to the fortress's eventual decay and abandonment in the 7th century A.D.
Still visible today are portions of major public buildings, columns, carved pedestals and traces of a well-known temple dedicated to either Zeus or Aphrodite. Remnants of baths, basilicas and three Christian churches can be seen as well. After your tour of the site, a visit is made to the archaeological museum where you will find some fascinating displays of amphorae, ancient inscriptions, pottery, glassware, jewelry and Hellenistic basreliefs that have been recovered from the area.
Before returning to the ship, a brief stop will be made in Constanta at the Folk Art Museum. Here, an outstanding collection of traditional Romanian folk products and colorful costumes are on exhibit and a gift shop offers the opportunity to purchase some original handicrafts made by Romanian artisans.
Please note: Caps and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The Citadel of Histria and the Archeological Museum charge camera and video fees ranging from approximately 6 - 15 Euros. These fees are not included in the tour cost and must be paid directly at the site. Those wishing to use their cameras or video equipment are strongly encouraged to bring along an adequate amount of Euros for this purpose.