Places of interest14 May 2024

Dobrogea, the fascinating land between the Danube and the Black Sea and its treasures: Măcin Mountains, the oldest mountains in Romania

Eroded by times and eras, hundreds of millions of years old, the mountains of Hercynian origin located in the north-western part of Tulcea County are relics of Palaeozoic times

Măcin Mountains - Dobrogea

Măcin Mountains - Dobrogea

Although hardly resembling to a mountain formations given its low height, Macin Mountains are recognized as the oldest mountains in Romania. Both researchers and tourists are particularly interested in the natural treasure in this area.

The geological, botanical and zoological interest is intertwined with the historical and tourist interest. If at the beginning of their existence the Măcinului Mountains exceeded heights of 3000 meters, nowadays, the maximum height reached by the Țuțuianu peak is only 467 meters. Macin Mountains have rocks hundreds of millions of years old, much older than the first dinosaurs appeared on Earth.

This archaic landscape of the prehistoric mountains hides the most sought after creature of Dobrogea, the Dobrogean dragon, a huge snake that is object of many legends. Măcinului area represents the quintessence of the main geological periods that took place on the territory of our country. Măcin Mountains are part of the archaic mountain chain that crossed Europe from east to west, of which only the Dobrogea Mountains, the Vosges Mountains (eastern France), the Bretagne Peninsula Mountains (western France) and the Scottish Mountains have remained as witnesses.

These oldest mountains in Romania are included in the "Măcinului Mountains National Park", declared a biosphere reservation in 1998. It is the only park in the country that protects large areas of steppe vegetation. The park covers an area of 11,151 hectares and houses over 3,400 species of flora and fauna. In addition to the geological treasures and to those related to flora and fauna, in the mountains there are other tourist attractions of great historical and archaeological interest. Roman Arrubium Castrum, declared a historical monument, dated around 100 AD, is located right in the town of Macin.

Archaeological research has uncovered inscriptions, gold and silver coins, tiles and military pillars. Dinogetia Garvan Fortress, a Roman-Byzantine fortress located on the island of Bisericuța, which was built somewhere between 284 and 305, during the time of Diocletian. Fortress of Troesmis was built by the Romans on the site of a former Getic fortress, on the bank of the Măcin arm of Danube.

What could be more fascinating than the history of mountains that come from the dawn of time!


Elena Radu




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