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Silistra ↓
(1993 pop. 48,287)

Silistra is a lovely, tranquil and picturesque city on the bank terraces where the river leaves Bulgarian territory. The hills afford a lovely view of the city, the river with the islands, the Romanian bank across and the vast Wallachian plain beyond. This small area is a horn of plenty. It is Bulgaria's biggest apricot orchard. The warm current along the river creates a microclimate owing to which cherries ripen earlier than in Plovdiv or Petrich, a town in the south.

Silistra springs to life in ancient times (1st C.) in the place of a Thracian settlement, existing during the 1st millennium B.C., as a town under the name of Durostorum, one of a chain of fortresses along the Danube bank. In the Middle Ages when the name is changed to Drustur, it is an important military, trade and cultural centre and a bishop's and patriarch's seat (during the years of the First Bulgarian Kingdom). Under Tsar Simeon, i.e. the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, the town is a strong fortress. Between 1913 and 1940 it is on Romanian territory. Still standing are Medzhit Tabiya - a fortress dating back to 1841-1853 with an archaeological exposition, and Sts. Peter and Paul Church (1862).

One kilometer south of the Danube and 12 kilometers away from Silistra is the largest Bulgarian riverside lake Sreburna = Silvery. It owes its name to the full moon mirrored in it. Sreburna is a unique place equally attractive for botanists, zoologists and tourists, a world of birds, fish and plants. A total of 170 species migrate and winter here and of these 99 nest in the lake. Ibises, grebes, swamp gulls, sand martins, crakes, spoonbills, 11 duck species, swans hoar over the green carpet lake popcorn.

It is a Roman vaulted tomb dating back to the first half of the 5th century. On the rectangular tomb chamber frescoes of a married couple, servants bearing burial gifts, birds, animals and plant ornaments can be seen. 

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