16 November 2017

Tulcea, Dobrudscha

Between 1842-1846, the first group of German migrants from Bessarabia settled in Tulcea, Dobrudscha.  At the time, it was a part of Turkey, a subject of the Ottoman Empire.  During this time, Germans from Russia would've had to renounce their allegiance to the Tsar of Russia and pledge their allegiance to the His Majesty the Sultan in order to live in Tulcea. Other requirements to become a colonist in Turkey included providing proof that they had not been accused of any crime or bad behavior in their previous country and were "respectable men and can pursue agriculture and crafts of all kinds."  Of course, the government reserved the right to remove any colonist who was guilty of a crime or bad behavior.  The English translation of the full list of articles of Colonization Regulations of Turkey is available here.
Drawing of the school and Catholic church in Tulcea.
Source: Die Deutschen in der Dobrudscha, courtesy of Black Sea German Research.

The first to arrive in Tulcea were a closed group of Catholic Swabians.  Tulcea's population at that point was about 6,000.  There was a larger group of Germans on their way to settle the first Catholic colony in nearby  Malkotsch, but the smaller group decided to remain in Tulcea.  Catholics made up the majority of Germans in Tulcea.  By 1856, there were 100 German families living in Tulcea, and in 1872, the church and school were built.  By then, the population of Tulcea had swelled to 39,000 people.  The economic growth of the city had attracted migrants from all over, including Turks, Taters, Romanians, Russians, Bulgarians, Greeks, Jews, Armenians and Germans.

All of the Germans lived together on one long, broad street called German Street.  The street still exists today.  It's called Strada Mircea Vodă.

Drawing of German Street in Tulcea.
Source: Die Deutschen in der Dobrudscha, courtesy Black Sea German Research.

A view of German Street, now called Strada Mircea Vodă, from street view on Google Earth.

Tulcea circa late 1890s. Source: Wikipedia (note original source listed on Wikipedia is no longer available)

Tulcea, Romania today. 

Learn More
Die Deutschen in der Dobrudscha, Paul Traeger.  See English translation courtesy of BSGR.
Black Sea Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World –  Tulcea
Germans from Russia Settlement Locations – Dobrudscha Colonies Map