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Dobruja or sometimes Dobrudja (Dobrogea in Romanian, Добруджа in Bulgarian, Dobruca in Turkish) is the territory between the lower Danube river and the Black Sea, which includes the Danube Delta and the Romanian sea-shore. Northern Dobruja (Dobrogea) belongs to Romania, Southern Dobruja (in Romanian, Cadrilater) to Bulgaria.
The Romanian region of Dobrogea consists of the counties of Constanta and Tulcea, with a combined area of 15,500 kmē and population of now slightly over a million. Its principal cities are Constanţa, Tulcea, Medgidia and Mangalia.
This land was inhabited since ancient times by Getae-Dacians. In the 7th and 6th century BC several Greek colonies were founded here including Tomis, Histria , Callatis, Dionysopolis and Olbia to facilitate trade with locals.
In 480 BC the Thracians from the south extended their rule over Dobruja and in 339 BC it was conquered by Alexander the Great and brought under Macedonian rule, which was weakened after his death. The Getae king Dromichaetes, successfully defended Dobruja during two campaigns by Lysimachus, the Macedonian King of Thrace, in 300 BC and 292 BC.
The area was controlled by the Scythians in the 3rd century BC and then, in 46, Romans annexed it as part of Moesia, named Scythia Minor. The strategic importance of this territory was recognized by the Romans, who defended it on the south by Trajan's Wall a double rampart, drawn from Constanţa, on the Black Sea, to the Danube.
It remained under Turkish rule until 1878, when Romania received Northern Dobruja as a compensation for Bessarabia, ceded to Russia, whereas Bulgaria received the smaller southern part (Treaty of Berlin, 1878). After the Second Balkan War Bulgaria lost Southern Dobruja to Romania (Treaty of Bucharest, 1913), but the September 1940 Treaty of Craiova, signed with the assistance of Nazi Germany, restored it to Bulgaria with a population exchange (the Romanian colonists were forced to leave the south while the Bulgarian minority had to leave the north). The post-1940 border situation was confirmed by the Paris Peace Treaties of 1947.
Area, population and cities
The entire Dobruja has an area of 23,100 kmē and a population of rather more than 1.35 million, of which just over two-thirds of the former and nearly three-quarters of the latter lie in the Romanian part.
Coat of Arms of Romania
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