The days of Jijila

In the days of 26 to 27 October, the local community celebrates the dedication day of the Church St. Demetrius, when take place also the “Days of Jijila ”, a show for all ages, where you can watch different folk music ensembles, pop music artists and not only.

Dinogeţia Monastery is a monastery of monks with communal life. It is located in Garvăn locality, on a shore near DJ 251. Currently there is a small church and sanctums. It is expected that in the future to be built a church and new outbuildings. The community of monks is determined to carry out what it has proposed to do. The monastery is dedicated to The Life Giving Fountain and has a recent history, the construction beginning in 2008.
Near the monastery are the ruins of the ancient citadel Dinogeţia

Sulucu Mare Peak from Măcin Mountains is located 370 m altitude, being the highest peak of Pricopanu Ridge.  Without forest vegetation in most of the part, the crest of Pricopanu Ridge, benefits from a relief and a landscape similar to the high mountainous regions, with numerous cliffs and spectacular granite formations, with a great diversity of the appearances, which is due to the active processes of erosion and disaggregation of the rocks.

Being on one of the migration corridors of the birds, Măcin Mountains, and in particular Pricopanu Ridge, it is a veritable observation point of these. The saker falcon, the large common buzzard, the serpent eagle, but also extremely rare apparitions such as the white scavanger or the cinereous vulture can attract our look.

Not the least, must be mentioned here the reptiles and the emblem of these mountains: the spur-thighed tortoise, the nose horned viper, the blotched snake etc

Jijila Lake DOES NOT EXIST ANYMORE, IT WAS DRAINED, IT IS AGRICULTURAL LAND!

Jijila natural lake makes from the commune with the same name an important touristic area. Floodplain lake, with a surface of 12,32 km², that communicates with the Danube by means of the creek Gârla Mare, Jijila lake is located in the north-west of Dobrogea, on the lower course of Jijila, in the north-west of the depression with the same name, between Bugeacului Hills and Orliga Hill. The lake is partially drained. Between it and the former lake Crapina were found in the past several backwaters (Ciulinețu, Lățimea, Gârla Mare)  through which was made the water supply. The ichthyofauna consists of catfish, carp, perch, pike.

Jijila river is a watercourse that springs from Măcin Mountains and flows into the network of irrigation canals in the former marsh of Jijila.  The hydrographic network of the area is very poor. Due to the arid climate, characterized by hot and dry summers, long and dry autumns and cold winters, with little snow, the water flows are reduced and the river courses are temporary. The valleys are very large, some of them having water only temporarily.

,, La „Lățime ” (located about 5 km from Garvăn towards Galați) is a fish farm located in an exceptional natural setting. Also here are the pillars of a bridge started by the Germans during the First World War and that remained unfinished.

The monument of the soldiers of the regiment from Reazani, killed in the Russian-Turkish War (1877-1878) is located near Garvăn village, Jijila commune, Tulcea county. Every year, the inhabitants of the area remember and honor those who had sacrificed their lives for the defense of freedom.

In the Community center was arranged a small village museum which tries to reflect the lifestyle of yesteryear of the people in the village.

The older church from Jijila is dedicated to St. Demetrius and it is built since 1856, being the only church in the area built with the approval of the Sultan. The condition imposed by him was that the church has no steeple not to exceed the height of the minaret of the mosque. The church porch is unique, its painting being basically a calendar of the saints in Dobrogea. In the churchyard is a monument dedicated to the soldiers that died in the two world wars.  Another church, dedicated to the,, Holy Trinity “is under construction.

The Church of Garvăn  is built in 1875 and is dedicated to Saint George. Here there is as well a monument dedicated to the soldiers that died in wars.

Mlăjitul Florilor, settlement of Babadag culture, is located about 2.5 km SE of the citadel Dinogeţia. This occupies a rocky promontory, slightly high, located on the northern shore of Jijila Lake. At Mlăjitul florilor there is an archaeological site in which were found traces of the Dacians from the pre-Roman Age. The settlement dates back to the Geto-Dacian Hallstatt.

Dinogeţia, Roman and Byzantine fortress, is located on a small island (grind) not coincidentally called by the locals „Bisericuţa”. The settlement enjoyed a dominant natural position, visible towards the left bank, from Bărboşi-Galaţi to Aliobrix and, being surrounded by waters,  (the brooks and marshes that the Danube forms in the right of the great bend in front of Galati town), and also had the advantage of a natural defense.                                                The ruins on the grind Bisericuţa-Garvăn have been reported since the first half of the nineteenth century. An outline of plan was published in 1868 by E.Desjardins. Another outline was published later by Gr.Tocilescu.
The first systematic archaeological excavations began at the initiative of the National Museum of Antiquities,  in 1939, under the leadership of Gh. Ştefan and continue also to the present.

The earliest mention where we meet this toponim, we find it at the geographer Ptolemeu (Dinodheteia), that makes also an exact localisation. Also, Dinogeţia is mentioned in Itinerarium Antonini (Dinigettio), Notitia Dignitatum (Dinogothia), as well as in the seventh century by the Geographer from Ravena (Dinogethia).

The systematic researches, started in 1939 and then since 1949, have indicated the initial moment of the construction of the fortress and the successive stages of rebuilding. The fortification was built by the Romans in the second century and overlaps a Getic settlement. The fortress suffers damages at the middle of the second century and at the middle of the third century. At the end of the third century, the Roman-Byzantine fortress that we know today was reconstructed. The moment is marked by the discovery, at Garvăn, of a millar pillar („milliarium”) during the time of Diocletian. The new fortification had 14 defense towers, relatively equal spaced at approx. 20 m along the enclosure,  of trapezoidal shape partly following the form of the rocky terrain; of which, three were in a horseshoe shape with central pillar, and the others was in the shape of U. The access was made through the main gate, which was located on the south side, and two other smaller gates were placed on the west and north sides. Since the period of maximum flowering, from the midle of the fourth century, dates the construction of a basilica of rectangular plan, the headquarters building and the thermal edifice (baths). The most important rebuilding from Dinogeţia takes place during the Emperor Anastasius, at the end of the fifth century. Dinogeţia fortress is destroyed and abandoned at the beginning of the seventh century.
At „Bisericuţa”-Garvăn functioned a castellum that housed the military detachments (from. Leg. V Macedonica, coh. I Mattiacorum, Leg. I Italica, Coh. I Cilicum and Clasis Flavia Moesica). On the south terrace, separated from the fortress by an arm of the marsh Lăţimea, was constituted the civil settlement and the necropolis, which are closely related to the evolution of the fortress.
The fortification from Dinogeţia is rebuilt after 971 when, under the Emperor Ioan Tzimiskes, winner in the battles with Sviatoslav of Kiev, Dobrogea reenters in Byzantine rule. From this moment the fortress from Dinogeţia was integrated into the economic circuit of the Byzantine Empire. For almost three centuries (971- the beginning of the thirteenth century), the fortified settlement has recovered, in addition to the precincts partially repaired, the only construction of wall being the little church (XI-XII centuries) in the middle of the fortress, which gave the current name of the island.

 

From the fortress existing in the sixth century is kept the inner wall, 3 m thick, guarded by 14 towers. Within the enclosure are the ruins of a basilica, the most important and the oldest on the territory of our country, of some roads, agricultural and household tools, which indicate the military role of the fortress. After 1990 were started the restoration works, Dinogeţia becoming an important touristic point.

 

Măcin Mountains National Park is located in the Plateau of Dobrogea, representing the only area in Europe in which the ecosystems characteristic to the Pontic -Balkan steppe, to the submediterranean and Balkan forests, along with numerous endangered species, develops on the oldest mountains in Romania (Hercinian Mountains) and some of the first formed on the continent.

Măcin Mountains, the oldest mountains in Romania, result of the hercynian orogenesis (which took place 300-400 million years ago), have a particular importance among the mountains of the country, being the oldest mountains in Romania, the special interest of the researchers being oriented, due to the numerous historical vestiges, towards the archaeological excavations, but equally towards the scientific research of the vast natural treasure existing here – geological, botanical, zoological.

With an altitude between 7 and 467 meters, these mountains are home to approximately 50% of the plant and animal species on the entire Romanian territory. Thus, here we can find over 1700 plant species, out of which 72 protected by law, 181 species of birds, out of which 37 internationally protected, 47 mammal species, 1436 species of insects (out of which over 900 species of butterflies), but also a great variety of reptiles and amphibians.

Măcin Mountains National Park has a surface of 11.140,2 ha, out of which 11.110,2 ha forest fund (99,7%) and 30 ha pastures (0,3%). The feature for the park is the predominance of the forest ecosystems, which ensures the ecological stability and the optimum habitat for outstanding herbaceous species in this territory. In the forests of northern Dobrogea is found a biodiversity rich and unique in the world, which includes forest complex ecosystems of steppe and forest steppe. The forests consist mainly of mixed deciduous arboretums, in which the main species is the common oak in the North and the gray oak or the pubescent oak in the south of the park .

Among the species of mammals from Măcin Mountains may be mentioned: the ground squirrel (Citellus citellus), the marbled polecat (Vormela peregusna), the wildcat (Felis silvestris), the beech marten (Martes foina), the red deer (Cervus elaphus), present in Dobrogea only in Măcin Mountains; the roe deer (Capreolus capreolus); the wild boar (Sus scrofa); the hare (Lepus europaeus); the pheasant (Phasianus colchicus); the fox (Vulpes vulpes).

The park is an attraction point of the area also due to the extremely diverse landscape, but also due to its biodiversity and to the fact that here are found numerous protected species. It is also located near some important touristic attractions, The Danube Delta and the Black Sea. In terms of tourism, Măcin Mountains are visited only in transit, not existing accommodation possibilities nearby.On the territory of the Park is allowed the access by car.

On the territory of Jijila commune there is constituted the site Natura 2000 – SPA 0073 Măcin-Niculiţel. In this site there are approximately 1,770 species of plants, 2000 species of invertebrates and 245 species of vertebrates, many of them endemic or of community interest.

The number of superior plants represents over 19% of the flora of Europe and it is comparable to the rich flora of the islands Crete and Corsica. Măcin Mountains and their surroundings are the only areas in Romania where there are still large tracts of steppe natural vegetation, unique even for the Balkans.

Here were identified 10 types of habitats of community interest, out of which the four of priority occupy almost a quarter of the site surface. From the multitude of species, 15 are of community interest. The site represents also the most important nesting area in the country for several birds of prey, being also an important passage place for the migratory ones. It was identified a total number of 1436 species of insects, among which we mention the species of community interest great tailor, gray tailor, hermit beetle, stag beetle, maturna butterfly, swamp red butterfly, tiger butterfly and grasshopper of Transylvania. There were identified seven species of amphibians, out of which three species are of particular interest, namely: common toad (which is a glacial relict in this area), agile frog (for this area it also represents, a relict that demonstrates the old age of these forests) and the yellow-bellied toad (species of community interest). Of the ten species of reptiles identified, of particular importance are the species of community interest the spur-thighed tortoise and the blotched snake (the largest and most rare snake in the country). In the site were identified 181 species of birds, which means around 50% of the Romanian avifauna, Măcin Mountains representing an important area located on the migratory routes which follow the courses of the rivers Prut and Siret.

The variety of terrestrial, forest or rocky ecosystems, combined with the presence of some aquatic systems near the mountain chains, provides favorable conditions for the passage and wintering of a large number of bird species and specimens. More than 10,000 day raptors and more than 20,000 white storks pass through this corridor every year, which attracts in the area many ornithologists in the country and abroad. Representative for the nesting raptors in the site are the serpent eagle, the booted eagle, the northern goshawk, the red legged buzzard and the saker falcon.

The presence of the white backed woodpecker is worth mentioning among the rarities of the site, given that this species normally inhabits in the rest of the country only the forests above 600 m. There were identified 47 species of mammals, out of which, as rare and protected species, we remember the white polecat, the Romanian hamster, the ground squirrel and the greater horseshoe bat. Species of particular interest in the site are also the red deer (the only location of the species in Dobrogea), the roe deer, the wild boar, the hare, the fox, the wildcat, the pine marten, the stone marten and the golden jackal. The latter has effectives in significant increase in the last years, because of its invasive character favored by the lack of competitors on the same trophic level.

 

According to the Standard Form in the Annexes GD 1284/2007 regarding the declaration of the Special Bird Protection Areas as an integrated part of the European ecological network Natura 2000, the data regarding the biodiversity of the site shows a special composition, as follows:

A special importance for science and for the biodiversity of Măcin Mountains is represented by the rare and endangered species: the tortoise – monument of nature, the blotched snake, the nose horned viper, the griffon vulture, the black woodpecker, the European roller- internationally protected species.