Silistra is one of the biggest towns located on the bank of the Danube River and it's located exactly where the rivers makes a turn and enters the Romanian territory and begins the land border between Bulgaria and Romania. The town is 20 m above the sea level with more than 51230 resident population. It is located 125 km north-east of Rousse, 115 km north of Shumen, 96 km north-west of Dobrich, 150 km far from Varna and 430 km away from Sofia capital.
The settlement boasts with its rich history that began in the II millеnium B.C. The town was an inheritor of the famous Roman citadel of Durostorum, called Dorostol by the Byzantines, and the most important Bulgarian medieval fortress on the lower Danube - Drustar. Durostorum was mentioned for the first time in 105 in connection with legio XI Claudia replaced there from Panonia. In 169 at the time of Marcus Aurelius it became independent town and rapidly domineered as a center of the Roman provinces Lower Mizia and key customs station. Already in the beginning of IV century the town became a center of Christianity propagation. Because of their devotion to the Christian faith some of the natives died and were beatified.
Durostorum was a birth place of the Roman military commander Flavius Aetius, who was perhaps best known for defeating Attila the Hun in 451. The flourishing town was visited also by the Emperors of Diocletian and Valent. In VI century at the time of the Emperor Justinian Durostorum was restored and became popular with the name of Dorostol and as a Byzantium town it is an Episcopal center till 600.
With the name Drustar Bulgarians called the newly built settlement and the reconstructed old fortress of Durostorum. In VIII-X century Drustar became one of the main Bulgarian military, cultural and religious centers with important administrative functions. It was a residence of the Bulgarian patriarch at the time of tzar (king) Simeon I and tzar Petar I. During the Byzantium domination it was a main town in the district of Podunavie. In 1074 here there rose a rebellion against the Byzantines, leaded by Nestor. In XII-XIV century it was one of the best fortified Bulgarian towns on the Danube. In 1388 the town was captured by voivode (leader) Mircha Stari, and from 1413 it was in the borders of the Ottoman Empire. Being a busy port the Silistra fortress was also an important section from the defence stronghold quadrangle Rousse - Silistra - Varna - Shumen.
In 1958 the people of Silistra received a gift from the military commanders Kamenski and Kutuzov - the key of the fortress taken as a trophy. Between 1828 and 1835 Silistra was a free town after being captured by the Russian army leaded by the Bulgarian captain Georgi Mamarchev. In 1854 there was the great Russian writer L.N.Tolstoi as an officer during the Krim war.
In 1878 Silistra became the most eastern Danube town in free Bulgaria. Between 1913 and 1940 it was in the borders of Romania.
Down the years the town was called Diristar, Dristra where comes the name of Silistra.
- Historical Museum with more than 6000 archeological monuments. (located in the restored fortress Medzhiditabia on the hill near the town). Among the valued exhibits are: roman helmet-mask (II century), golden chariot with applications (III century), numismatic and golden funeral collections from the Roman period, national costumes etc.
- Art Galery
- The church of "St. St. Petar and Pavel" (1862)
- In the middle of the public park beside the Danube can be seen the remains of the age-old fortress Durostorum-Dorostol-Drustar (architectural and archeological reserve) including remains from ancient and medieval walls, medieval church complex bath building from X century etc.
- River Danube and the area beside Silistra offer many and various opportunities for bathing-beach, rest and tourism. There are wonderful conditions for water sports, walks, row. You can visit holiday houses, villas, camping sites and huts. "Alen Mak" hut (with 30 beds) is located 5 km away from the town. Camping of "Popina" (18 beds) is on the bank of the river in the immediate proximity of the port of Popina village which is 35 km west of Silistra. Camping "Vetren" - beside the Danube bank on the land of Vetren village, 2 km away from the reserve of Srebarna and 21 km west of the town.
- Srebarna Lake is close to the village of Srebarna, about 16 km west of Silistra. It spreads over 2 sq km, 2 m deep with an island in the middle of the lake. The shores of the lake are ferny and covered with reed, duckweed, white water-lily etc. The reserve of Srebarna includes the lake and its surroundings. The area was declared a natural reserve in 1948; designated as a Monument of World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1983) and UNESCO biosphere reserve (1997) for saving the rare plants, also because of its extremely rich ornithofauna and mainly the breeding of globally threatened species Dalmatian Pelican, Pygmy Cormoran and Ferruginous Duck. There are more than 150 bird species; 20 amphibians, reptiles and fishes species; and 30 species of mammal.
- The village of Aidemir - 6 km west of Silistra. It is the biggest village in Bulgaria.
The climate of the municipality of Silistra is temperate continental and is a part of the Danube climatic sub-region the hot summer, the early spring, and severe colds in the winter are characteristic of this region.
The absolute minimum temperature reaches to -32 degrees, and the maximum to + 40.4 degrees (in 1927). The steady maintaining of the temperature of the air over 10 degrees starts in the first ten days of April, and goes up to the end of October - about 200 days.
The precipitation in the region is irregularly distributed, and it is insufficient, considering that the biggest quantities fall during the spring and the early summer months, and least quantity in the winter. The average annual precipitation is 547 mm/sq.m. The snow cover is preserved for 50-60days and is deep 16-30 cm.
The predominant winds are the north western and the western. There are about 26 foggy days per year.
The predominant type of soil in the municipality is the black soil, which is a presupposition for gathering of high crops from cereals, viniculture, orchards and vegetables. This helps the well developed agriculture and the connected with it processing industry. The area is famous for the apricot and vine plantations.