28 September, 2023
Researcher Gabriel-Felician Croitoru launched a book dedicated to "all those who worked for centuries to have a shipyard in Giurgiu" in the context of an event that aroused great interest in the Danube city
The cover of Gabriel-Felician Croitoru’s book (source: Gabriel-Felician Croitoru)

On 10 February 2023, the “Nicolae Bălănescu” Athenaeum in Giurgiu was the venue for the launch of an original work of local history by the Giurgiu researcher Gabriel-Felician Croitoru. The volume “A history of shipbuilding in Giurgiu” was published by the National Museum of the Romanian Navy in Constanța (MNMR) with the support and under the aegis of the Romanian Naval League, Euro River Transport and Textimage. The anthropologist Alexandru-Grig Vulpe (tranzit2030.eu) was present at the event and sent us the following report:

The launch event was organized right in the place where the first shipyard club in Giurgiu operated in the 50s. The small hall of the Giurgiu Athenaeum proved to be overcrowded for more than 80 people who attended this long-awaited book launch. Readers and supporters of the author, journalists, members of the local administration, researchers of the Museum of History “Teohari Antonescu” in Giurgiu, shipbuilding workers, shipmasters, former directors of the Giurgiu Shipyard, teachers and graduates of the Giurgiu Navy High School were present.

The meeting was moderated by Mr Ionel Muscalu, city manager of Giurgiu, poet and well-known  local cultural leader. The speakers were Commander Laurențiu Mironescu, President of the Romanian Naval League, Dr. Carmen Iréne Atanasiu, expert in naval technical heritage, editor-in-chief of the magazine “Marea Noastra” and vice-president of the Romanian Naval League, as well as historian Emil Păunescu who announced on this occasion two other publications of interest to the public opinion (the volume “Giurgiu in the historical cartography of the great empires” signed by Mihai Anatolii Ciobanu and the History of the ferry Giurgiu-Ruse, in progress).

A graduate of the Doctoral School “History, Culture, Civilization”, Faculty of History and Philosophy from “Babeș-Bolyai” University of Cluj-Napoca, Gabriel-Felician Croitoru has published constantly on Giurgiu since 2006. Among the themes present in his rich historical publications, it is important to underline his recurrent interest in naval infrastructure as well as in socio-cultural and local administrative history. [He wrote works such as ”Evolution of the port of Giurgiu from its origins to 1945” (2007); ”Monograph of the Smârda District and Church” (2009); ”Giurgiu from the perspective of foreign travellers 15th-19th century” (2013); ”Giurgiu under Ottoman administration 15th-19th century” (2015). ”The bridge over the Danube – an expression of the unbreakable friendship between the Romanian and Bulgarian people” (2016); ”1918: The German-Romanian construction site project in Giurgiu” (2022)]

“A History of Shipbuilding in Giurgiu” (2023) represents a local history monograph that also provides a broader context of shipbuilding in Romania since the 16th century. The volume brings added value through more than 60 photographs and drawings, but also through a generous bibliography including archival documents, scientific volumes, studies, articles published in the local and central press over time and interviews with personalities who played a major role in the development of the Giurgiu Shipyard. Also, in order to meet the needs of less familiar readers with the field of shipbuilding, the author has compiled in the volume a Glossary of technical and maritime terms as well as a Breviary that includes all the ships built in Giurgiu between 1897 and 1999 for the domestic market and which sailed under the national flag of Romania.

A selection related to Giurgiu from the rich historical literature by Gabriel-Felician Croitoru

1) Naval infrastructure and imaginary

    The proletcult image of the sailor in Romanian cinema (2015)

    Volume. The evolution of the port of Giurgiu from its origins to 1945 (2007)

    Shipbuilding on the Lower Danube in the Brancovenetian era (Giurgiu) – (2014+2011)

    Giurgiu port during the Ottoman administration (2016)

    1918: Project of the German-Romanian shipyard in Giurgiu (2022)

    Types of tugs and river pushers built at Giurgiu Shipyard (1965-1999)

    Giurgiu River Palace (2016)

    Bridge over the Danube – expression of the unbreakable friendship between the Romanian and Bulgarian people (2016)

    Bridge over the Danube between Giurgiu and Ruse (2015)

    The Port of Giurgiu and the Romanian Polytechnic Society (2013)

    The River Navigation Agencies (N.F.R) of Giurgiu and Rusciuc in 1914 (2012)

    Giurgiu-Bucuresti Railway (2006)

    The incomparable Bizeț Bridge (2006)

    Giurgiu fortification system (XVIII-XIX) – (2013)

2) Famous visits/foreign travellers/trade/portraits/unpublished stories

    Volume. Giurgiu seen by others (2009)

    Giurgiu from the perspective of foreign travellers (15th-19th century) – (2013)

    A Muslim city on Christian soil. Giurgiu in the accounts of foreign travellers – (2013) 

    The port and quarantine in the city of Giurgiu during the 1866 cholera epidemic – (2013)

    1843 – the visits of the ruler Gheorghe Bibescu to Giurgiu and their consequences (2018+2006)

    Trade with animals and derived products through the Giurgiu scaffold in the 16th-19th century (2012)

    Lieutenant Ioan Nițulescu (from Smârda) – the only officer of the Romanian army who died during the 1907 Revolt (2015)

    Nicolae Droc-Barcian from Sibiu – a personality of the cultural life of Giurgiu and Vlașca County (2021)

    Contribution of the Romanian Navy League to the development of water-related tourism (2011)

    Giurgiu port workers’ strike (1913) – (2009)

    Romania – first modern warship (2007)

    Marița – the first Romanian maritime ship built in Giurgiu (2007)

    Launches of famous ships of the Romanian Navy in the port of Giurgiu

    Giurgiu and steam engines I-II (2006)

    Our everyday salt (2006)

3) Local social-cultural and administrative history 

    Volume.  Smârda Neighbourhood and Church Monograph (2009)

    About crime in Giurgiu 140 years ago (2019)

    New data about the Church of the Holy Trinity – Smârda (2006)

    Orthodox churches in Giurgiu in the 19th century (2011)

    The city of Giurgiu at the end of the 19th century (2006)

    Doctors and medicine on the Danube border of the Ottoman Empire (2017)

    The Occupation of Romania by the Central Powers. Case study: Giurgiu (2011)

4) Ethnic diversity in Giurgiu: the Muslim world

    Giurgiu under Ottoman administration (15th-19th centuries) – (2015) – Administrative structure. Functions and attributions / Giurgiu Port

    Between the Christian and the Muslim world (15th century) – (2013)

    Bridges over the Danube built by the Ottomans at the Middle and Lower Danube (16th-18th century) – (2013)

    Aspects of the duties of the Muslim judge of the Ottoman district Giurgiu (15th-19th centuries) – (2014)

    “One of the great Muslim sages of the Middle Ages was born in Giurgiu” (2019)

    The Muhafiz of the Ottoman district Giurgiu (2016)

    Royal representatives in the Ottoman possessions in Wallachia. Case study: the Ottoman district Giurgiu (2015)

    Decisions between the Ottoman district Giurgiu and Wallachia and situations of their violation (2014)

    Some aspects related to the border between Wallachia and Ottoman district Giurgiu (16th-19th centuries) – (2017)

    The Ottoman district Giurgiu between the peace treaties of Passarowitz (1718) and Sviștov (1791) 

    Building aspects in the city of Giurgiu during the Ottoman administration (2015)

    Urban, demographic and religious realities of the Muslim community in Giurgiu during the Ottoman administration (2016)

    Religious life in the Ottoman district Giurgiu between diversity, moderation and tolerance (2014)

Subscribe to the channel of the blog “The Bridge of Friendship” in YouTube, where a number of video and audio interviews are published! The blog can also be followed in Facebook and TwitterIts Telegram channel is here. And here is its Substack account.

About Author

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: