Giurgiu is a Romanian port on the Danube River; it is well situated just across from the Bulgarian city of Russe. It is connected to Bucharest by roadway and railway and is surrounded by fertile grain-growing areas. This shipping capital exports timber, grain, salt and petroleum as well as coal iron and textiles.
This area alongside the Danube was densely populated at the time of the Dacians, around 2,000 years ago. This was the site of Theodorapolis, a city built by the Roman emperor Justinian in the 5th century A.D.
The city of Giurgiu was probably established in the 14th century as a Danube port by merchants from Genoa trading in silks and velvets. They named the city San Giorgio (known in English as Saint George), after the patron saint of Genoa. It appears in Codex Latinus Parisinus as of 1395, during the reign of Mircea I of Wallachia; in 1420 the Ottomans took the city to establish control of Danube River traffic and commerce. Once fortifications were built, Giurgiu played an important role in the struggle for control of the lower Danube by Turks, Russians and others. The city was burned in 1659. The fortifications were finally razed in 1829, leaving only a castle on the island of Slobozia, connected by bridge to the shore.
In the 1950s, the U.S.S.R. helped build the Friendship Bridge across the Danube linking Giurgiu, Romania with Russe, Bulgaria.