An area with ancient traditions in history, the current territory of Calarasi county has experienced all stages of the historical development of the Romanian people. Material evidence revealed by archaeological excavations conducted systematically or randomly, as well as documentary testimonies certify on the one hand the age existence of the Romanian population in this region, and on the other, the unity and continuity in time and space of the local population.
Photo credit: (c) Cristian NISTOR / AGERPRES ARCHIVE
The oldest traces of habitation in this area, unearthed within the boundaries of the Oltenita, Calarasi, Cascioarele, Radovanu towns date from the Neolithic, belonging to the Gumelnita Culture (the 3rd — 4th millennia BC). Representative for the period from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age are the discoveries made at Calarasi and Coslogeni, the latter being characterized by huts and hovels, with simple ceramics or rudimentary plastic decorations.
During the 2nd and 1st century BC, the Thracian tribes and then Geto-Dacian constructed reinforced settlements in the area, at Chirnogi. Roman vestiges were discovered within the boundaries of Jegalia (3rd century AC), Independenta, Curcani and Spantov (4th century AC) localities. Vestiges of Romanian houses were brought to light at Curcani (9th-10th century) and Radovanu (10th, 14th — 16th century).
The enhanced trade exchange led to the emergence of true centers of exchange of agri-food and craft products (firstly as villages, then fairs and later as cities, Oltenita and Calarasi). Oltenia is attested in documents in 1515, and Calarasi (Craciani) on June 1, 1541. As of the end of the 14th century, the medieval city Cornatel (today Manastirea) has started developing in the area where Mostista flows into the Danube River.
During the reign of Michael the Brave (1593-1601), the inhabitants of this area have participated in the Ottoman fights. “The Cantacuzino Anonymous” notes the fact that in January 1595, while Preda and Radu Buzescu were burning Harsova, Ban (noble title) Mihalcea was burning Darstor (Silistra) passing through Lichiresti (today Calarasi). Michael the Brave attacked Turtacaia, then he crossed the icy Danube at Oltenita.
In the 17th century, the Russo-Turkish wars of 1765-1774 and the Russo-Austrian-Turkish wars over 1788-1891 took place mostly on the territory of Calarasi county. Strong fights occurred in the village of Ulmu in 1791, where the Turks were defeated and chased away across the Danube.
Also, the Russo-Turkish War of 1806-1812 caused great damage to this area, the Turks being successively defeated at Ulmu (1806) and Obilesti (1807). According to the truce signed on August 24, 1807, at Slobozia, the Russian troops had to be evacuated from Wallachia and Moldavia, but the Tzar has refused to ratify it.
Calarasi (its initial name was Lichiresti) became a fair in 1734 and a city in April 1833, once its investiture as Ialomita county seat.
Since the late 19th century, the two ports at Calarasi and Oltenita, used to ship large quantities of cereals, oil, timber etc, have played a major role in the economic activity of the county.
Calarasi County took part in the most important historic events between the 19th and 20th centuries: the 1848 Revolution, the Union of the Romanian Principalities on Jan. 24, 1859, the War for State Independency 1877-1878, the peasant uprisings in 1888 that started at Urziceni, having an impact also on Armasesti, Brosteni, Alexeni, Condeesti, Milosesti, Misleanu, Grivita and Slobozia localities, the First World War (1916-1918) and the Second World War (1941-1945).
In 1832, the city of Calarasi became the seat of the Ialomita county (the former was at Urziceni). Following the administrative-territorial reorganization on Feb. 17, 1968, when the regions and rayons (administrative units) were removed and the counties of Romania were put in place once again, the biggest part of the current territory of Calarasi county entered the structure of Ialomita county, and another part the county of Ilfov. Following the amendment of Law no. 2/Feb. 17, 1968, under the Decree of the State Council no. 15 of Jan. 23, 1981, the counties of Calarasi and Giurgiu were founded.AGERPRES