Kilia - Quaint City on the Shores of the Danube Delta

Kilia, or Novo Kilia meaning “New Chilia”, is a relatively small city in comparison to many others that lie within the province of the Odessa Oblast, south-western Ukraine. It is along the beautiful northern shores of the Danube Delta that you will find Kilia, an administrative center for the district of the Kiliysky Raion. On the opposite side of the southern banks of Romania lies the town of Chilia Veche, or “Older Chilia”, established by the Byzantines Ukraine and Romania are separated by the Chilia or Kilia branch, a tributary of the Danube River, which ultimately makes up part of the Danube Delta.

The Danube Delta is said to be one of the most beautifully preserved European deltas still in existence, with an amazing area of 3446 square kilometers. Its location is not far from the area in which the Danube River meets with the stunning Black Sea.

The original purpose of the town of Kilia, built by Stephen the Great of Moldavia, was to prevent the Ottoman Empire from having further effect on the area. Unfortunately for the Moldavians this did not stop them for too long and by 1484 the site was conquered by the Ottomans. In 1790, however, the control was lost to Ivan Gudovich, the Russian Imperial general.

Just over 65 years later the Anglo-French fleet attacked and took over rule in July 1854. This of course was a short spell and region was handed over to Romania in 1856, after the Crimean War came to its final conclusion. Then in 1878 it was again put under Russian rulership. An important period, however, was during 1918 to 1940 when Kilia became part of Romania and then during 1941 to 1945 it came under the brief rulership by the Ukrainian SSR and Soviet Union.

Since the Soviets fall from grace, Kilia has been returned to Ukraine. As you walk along the streets of Kilia you can’t help but stop and gaze at the church of St. Nicholas styled in the semi-subterranean architectural form and possibly the oldest building in Kilia. Indeed, a visit to Kilia, which boasts a population of over 15,000 inhabitants, is truly fascinating

 



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