Constanţa (kônstänˈtsä) [key], city (1990 pop. 355,402), SE Romania, on the Black Sea. It is the administrative center of Dobruja and a major railroad junction and industrial city, but its chief importance derives from its role as Romania's main seaport. Petroleum (brought by pipeline from the Ploieşti oil fields), grain, and lumber are the leading exports. Besides handling general overseas trade, Constanţa is important in the transit traffic with the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia. It also serves as Romania's major naval and air base and as a seaside resort. The city was founded in the 7th cent. B.C. as the Greek colony of Tomi and came under Roman rule in 72 B.C. Ovid lived in exile there. Constantine I (4th cent. A.D.) named the city Constantiniana and made it an episcopal see. It was captured by the Turks in 1413. Romania acquired it in 1878. There are several synagogues and mosques, an Orthodox cathedral, and a statue of Ovid, as well as many Roman and Byzantine remains. The regional archaeological museum and the marine biology station are also of interest.
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