Silistra sĭlĭ´strä [key], town (1993 pop. 48,287), NE Bulgaria, a port on the Danube River bordering Romania. Products include textiles, furniture, foodstuffs, and bricks. The Roman Durostorum, it was founded in 29 BC and became an important town of Moesia. Its importance continued under Byzantine and Bulgar rule. After the Turkish conquest (1388) the town was strongly fortified. It was captured (1877) by the Russians and ceded to Bulgaria. Transferred to Romania in 1913, it was returned to Bulgaria in 1940. There are several mosques and the ruins of an ancient fortress. The name is sometimes spelled Silistria.
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