position of Calafat favored the economical and social development
of the settlement. Its origins are still uncertain. It is supposed
to be of Genoveese or Byzantine origin. The documented settlement
dates from 1424, when Dan the 2nd attests through a document the
ownership of the Tismana monastery over the village Valea Cumarilor
and of the customs from Calafat.
Calafat was at a crossroad of
some important commercial routes. On the Danube, on the E-V direction,
but also on land, on the N-S direction. Calafat linked Wallachia
to the commercial routes network south of the Danube. The commercial
importance of the settlement is demonstrated by the fact that the
customs were documentary attested before the town!!!
In 1830 came into function the quarantines set on the Danube shore,
that had the role to form a sanitary belt, protecting the country
from the plague and cholera epidemics that started south of the
Danube. The idea existed for a longer period. In 1812, during the
Caragea plague, functioned on the border crossing points, on the
Danube (among which also in Calafat), such quarantines.
Among the 11 quarantines established
in 1830 was also the Calafat quarantine, first class quarantine,
complete withmedical and administrative personnel. The medical personnel
was made up of a "cirovnic doftoricesc" (medical doctor)
and two undertakers, and the administrative one of a commissary,
sub-commissary and three servants. The Quarantine Inspector of Oltenia
was supposed to have its headquarter in Calafat.
On the 20th of January 1830
as captain of the Calafat Quarantine was elected flag-bearer Costache
Nicolaide, having as help "logofat" (a local administrative
rank) Dumitrache Truica. Three servants and two undertakers completed
the personnel. In the spring
of the same year arrives at Calafat "podpolcovnic" Nilson
and "medelniceru" Iancu Dimarcea to choose the place were
to build the quarantine headquarter. The first medical doctor of
the Calafat Quarantine was Mihalache Andronic, who had a salary
of 400 lei per month. After him followed Dr. Constantin Papaiodoros
and Dr. Scarla Tinc. Between the years 1837 - 1840 was Dr. Dimitrie
Culur and in 1853 the quarantine and city doctor was Dr. Victor
A military guard made up of
"dorobanti" (foot soldiers) and "calarasi" (cavalry)
assured the guard of the quarantine, as well as two river ships.
The disinfecting system was made up of the washing with water of
the various categories of goods, the soaking of letters with vinegar
or other purifying substances (chlorine-gas) and later the passing
through an oven or a smoker. Purified letters were applied a quarantine
stamp. Kiriac Dragomir described the types of seals and stamps used
over the years by the Calafat Quarantine.
quarantine activity was based on professionalism and determination,
the decisions of the management being respected totally. Therefore,
in September 1848, the leader of the Calafat Quarantine held negotiations
with the Vidin county, which solicited the reduction of the quarantine
term for turkish troops that were to enter the country! If initially
the isolation term for quarantine was for 40 days (even the name
quarantine comes from the French "quarente" meaning 40),
in 1830 it was down to between 4 - 24 days for people. Non-observances
of the quarantine measures were severely punished, going up to conviction
of forced labor in salt quarries and confiscation of goods.
The activity of the quarantine
was closely linked to the activity of border control and customs.
The Calafat Port was in the
N-V part of the town, on the riverside. Next to the port were the
"dorobanti" quarters the captains headquarters and the
The quarantine was higher up
on the hill. The commander of the border patrol also had the function
of port captain. Up to 1883 in Calafat was stationed, temporary
or permanently, a series of military detachments entrusted with
the border patrol. In 1883 were finished the new barracks of the
31st regiment Calafat.
Organized by the Law from 1850,
the Border Patrol Corps was split into five battalions of four companies
each, totaling almost 7700 soldiers. The residence of the 1st battalion
was in Calafat.
In 1864, by Royal Decree, the
border patrol troops were split into four inspecting units. The
3rd Company of the 1st battalion was quartered in Calafat.
Engineer C. Scaiceanu