If you ask anybody in Sulina who’s the most popular person who ever lived here, you’ll get only one answer: Jean Bart. That is the pseudonym that writer Eugeniu P. Botez took when he published his works in the early twentieth century.
[adsense]He is best known for writing the novel Europolis which documents the cosmopolite life that Sulina had in its day as a free port (porto Franco), during the command of the European Commission of the Danube.
Throughout his career, he took many positions in the navy and for many years he even became the commander of the port of Sulina. At the time, the city was flooded with people of all nationalities. It was a fantastic place to live in and every time he had some spare time he would jot down notes which he would later use to write his novels.
Here are the novels he wrote
- 1901 – Jurnal de bord
- 1916 – Datorii uitate
- 1916 – În cuşca leului
- 1923 – Prinţesa Bibiţa
- 1925 – În Deltă…
- 1931 – Pe drumuri de apă
- 1933 – Europolis
His final and best known novel is Europolis. Although all of his works have something to do with Sulina, Europolis is his masterpiece and was quoted times and times again over the years. He really helps you get a sense of how the city used to look like.
Because of the popularity of the novel, there’s even a hotel in Tulcea called Europolis. The highschool in Sulina also took the name of Jean Bart.
In my recent trip to Sulina, I finally decided to visit the lighthouse (the one next to the camp site) and see what the whole thing is all about. (This was about 7 years overdue 🙂 )
Well, when we got in there, there was a nice old man playing the guitar and reading something from a book. Turns out it was a book written by Jean Bart. He then proceeded to tell us more about Sulina, about Jean Bart and his duties as captain of the port. It was interesting to hear how the port used to be run years ago.