Places to Visit

Modern Tourism in the Old Periprava Labor Camp

Danube Delta is not only an impressive spectacle of nature which bewilders travelers from all over the world with its unique biodiversity and culture. It also has a darker, gruesome side.

[adsense]Half a century ago, it was not a protected UNESCO site. It was only a low populated and isolated region of the communist Romania. This made it the perfect site for one of the forced labor camps where Gheroghe Gheorghiu Dej, the dictator of that time, to send his political enemies and forget about them.

The site for this camp was set in Periprava, a village on the north east side of the Danube Delta, the last human settlement before the Chilia branch of the Danube reaches the Black Sea. It is one of the most isolated spots in the country, which can only be reached by boat. In the years it’s been active, it has witnessed many atrocities, a dark chapter in the county’s past.

Well, recently, there have been a number of attempts to get rid of this legacy and revitalize this area with tourism. The site itself is located in the middle of nature, right next to the forest of Letea, a unique oak tree forest protected by UNESCO.

A Frenchman, Sylvain Remetter, who found himself in this place a number of years ago, is now planning to build a nature resort right in the old barracks of the gulag which hopefully will awaken Periprava, a village of 150 people, from its Stalinist legacy and turn it into an important tourist spot.

[adsense]The hotel is called “The last frontier” or “Ultima Frontiera” and is housed in the building that used to be the command center of the camp. The idea is to attract the nature enthusiast, birdwatchers and fishermen starting this spring. With a number of Pelican colonies nearby and a healthy population of catfish, the plan looks promising.

He is also planning to build a small museum to remind people of the events that took place here. Having spoken with the last commandant of the camp, he knows the inside stories of the place.

I hope this project takes of and is successful. Most people are still suspicious about it, but it has the potential to change the area and bring in a fresh breath of modernity.

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