Obsolete Mila 23, more and more appealing for the Danube Delta lovers


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Mila 23 is a Lipovan village in the Danube Delta, 53 km north from Tulcea city. The village is located on the shore of the Old Danube which is cutting off to the left from the horn that heads to Sulina, about half the distance between Tulcea and the Black Sea. Belonging to Crisan commune, Mila 23 is reachable only by water.

Its inhabitants are mostly fishermen, Lipovans of Russian ethnic origin (they emigrated from Russia in the 18th century and settled along the Prut River in Moldavia and in the Danube Delta). The elders of the village are telling that their forerunners settled down in Mila 23 200 years ago after escaping from Russia for refusing to obey the orders of Tzar Peter to shave their beards and to recognize the amendments of the church canons.

The village counting less than 500 locals has a particular charm, being the kind of locality which most truthfully depicts the particularity of the Lipovan village in the Danube Delta, although it has seen a tremendous touristic growth in the past years.casa mila 2

Most of the houses in Milla 23 are having a porch, except for the boarding houses built by locals. The entrance in the household or in the courtyard is available only by water from the shore of the Old Danube.

The windows are distinguished by the famous deep blue shade of color (siniliu in Romanian), particular to the Lipovan homes. The walls of the houses are also painted in bluish. The little Lipovan church of the village respects the same chromatic scheme. Locals say the light blue shade is not accidental, but it was used on purpose to chase away the herds of mosquitoes, which are a quite common trouble in the Danube Delta.

The camera can easily capture pelicans, cormorants and egrets around here if you stand still and respect the hints of the locals who are accompanying tourists on the narrow channels. Water lilies are also displaying exquisite views on the water crystal.

Nearby Mila 23 (4.5 km south west), Romanian and French archaeologists brought to light the oldest human settlement in the Danube Delta known so far, Taraschina site. Dated back four millenniums ago before Christ, the site has been declared historical monument in 2011.

As we mentioned on top of the article, the villagers are skillful fishermen, but oaring is another good asset of the locals. This fame is now internationally acknowledged due to some great oars men and kayak paddlers who were actually born in Mila 23. Ivan Patzaichin is by far the most famous of them, the champion of the world and European Olympic medals for Romania.

As a matter of fact, Patzaichin has never forgotten his birthplace and has launched a fish tourism program in Mila 23 this week.

His action is financially supported by Danube Competence Center from Germany and aims both at the initiation of a pilot cuisine routing in the Danube Biosphere Reserve and at harmonization of the Romanian legislation to implement the fish tourism concept.

Practically, the program consists of offering tourists daily trips on the Danube’s channels, joining fishermen to see a day of their life. Hauls are cooked following old traditional recipes in the locals’ households or in special locations.

Enjoy an original photo gallery by Irina Butu

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