Ploiesti - The city of black gold
PLOIESTI - THE CITY OF "BLACK GOLD"
Situated in the south - eastern Romania, having a population of over
250,000 inhabitants, Ploiesti is one of Romania's most important
cities, on the second place after Bucharest as for the industrial
At a 60 km distance from Bucharest, crossed by the 26° meridian and
the 44° 55' parallel, Ploiesti is the petroleum industrial citadel.
Ploiesti is also known for the production and exportation of the
petrochemical, chemical and petroleum equipment, heavy - duty
bearings, cables, detergents, cloths, furniture, as well for the civil
and industrial engineering made abroad.
The economic potential of the city is remarkable, due to the tradition
and professionalism of the designing companies (PETROSTAR, RAYTHEON
ENGINEERS & CONSTRUCTORS, IPIP, COMPROIECT 92, MAAD INTERNATIONAL, in
the domain of the chemical and petrochemical equipment, IPCUP S.A. in
the domain of drilling and exploitation equipment, ICERP in the domain
of petrochemical products, CONSPROIECT in the civil and industrial
engineering) due to the activity of some important companies,
beginning with the four refineries (PETROTEL - LUK OIL S.A, ASTRA
ROMÂNA, VEGA and S.N.P. PETROM PETROBRAZI), and continuing by the
distribution firms for petroleum products (S.N.P. PETROM PECO PRAHOVA,
SHELL, MOL ROMANIA), by those in the chemical and petroleum equipment
branch (UPETROM 1 MAI, UZUC, UZTEL, 24 ianuarie, FLINTAB ROMANIA), by
the heavy - duty bearings plant that has just been bought by the
American company TIMKEN (TIMKEN ROMANIA), by the steel cables plant
CABLUL ROMÂNESC, by the pipeline oil transport CONPET, by the
polyethylene products plant POLITEH, by the detergents plant DERO
LEVER, by the cloths factory DOROBANTUL, by the ready - made clothes
factory MODEXIM, by the furniture plant ANTECO, by the food and drink
plants SOCIETATEA DE ÎMBUTELIAT COCA - COLA, PROLA, EFES PILSNER,
EXTRAPAN, DI APOLLO INDUSTRIA CARNII, the tobacco industry - BRITISH
AMERICAN TOBACCO, in the printing industry - MAYR MELNHOF PACKAGING
ROMANIA, in constructions (CIPROM, INSPET, UMO, CONTRASIMEX, ASCM.,
The private initiative led to the creation of some important firms in
the construction sector (ROOL CONSTRUCT, NOVA - CONS), in the computer
manufacturing (SPRINT COMPUTERS, PLATIN SYSTEMS)
As any settlement, Ploiesti has always had a leader of its own. First,
there were a magistrate and town councillors, afterwards a chairman
and an executive committee and finally a mayor and a town council. All
of them did their best to solve the town's problems concerning the
aspect, the constructions and the public utilities, the salubrity and
to contribute to the local economical development, social protection,
culture, education and local patrimony.
At first, the municipality did not have premises of its own, renting
various buildings. Later on they afforded to get two buildings
constructed. The first one ("THE OLD TOWN HALL"), which used to be
situated on the present - day "Prahova" Hotel, housed the Town Hall
between 1868 - 1894. It was demolished after 1940.
Between 1894 - 1972 the Town Hall was to be found in the "New Town
Hall". The edifice, designed to become a museum of the city after
1972, had to be demolished after the 1977 earthquake. Since 1972, the
Town Hall has carried out its activity in the building of the
Administrative Palace. Besides this building, the public services
carry out their activity in other premises as a result of the
development and diversification of the activity: inside the Central
Market - which has been administrated by the municipality since 1997 -
the Patrimony Board and the Fiscal Board carry out activity; the
former house of the mayor Radu Stanian which has became the Weddings
House, houses the Registry Office.
A New Borough at the Feet of The Mountains
Another legend speaks about Michael the Brave (1593 - 1601) who,
willing to settle a new borough, asked the chief magistrate of the
village of Ploiesti to sell him that land. The chief magistrate
refused the money offered by the Prince for that land because he said
that villagers who lived there were freeholders and if they had sold
their land they would have became serfs.
The legend is only partly true. In fact, the Prince bought the land
from two country squires and gave it to the inhabitants of Ploiesti to
keep into possession. Michael the Brave also got that land colonized
by brave soldiers. He set up there a weekly fair, which used to
attract people and goods from far away. Thus, the small borough
developed in a short time, being ruled by a magistrate and 12 town
councillors, elected by the townsmen.
Ploiesti was also a headquarters for Michael the Brave's army, as he
prepared his glorious military campaign to Transylvania, first step to
a unification of the Romanian provinces. His military campaign started
at Ploiesti on October 4, 1599 and ended in triumph at Alba - Iulia on
For all those reasons we can say that Michael the Brave was not only
the founder of the city, but also a huge personality who decided upon
the city's future. In their turn, the inhabitants of Ploiesti have
remained eternally grateful to him.
The Statue of Liberty
Is the oldest monument of the city, a homage paid by its inhabitants
to democracy thy fought for. The news about the Radical - Liberals'
victory in the local election in Ploiesti in March 1869 against the
Government's interferences concerning the constitutional rights was
quickly spread in the whole country. It was followed and amplified by
the news of the antidynastic movement in the same city in August 1870.
In that respect, Dimitrie Bratianu, together with C. A. Rossetti - two
Romanian political personalities of the time -, proposed that the city
of Ploiesti should be rewarded with a monument, opening a subscription
list for possible supporters through the newspaper " The Romanian ".
The initiators of the project sought abroad and eventually found in
France a well - suited statue, both by theme (the Goddess Minerva
wearing the Phrygian cap of liberty), size (3.5 m), artistical value
and technical execution (it was cast at L. Oudry & C - i.e. in Paris).
The statue was bought and brought in the country in 1876, but it was
not immediately put in place because of the war. The architect Toma N.
Socolescu, who had also designed the plinth, got the statue assembled
in Liberty Square on September 1^st, 1879.
The inauguration took place only on June 21^st, 1881. Later on, the
statue was to be reassembled in front of the Town Hall, and when the
air raids during the World War I came to an end; the statue was moved
again, being placed on the actual site, in front of the Administrative
Palace (the new premises of the Town Hall). A century later, the
statue has continued to be a symbol of liberty and democracy for the
inhabitants of Ploiesti. Thus, during the painful days of
theRevolution of 1989, people gathered round the statue and every year
after has commemorated their heroes there.
The Soldier's Memorial
Was also moved from the initial site where it had been unveiled on
October 12^th, 1897(in a square on the main boulevard nearby the
center of the city) to another square close by the Southern Railway
Station (1954) and finally in a traffic circle not far from the
previous site (1980).
The monument conjures up the Grivita Attack (August 30, 1877), the
first victory of the young Romanian army, to which the second
Battalion soldiers of Ploiesti led by Alexandru Candiano - Popescu
After the war, a group of ex - servicemen joined by a few young
enthusiastic people (stimulated by Nicolae Prusanu) initiated the
erection of a Memorial to honour the heroes of the Grivita Attack.
Within 7 years the initiators of the project gathered funds from over
20,000 people all over the country and gave the project into the
charge of the sculptor George Vasilescu.
The monument has two distinct parts: a stone part, a granite obelisk
above an almost cubic plinth over - topping a stepping platform and a
bronze part, both of them being made in Italy. The sculptures
represent an eagle wearing a flag into its beak (on the top of the
monument), a symbolic inlaid work, two allegoric high relief's on a
plinth and the statues of four soldiers (made after real models) in
various positions and having their own personality.
Honour their Memory
The inhabitants of Ploiesti sacrificed their lives in the battles of
World War I or behind the front. Gratitude towards those heroes took
shape in a 60 m high spire, attached to the ample portal of "St.
An initiators committee ...
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