Located on the Black Sea shore, Constanta is the second urban centre of Romania after Bucharest. The city was established in the 6th century BC by Greek merchants and was called Tomis. It was later developed by Romans and renamed after the Emperor Constantine I. Constanta is also the town where the Roman poet Ovid spent his years in exile, and where he died.
After more than 300 years of Turkish rule, the modern development of the city began and today it is the biggest harbor of Romania and the nucleus of the tourist activity on the Romanian seaside. There are several synagogues and mosques, an Orthodox cathedral, and a statue of Ovid, as well as many Roman and Byzantine remains, like the ruins of the ancient Greek fortress of Histria. The major resort near Constanta is Mamaia, situated just to the north between a magnificent 7 km (4.5 mile) long beach of unbelievably fine sand and a lake.