Text and photos Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
Design Florin Alexandru Stancu

During the first quarter of 2017
I passed near the Bucharest National Library
and I thought that in Romania there are still many stories
which must be clarified and included over there.

Certainly, one of them should be about the Vicina-Dervent zone,
at the Danube River.

So… what was more important?

Vicina? Or Dervent?

Or both of them as united entity?

Since I preferred the last variant,
shortly before visiting that area
I tried a metaphoric spring photo-preamble (March 29, 30 and 31)
with the king of the stars,
cumulus clouds as celestial buds
and the king of the planets,
Sirius and Jupiter symbolizing the magic of a whole
surrounded by nature.

On April 8
I started to Vicina-Dervent and, after a mysterious sunrise,
I crossed the Danube River to the Dobrogea province.

Then I arrived in that zone in which, among water canals, on an islet,
Vicina was a flourishing fortress and the capital of a small state
where Byzantines, Vlachs, Slavs and Genoese people (Eastern Christians and Catholics)
peacefully coexisted in the XIth-XIVth centuries,
before the Muslim invasion which pushed the zonal episcope,
to change its place and to become
the first patriarch of Walachia (or the Romanian Land) around 1350,
making Orthodox Christianity offiicial in that country.

But because the access to the ruins of the fortress
is impossible without a boat and a guide,
I watched the zone from the speed of the bus,
imagining that Vicina could be anywhere.

After a few kilometers on the Dobrogean bank of the Danube,
I arrived in Dervent, another place with bright significance.

Here, during the domination of the Roman Empire,
four Christian believers (disciples of Saint Andrew) became martyrs
and a little later four stone crosses rose on the place of their execution.

Then, during the Byzantine Empire
a fortress was built over here in the XIth century
to supervise, together with Vicina,
the water traffic previous to the mouths of the Danube.

During the domination of the Ottoman Empire (XIVth-XIXth centuries)
two of the crosses were destroyed,
and today the two remained crosses
(with miraculous curative properties for special Christians)
are part of a monastery
(made after the 1989 Anticommunist Revolution in Romania),
which has overtook the moral legacy of the Vicina Episcopate, too.

A blessed pilgrimage place,
where even Saint Andrew opened a curative water spring with his rod,
where the earth showed me beautiful flowers
and the Sun showed me a blue aura.

On that afternoon
I continued to go north on the Danubian bank to Cernavoda,
where I crossed back the great river
(consisting of two branches over here),
from Dobrogea to Wallachia
(just like the episcope-patriarch Hyacint in the past),
where the Sun mysteriously shone again.

So… what was more important?

Vicina? Or Dervent?

Or both of them as united entity?

Finally, I preferred to respond through an astro-photo-poem including
two pictures with the Crowned Moon and its closeness to Venus,
taken before this expedition (February 2),
and two pictures with the Full Moon and its closeness to Jupiter,
taken after this expedition (April 10).

If two important earthly entities are in conjunction
Just like two fascinating astral lights,
People should believe that their own unity
Is one of the highest human rights.


© 2019 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)