Located on the northeast of Constanța County, on the western shore of Sinoe Lake, the commune of Istria includes only two localities, the homonymous village and the Nuntași village. According to tradition the village was established by Ottomans in the 18th century. In the first quarter of the next century a Bulgarian community, which became majority, were settled here. After the discovery of Histria, the oldest Greek colonies from Milet established on the west bank of the Black Sea in the 7th century BC, the original name, Cara-Nasuf, of Turkish origin, was changed to Istria, taking over the name of the fortress. The discovery of spectacular archaeological remains whose systematic research began in 1914 determined the place name.
The Orthodox Church of Istria, the single one in the commune, is also the only one historically attested. It was built between 1857 and 1860 by the Bulgarian community of Cara-Nasuf during the administration of the Ottoman Empire, respecting the restrictive construction conditions imposed by the Turkish authorities. It was characterized by low height regime which determined its semi-burial aspect, the lack of turrets and bells, an austere but balanced architectural features, the small proportion of the artistic elements specific to Orthodox Christianity, respectively mural painting, existing only in altar niche and in the niche with the dedication icon on the western facade.
The church was built of stone masonry, brought, according to tradition, from the nearby fortress, at that time still not scientifically researched. In the absence of the domes, in order to solve the problem of acoustics, the tradition says that a large number of amphorae, found from the same fortress, would have been built with the function of resonance pots. The church has a basilica plan with rows of interior wooden pillars, which support the longitudinal beams of the ceiling. The nave has two small semicircular lateral apses. The facades are smooth, but the west side has an interesting composition, with the tympanum shaped at the top in the form of three arches who joining the slopes of the roof. The porch has six openings finished in semicircular arches, which one of them represents the entrance. Above on the middle are two overlapping niches, containing the painted icon of Saint Nicolas and the dedication made by stone and flanked by two windows that contribute to the lighting of the choir balcony.
The Berlin Peace Congress at the end of the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878, enshrined the state independence of Romania recognition, the relocation to Russia of the three counties in southern Basarabia – Cahul, Ismail and Bolgrad – which had been returned to Moldova by the Paris Peace Treaty of 1856, as well as the relocation to Romania of the Dobrogea region, the Danube Delta and the Serpent Island, with the exception of the Cadrilater. Since 1913 to 1940, the Cadrilater became part of Romania, but the Treaty signed in 1940 between Romania and Bulgaria, which regulated the relations between the two states and permanently established the southeast border, decided the Cadrilater restitution to Bulgaria and making a population exchange based on ethnic criteria. Thus, the Bulgarian families living at Istria, the major population at that time, were settled in Durostor and Caliacra Counties, the commune being colonized, in exchange, by Romanians.
Adress: Strada bisricii, Istria 907155, Romania