The community is first mentioned in documents in 1503, but archaeological researches have identified piles of dwellings from 14 th century that belonged to a rural settlement.
The origin of this village is lost in the remote past. The legend speaks of a group of six houses, hidden in a plain of the Vlasia, under Mos Ploae. The founders of Ploieşti village sat down on the outskirts of Vlasia forest, long time ago, in harsh times, because otherwise they would have chosen not so strong places. The seven householders ran from somewhere - hit by foreign soldiers, ruled by a master, crudely executed on the log. The beginnings of Ploieşti village are mixed up with the fiery work of clearing the woods . The successors represented perfectly this hard work on the stem of Ploieşti : Two lions uprooting an oak tree
Descriptions of travelers who visited the city of Ploieşti mention impressive medieval constructions. A growing number of buildings were erected in the architectural styles specific to the Western space: Romantic, Neo-Gothic, Neoclassical, Baroque. However, earthquakes, invasions, air raids and afterwards the implementation of communist town planning strategy destroyed these vestiges and distorted the positive direction that the urban evolution had so far.
Ploieşti was 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 (1600). The Statue of Liberty (1870) is the oldest monument of the city, an homage paid by its inhabitants to democracy they fought for.
The Soldier’s Memorial (1877) commemorates the first victory of the young Romanian army
St. John’s Cathedral (1937) built in the memory of the inhabitants of Ploieşti who sacrificed their lives in the battles of World War I or behind the front
Astra Romana Refinery The City of the Black Gold In the mid-19 th century, the Ploieşti region was one of the world's leading oil extraction and refinery sites.
The world’s first large refinery was built by Mehedinţeanu brothers in 1857 at the periphery of Ploiesti city, near the South Station, on 174, Buna Vestire Street. The refinery installations were quite primitive, all the equipment being build up from iron or raw iron cylindrical vessels, warmed up directly with wood fire. This equipment was ordered in Germany from Moltrecht company which was building boilers for bituminous shale distillation. In the same year 1857, Romania was t he first country in the world with a petroleum production officially registered in the international statistics („The Science of Petroleum” 1938) with an oil production of 275 tones followed by the United States in 1859, Italy in 1860, Canada in 1862 and Russia in 1863.
<ul><li>“ Who will have the oil will have the domination,… the domination of the world through financial power …. the nation that will be the owner of this precious fuel will see billions.” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Henry Berenger a diplomatic note for Clemenceau at 12 December 1919, in the eve of the French-British Conference from London, regarding the Western Europe and the Asia Minor future. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>Astra Romana and Orion Refineries
Unirea Refinery (Orion and Sperantza) The main oil companies of that time : Steaua Română, Româno-Americana, Vega, Astra Română, Concordia, Creditul Minier. These strong companies have been thrown into relief through the extraction, processing and commercialization activities from a number of 104 existing societies in 1914. As a matter of fact, these companies will be the ones that will promote the Romanian oil production growth, from 275 tones in 1857, to 15.900 tones in 1880, date until which only Romania and USA were registered in the oil producers’ countries statistics. The production will grow at 250.000 tones in 1900 and will reach 1.783.947 tones in 1914.
The Siege of Ploiesti on August 1 st 1943 the refineries were bombarded by US 15 th Air Force and British 205 th Bomb Wing – “Operation Tidal Wave”
The Siege of Ploiesti Columbia (Aquila) Refinery - August 1 st 1943
Although oil production in the region is declining steadily, there is still a thriving processing industry through four operating oil refineries, linked by pipelines to Bucharest, the Black Sea port of Constanţa and the Danube port of Giurgiu. Ploiesti concentrates many foreign investments: OMV-Petrom Petrotel-Lukoil Shell Gas OMV (Österreichische Mineralölverwaltung) Austria has 25.1% of Rompetrol Group and 51% shares of Petrom SA Group. Lukoil , the second largest public company next to Exxon Mobil in terms of proven oil and gas reserves, has 90% shares of Petrotel.
Ploieşti is home to the Petroleum - Gas University (UPG) After 50 years of “alma mater”, in 1998 the statistics showed: more than 21 000 graduates (diplomat engineers and engineers) and over 325 Ph.D. UPG has also trained almost 2 000 specialists within the postgraduate courses. Almost 2 000 foreign students of 90 countries in the world, have attended various forms of education: graduate and postgraduate courses (Ph.D., UNESCO courses). Over 800 books destined to the educational process, over 1 500 scientific articles published in specialty magazines in the country or abroad, over 350 patents. In 1948, the “Petroleum and Gas Institute” was founded in Bucharest and had a rapid development. Everybody agreed that its place is in Ploieşti, therefore between 1966 and 1973 it was moved. There was created a complete new, vast, modern, open and functional campus.
<ul><li>Petroleum - Gas University (UPG), Competence Centers: </li></ul><ul><li>Materials and Technologies in Petroleum Equipment Manufacture Director Prof.dr.eng. N. Napoleon Antonescu </li></ul><ul><li>Reliability, Diagnosis and Technical Safety of Petroleum and Petrochemical Equipment Director Prof.dr.eng. Ion Voicu </li></ul><ul><li>Strength, Stability, Dynamics and Durability of Structures for Petroleum and Petrochemical Equipment Director Prof.dr.eng. Nicolae Posea </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced Automatic Control in Chemical Processes </li></ul><ul><li>Director Prof.dr.eng. Nicolae Paraschiv </li></ul><ul><li>Second Degree Testing Laboratory authorized by ICPLUAT, Prahova district Laboratory Director Prof.dr.eng. Mihail Minescu </li></ul><ul><li>Electronics-Electrotechnics Department Research Center </li></ul><ul><li>Director Prof.dr.eng. Doru Georgescu </li></ul><ul><li>Research Center of Petroleum Reservoir Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Director Prof.dr.eng. Iulian Nistor </li></ul><ul><li>Modern and Ecological Technologies in Drilling and Production </li></ul><ul><li>Director Prof.dr.eng. George Iordache </li></ul><ul><li>Research Center for Petrochemical & Petroleum Processing </li></ul><ul><li>Director Prof.dr.eng. Costica Stratula </li></ul>
Ploieşti is home of the National Oil Museum , illustrating the history of Romanian oil industry as well as the petroleum science and technology.
The museum was established on the occasion of the Romanian oil industry centenary in 1957 presenting items and aspects related to oil exploration, geology and petrochemistry: mining tools and lamps from the 19th century; oil lamps from Bucharest - the first city in the world lighted by oil in 1859; wood or metal drilling equipment from the 19th century; rotating drilling equipment; distillery and refinery models boards illustrating the SO 2 system invented by Lazăr Edeleanu and applied all over the world; history of gas manufacturing; geological maps, mineralogical samples, petrochemical products; diplomas, photographs.
Various relevant works, oil legislation, courses, catalogues, lexicons and relevant magazines ( Moniteur du Petrole Roumain, Romanian Oil Gazette ) are found in the document collection. The museum owns goods listed in the National Cultural Heritage Treasure.
The History and Archaeology Museum set up by Professor Nicolae Simache (the former Secondary School, built in 1873 by Architect Alexandru Orascu)
The Art Museum set up by Professor Nicolae Simache (the former Ionescu Quintus Building)
The Clock Museum set up by Professor Nicolae Simache (the former Luca Elefterescu Building)
There are no thorough studies on urban evolution of the city of Ploiesti. The oldest maps date from around 1850 (Plesoianu map). There are no earlier maps, if we don't take into consideration the locality's lay-out included on the late 18 th century Austrian map, but we can imagine the settlement's configuration, which was typical of the towns with strong trade activities and that lacked for a long time aristocratic residences. It must have been a "loose – disposed" locality, with crowded zones concentrated around market places and residential districts with houses placed in the middle of large and luxurious gardens. Unfortunately, extensive demolitions have damaged the city's central zone from 1960's and until recently, and have destroyed both 80% of the centre of the town and the identity of settlement. The front buildings on both sides of main arteries have been demolished and replaced by dull, inexpressive edifices.
The National College “I.L. Caragiale” (the former Commercial School, erected in 1930’s after the plans of Architect Toma T. Socolescu)
I. L. Caragiale Ion Luca Caragiale was a playwright, short story writer, poet, theater manager, political commentator and journalist. He is considered one of the greatest playwrights in Romanian language and a leading representative of local humor.
Although few in number, Caragiale's plays constitute the most accomplished expression of Romanian live theater, as well as being important venues for criticism of late 19 th century Romanian society. His work, spanning four decades, covers the ground between Neoclassicism, Realism, and Naturalism, building on an original synthesis of foreign and local influences. His role in the Romanian context was likened to those of Honoré de Balzac in France, Charles Dickens in the United Kingdom, and Nikolai Gogol in the Russian Empire.
Trade and handicrafts represented the main economic resources of local people, besides agricultural activities. The city of Ploiesti was situated on the crossing point of important trading routes whose role increased especially after moving the principality's capital from Targoviste to Bucharest. At the middle of the 18 th century Ploiesti is named “leader city”. The development of Ploiesti was methodically going on. After 1854 it became the capital of Prahova county and the most important urban center in this highly - urbanized county.
1936 1959 The Central Market Hall The Symbol of Ploiesti
With the economic boom created by the oil industry, the so far trade - generated welfare turns to opulence, and the houses of some "slummers" are transformed into genuine urban residences, thanks to the owner's wealth and with the contribution of famous architects and contractors. Many of late 19 th century buildings' façades are re- modeled in Neoclassical or Baroque style. In this period the townsmen's dwellings with traditional architecture are replaced by edifices erected in accordance to international architectural styles. Several townsmen's dwellings were also preserved, among which Hagi Prodan“ House (end of 18 th century) is the best - known. After 1800 the locality underwent an intensive development.
Hagi Prodan House set up by Professor Nicolae Simache