Slava Cercheza commune is located at about 55 km from Tulcea on DN22D. The administrative territory of Slava Cercheza Commune borders: to the North the administrative territory of Mihai Bravu Commune and Nalbant Commune, to the East the administrative territory of town Babadag, to the South the administrative territory of Baia commune, to the West the administrative territory of Ciucurova Commune.

Slava Cercheza Commune has two villages: Slava Cercheza – county seat and Slava Rusă.

The Circassians are a population originary from Caucasus, speakers of Circassian, a Caucasian language. From a religious point of view they are mainly Muslims (from the 15th century), but there are also small groups of Orthodox Christians. The towns Slava Cercheză and Cerchezu get their names from this population who lived on Dobrogea lands.

Paths of access: located at the crossroads of major communication paths which connect the towns Măcin, Constanţa, Hârşova, Tulcea and Babadag. They are national roads DN 22A and DN 22 B or the European road E 87.

Geographical position: It is located in the central part of the county and the commune territory is part of Slavei Basin, which comprises the S-E part of Babadag Plateau and the N-E side of Casimcea Plateau.

The town Slava Rusa belongs to the commune Slava Cercheza, located in Tulcea county, at a distance of 62 km from the town Tulcea and 7km from the county seat.

Tourist routes

Slava Cercheza village Slava Rusa – Slavelor Plateau/ Slava Cercheza River at the confluence with Slava Rusă – traces of Roman-Byzantine settlement “Libida”, old rite Monasteries “Uspenia” dedicated to the “Assumption of the Virgin” 1840 – the Sacred image of Mother of God Vovidenia from Kazan, “Uspenia” unique old rite monastery in Christian world and “Vovidenia” dedicated to the “Entrance in Church of Mother of God”, unique old rite of the Christian Lippovan convent.

History

Small populations of Circassians lived in Dobrogea since XVII-XVIIIth centuries. After 1864, as a result of the Russian-Caucasian War, about 500.000 Caucasians (where the Circassians, Abhaz and Chechens predominated) were forced to leave their country to get rid of the subjugation by Russian administration. The refugees settled in the Ottoman Empire. 150.000-200.000 Circassians were colonized in the Balkans, of which 10.000 in Dobrogea which belonged at that time to this empire. They were put in possession of the lands which belonged to Bulgarians and Gagauz people who emigrated in south of Bessarabia. The largest Circassian concentrations were in the villages Slava Cercheză (500 families), Horia, Turda, Băltăgeşti, Subaşi (south of Rasova), Ortachioi, Başchioi, Isaccea and Mihai Bravu. The Circassians proved to have qualities of craftsmen and honesty and rectitude in business.

The stay of Circassians in Dobrogea was not long because after the attachment of Dobrogea to Romania (1878) the Circassian population with a part of Tatars population left Dobrogea to settle in other areas of the Ottoman Empire. The exodus of Circassians from Dobrogea is part of the general evacuation of this population from Balkan Peninsula as a consequence of pilfering and abuses committed by them in the war of 1877.  About 40.000 Circassians and Tartars left Dobrogea. The sheep breeding was the main occupation of these populations and their exodus led in this area to the decrease of ovine numbers from 2 million to 500,000.

Today situation

The presence of a Circassian population in Dobrogea was not reported since 20th century because the largest part of this population left the region, the remaining population was assimilated by Tatars and Turks. In Romania there is the family name “Cerchez” and “Cerkez”.